Contrary to what you might think, eating healthy doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, some of the healthiest foods at the grocery store are some of the cheapest.
Here you’ll find our top tips for eating healthy on a budget.
1. Avoid Buying Junk Food
Buying junk foods can really stretch your budget and your waistline. This is because junk foods like chips or cookies have a lot of extra calories with little nutritional value, and can easily cost upwards of $5 a pop.
If you need quick snacks on hand, apples and bananas are a cheap and easy replacement.
Bonus tip: Going to the grocery store alone will help you stay focused on what you need, as often times children and even spouses are the ones requesting unhealthy snack options.
2. Ditch the Soda
Although soda seems cheap, the amount you spend on it can really add up over time. Plus, it has absolutely no nutritional value. Cut out the soda and use the money on a healthy option instead, such as freshly squeezed fruit juice.
Another healthy option for the whole family is milk or soy milk. Milk is not very expensive, and has many nutritional benefits such as calcium for healthy bones and teeth.
3. Buy Fruits in Quantity
When a certain fruit is in season, take advantage of the low prices and buy in quantity. Any extra fruit can be frozen and eaten later. Just wash and dry the fruit and place in the freezer in plastic zip-lock bags.
4. Meat and Beans
While eating healthy on a budget, keep in mind that you need to eat enough protein. Meats and beans are some of the best sources of protein. Check out the deli counter in your grocery store and see what the specials are. Like fruit, meat can be frozen and used later.
Canned beans can be as cheap as sixty cents a can. Also, if you don’t mind spending the time soaking them overnight or slow cooking in a crock pot, you can buy dry beans which are an even better deal than canned ones.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, and they are cheap, too: one egg only costs around twelve cents. Eating eggs for breakfast is a great way to start your morning as the protein will help keep you full and give you energy until lunchtime.
If you live near a coastal area or an area where commercial fishing takes place, take advantage of the lower prices. Making fish a regular part of your healthy diet is a smart move, because fish are a good source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
A cheap food to consider when eating healthy on a budget is "oatmeal": a serving of this wonder-grain only costs around twenty cents and it has numerous health benefits.
Oatmeal has been shown to lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar and reduce the risk of diabetes. It also has a low glycemic index, meaning it’ll keep your blood sugar steady and give you more energy than a sugary breakfast option, such as donuts or pastries. Plus, all the fiber in oatmeal will fill you up for longer.
7. Peanut Butter
Yes, peanut butter is a health food, as long as you stick to the healthy kind with no added sugar or oil. Peanut butter is cheap, and full of protein and healthy fats. It’s great on sandwiches, bananas, apples, and topped on oatmeal, so go ahead and try out different combinations.
Keep these tips in mind while you’re planning your next trip to the grocery store. Fill your kitchen with these healthy options and your body and wallet will thank you.