When you’re on a budget, it may seem like eating healthy is out of reach. Luckily, that’s not the case at all!
I’ve found that switching from my regular diet to a whole foods diet, my spending has actually decreased. That always comes to a surprise to people but eating healthy means eating extremely basic foods, such as beans, lentils, potatoes, vegetables, and fruit.
In order to stay healthy on a budget, you’re going to have to learn a few skills in the kitchen.
Keep reading to find out how you can keep your grocery bill low without sacrificing your health.
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1. Take advantage of Asian supermarkets
Prices for vegetables, fruit, and other foods you usually buy are much cheaper here. You can also buy certain foods in bulk for a price that no other store can beat. You’re paying for high-quality foods (usually) for a price that is a fraction of the cost compared to regular grocery stores.
2. Use a Crockpot for easy, healthy meals
Using a Crockpot allows you to throw basic ingredients in the pot and have a meal ready the next day. This is great for people who have little time to prep and want meals ready as soon as they get home.
3. Take advantage of coupon apps
Instead of carrying a bunch of printed out coupons to the store, you can simply download Ibotta and redeem which products you’re going to purchase, then purchase the items, and snap a photo onto the app. You’ll get real cash back through Paypal or Venmo or in gift cards to your favorite stores. Get $10 just for signing up here.
4. Meal Plan for meals at home and on the go
Planning meals ahead of time ensures that you won’t splurge on an expensive restaurant meal. When we are hungry, we often value taste over cost.
Carry snacks in your purses, such as homemade trail mix, a variety of fruit, or even a meal ready to go, such as pasta.
5. Take a closer look at price labels
Look at the “price per ounce” section of the price label. My boyfriend taught me this trick and I’m surprised that I didn’t look at something so simple before. Packaging styles are often meant to trick you and think there is more in it.
Generic brands are just as good as brand named items, just make sure there aren’t harmful ingredients in the food, such as high fructose corn syrup. We almost always buy store brands (Walmart, Target, etc), when we go shopping.
6. Cheap foods to eat
Below are foods that are cheap and can be used in many recipes. In season produce is always going to be the cheapest, so remember that. Frozen vegetables and fruit are usually much cheaper to buy than fresh and are just as good for you. If you tend to let foods go bad, frozen is the way to go.
- brown rice
- sweet potatoes
- black beans
- garbanzo beans
7. $5 Meal Plan
$5 Meal Plan sends you a monthly meal plan that easily pays for itself in a day. If you think about how often you overbuy food, throw out that food, and dine in at restaurants, it ends up costing hundreds of dollars a month. I know a lot of people think they don’t need this, but end up signing up due to realizing how much money they spend at restaurants.
$5 Meal plan includes:
- weekly meal plans
- printable recipe and grocery list
- access to a private $5 Meal Plan group
- chefs customizing your meal and making it taste the best
I calculated how much I spent one month on restaurant food and the number was insane!
8. Repurpose leftovers
This article from the Greatist shows how you can repurpose any leftover meal.
People often throw out their leftovers, without realizing the value they still have!
9. Limit junk food and say no to High Fructose Corn Syrup
Junk food is filled with ingredients that no one should ever eat, such as high fructose corn syrup. The foods are addicting and you’ll eat more and more of it. High fructose corn syrup is even more addicting than sugar and has damaging effects on the body. It is cheaper to make foods with HFCS, but SO terrible for the body. I cannot stress this enough. If you take anything away from this article, please let it be refraining from all foods that have high fructose corn syrup.
I highly recommend checking out the 14-Day Lean Clean meal plan if you are trying to lose weight or get healthier. The book is filled with tons of useful information (over 200 pages worth!). I am using this meal plan to hit my health and fitness goals.
10. Learn how to cook at home
Cooking at home allows you to see all of the ingredients going into your food. When you go out to a restaurant, you have no idea what they are putting in your meal. A seemingly healthy meal can often have loads of oil and other harmful ingredients in it.
List of my favorite YouTubers and Bloggers to get free recipes from:
- Minimalist Baker (my all time favorite – 10 ingredients or fewer recipes)
- Jamie Oliver
Living a healthy lifestyle filled with whole, nourishing foods is easy and affordable as long as you know the little “secrets”.
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