Healthy Eating on a Budget
Eating healthy without draining your wallet can seem like an impossible feat, especially when pop culture is encouraging families to buy all fresh, local and organic food, which just happens to be the most expensive. Not everyone can manage that while also feeding a family of five. And they shouldn’t have to. Healthy eating on a budget is possible, for you and your family.
Listen up while we highlight four key points to maintaining the healthy diet that you’ve been working so hard at, without paying the big bucks.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Going into a grocery store with no plan in mind, is one of the best ways to end up walking out with a giant bill.
Dedicate a specific amount of time each week or each month to making a meal plan. Decide what meals you will be creating, what ingredients you will need, and any sale items that you can catch.
Going into the grocery store with a specific plan will help you stick to budget and ensure you get only the foods that you really need.
Tip: Make sure you eat before grocery shopping. Having a filling meal can help to curb cravings and may stop you from reaching for that bag of chips while cruising around the store.
Fruits and Vegetables
If money is tight and the thought of spending extra on fresh fruits and vegetables that might just go bad and be thrown away terrifies you, purchase frozen or canned fruits and vegetables instead. They are typically cheaper and still reap many of the same benefits as fresh produce.
Yes, it is true that sometimes a loss of nutrients can occur during the freezing or canning process of fruits and vegetables, but that loss is usually minimal. The benefits of consuming frozen or canned fruits and vegetables greatly outweighs the loss of nutrients that may have occurred.
If you would rather stick to fresh produce, purchase only the fruits and vegetables that are in season; they will be cheaper. You can then freeze and save the excess.
A great high-protein, low-cost alternative for meat is black beans. Black beans are high in protein, antioxidants, folate, and fibre. In a 1-cup serving, black beans offer 15g of protein and 15g of fibre. More fibre means that they will be more filling as well.
Replace meat with black beans in foods, such as stir-frys, salads, soups, tacos, etc.
If you’re not comfortable with cutting meat out entirely, you can try using black beans even just once a week. Can you say meatless Monday?
Alternatively, if you prefer to stick entirely to meat products, try purchasing the cheaper cuts of meat, such as bone-in chicken thighs, ground beef, and ground turkey.
Grain products are great for maintaining a healthy diet while on a budget. The carbohydrates will provide you with energy and the fibre can help you feel full for longer. Some of the best, and cheapest. grain products to include in your diet are:
- Brown Rice
- Whole Wheat or Whole Grain Bread
- Multigrain Pasta
Try to opt for whole grain options as they will generally be better for your health.
There you have it, four key points to follow in order to maintain your healthy eating while on a budget. Keep these in mind when planning your meals; your body AND your bank account will thank you.