Taking Steps to Eat Healthy on a Budget
In today’s world of skyrocketing gas prices and the rising costs of living, people want to save money wherever possible.
That means sometimes grocery shoppers forego the healthier foods in the store and opt for cheaper, processed foods because of the misconception that to eat healthy on a budget is impossible. But that’s not true.
Make a Grocery List
Going to the grocery store not really knowing what you need or already have can result in wasting money on items that you already have. For instance, purchasing two bottles of salad dressing for the price of one is a good deal only if you actually need salad dressing. Otherwise, it is just an impulse purchase and the money spent on the salad dressing could have been spent on a couple heads of lettuce (that you could eat with the salad dressing already in your fridge).
Try cutting or printing coupons to find deals on healthy items to save money as well.
Change the Way You Shop
It’s true that processed foods can be more budget-friendly than their whole grain or organic counterparts, but they are not as nutritionally satisfying. This can lead to overeating because the body craves nourishment. Shop for healthy, natural or minimally processed foods and feed your body well.
Most farmer’s markets aren’t more expensive than grocery stores, so there’s no reason to avoid them. Seasonal produce that is local and organic is not only healthier than food that is shipped halfway across the world, it’s often cheaper. Farmers are often willing to sell their fruit and vegetables in bulk, which can save you a lot of money. The extra fruits and vegetables can be frozen or canned to be used at a later date.
Buying in Bulk
Sometimes it is possible to purchase large quantities of meat from a butcher or wholesale meat market so that meat can be kept frozen until needed. Depending on how much meat you or your family consumes, buying in bulk saves money in the long run.
Virtually every product is available in bulk. Purchase a membership to warehouse stores like Costco or Sam’s Club to find deals on all kinds of products. These stores also feature produce sections that offer fruits and vegetables in bulk at low prices.
The purchase of a membership to a store can sometimes be a hefty initial expense, so share the membership with family members or friends to reduce that cost.
Things to Remember
Budgets, like diets, are hard to stick to. To eat healthy on a budget, shop locally, only buy what you need, opt for store brands when possible, buy in bulk, and pick fresh fruits and veggies over prepackaged or frozen options.
Start slowly and remember that eating healthy and sticking to a budget will soon become a habit.