Feeding your family can be a major expense in your budget. Especially when you’re trying to maintain a healthy diet. So keeping costs low can be difficult when choosing healthy foods. But eating healthy on a budget is possible.
You don’t need to sacrifice your health to save money. With a little planning and smart shopping, you can eat well on a budget.
These 7 tips for eating healthy on a budget will help you stay on track with your healthy choices, without breaking the bank.
7 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget
Plan Your Meals In Advance
If you want to spend less on your meals, one of the best things you can do is to plan them out in advance. This will allow you to buy only what you need and you’ll avoid wasting food.
Planning 3 meals a day for your whole family can be intimidating. So keep it simple. Make a list of what your family usually eats for each meal and go from there.
Keeps staples on hand like oatmeal and eggs for breakfast. Leafy greens with cucumbers and tomatoes for salads at lunch.
For your dinners, you’ll want to take more time planning. Think of family favorites and then plan what you’re going to make each night for the week.
Also, having a few staple foods on hand that can be used in multiple meals will save you time when it comes to making dinner.
Check out this post for Easy Meal Planning and Prep Tips.
Beans And Legumes
Beans and legumes are inexpensive sources of protein and are easy to incorporate into any meal. They are also incredibly nutritious and rich in fiber. You can add them to soups or salads, use them in place of meat in tacos or burritos, or add them to sandwiches.
I like to add cooked lentils to ground beef because it makes more and you can’t really taste the added lentils.
Beans and legumes can also be added to stews and casseroles for a hearty texture.
Meat Is Not Always The Best Option
While meat is a great source of protein, it is not the only way to meet your daily requirements. In fact, many meat-heavy diets lack important vitamins and minerals that are abundant in other foods.
If you do decide to include meat in your diet, choose lean cuts and smaller portions. This will help keep your grocery bill low while still providing your body with the protein it needs.
Canned Tuna and Salmon
Fresh and frozen fish in the seafood section of the grocery store are expensive choices when you’re on a budget. So instead opt for canned fish like tuna and salmon.
The canned options are inexpensive and easy to use in salads and other dishes. Plus the canned versions are still high in protein.
I like having the packets of salmon or tuna with me when I’m out and about. It’s an easy source of protein with no prep needed. So course you may want to keep a spoon or fork on hand:)
When choosing canned fish make sure to read the labels. You want the list of ingredients to be as pure as possible. Meaning not a bunch of unnecessary added ingredients like sugar.
Buy in Season Fruits and Vegetables
Check out this seasonal food guide to know what fruits and vegetables are in season. When you buy these seasonal items the cost will be lower. Because there is more supply of the seasonal produce.
For example, you’ll save more money buying a watermelon in the summer months compared to the winter months.
Buy Frozen Fruits and Vegetables
Don’t forget about the frozen aisle when shopping for fruits and vegetables. Frozen produce is just as healthy as fresh and most often cheaper.
Another bonus to buying frozen vegetables is it’s already prepped. You don’t have to worry about washing and cutting the veggies.
But to make sure you’re getting the healthiest version check the ingredients. You never know what ingredients might have been added. Especially to kits like stir fry veggies.
Don’t be afraid to add potatoes to your diet. You need healthy carbohydrates to fuel your day. Potatoes are a good source of healthy carbohydrates and fiber. They are also a good source of other vitamins and minerals. A bag of potatoes is very inexpensive and they go a long way. And there is a large variety of potatoes to choose from. Such as Yukon, red, sweet potatoes, yams, and russets.
You can get creative when using potatoes in your meals. Make mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, roasted potatoes, and breakfast potatoes. You’ll have endless options when cooking with potatoes.
Shop At Discount Grocery Store
Many people assume that all-natural and organic foods are more expensive than non-organic foods. This can be true, but it is not always the case. You can find many healthy, inexpensive items at a discount grocery store.
My favorite discounted store is Grocery Outlet. I can often find organic brands at discounted prices at this store. For example, I usually find salad dressing like Primal Kitchen for a much more affordable price.
Make Your Own Food Instead Of Eating Out
Eating out is more expensive than cooking your own meals at home. But you don’t have to deny your family’s craving for pizza. Instead of ordering one make it at home. You’ll save more money and you can make a healthier version. Also, you’ll avoid extra additives that you don’t need to consume.
You can also make healthy delicious Chinese food at home too. With some basic pantry ingredients such as garlic and sesame seed oil, your food will smell and taste as if it came from a Chinese restaurant.
The Last thing you need to know about eating healthy on a budget
Eating healthy does not have to cost a fortune. But you do have to be intentional with your spending and be careful with your choices. You can save money while eating well by planning your meals in advance, shopping at discounted grocery stores, and making your own food,
Remember to keep it simple and not overcomplicate things. Stick to food and meals your family enjoys. Eating healthy on a budget can be done.
I hope you found this post helpful! Here is another post you may like to help you eat healthy, Easy to Follow Tips to Eat Healthier.