Healthy eating is one of the most common goals of many people worldwide. Whether it’s for weight loss or to start a healthy lifestyle, many people aim to eat fewer calories or be mindful of what they put in their bodies.
However, several people are under the impression that healthy eating can be expensive. Diet meal deliveries, popular juices, and other snacks can cause someone to be intimidated at the price tag.
Healthy eating and budgeting can exist under the same senses. Here are seven tips for eating healthy while staying on budget.
Budget for Groceries
Although services like healthy meal deliveries help you accomplish your health goals, they are not always budget-friendly. Cooking at home not only saves you money, but it also has a variety of health benefits such as:
- Less intake of chemical additives, sugar, and calories
- More control on meal portions
- More control over ingredients
In the last week of each month, determine how much you’ll spend on groceries. Look back at your previous expenses and identify how much you spent on food each month. Browse the food items you’ve purchased and see if they can be substituted for healthy alternatives.
Plan Your Meals
Spend a day each week planning what to eat for the upcoming week. With your meal plan and current budget, make a grocery list of the ingredients you need. Scan your fridge and pantry to see what items you have available.
Planning your meals ensures that you buy only the ingredients you’ll use. That way, you won’t end up throwing away expired items you didn’t end up using.
Make the Most of Your Leftovers
Cook large meals from ingredients, then use leftovers to whip up new recipes. For example, you can have grilled salmon for lunch on a Monday, then smoke it and infuse it with Taiwanese black tea for dinner on a Wednesday. You can make salads, burritos, and stir-fry with leftovers to enjoy for some other day.
Don’t Shop When Hungry
Going to the grocery store on an empty stomach makes you more likely to stray away from your list and buy something on impulse. If you’re hungry, grab a healthy snack at home before starting your shopping.
Buy Generic Brands
Sometimes we have our preferred brands for milk, cheese, and other food types. If you’re planning to cut down costs, consider choosing a generic brand. Most grocery stores usually offer a generic brand of a product, which is cheaper than branded ones.
Chances are, these generic products have the same quality as your favorite brands. To be sure, read the ingredients list to ensure you get the same level of quality.
Shop for Produce When They’re in Season
Local produce that is in season is usually at its peak in terms of flavor and nutrients. It is also cheaper to buy because it’s more affordable to transport. Make sure to buy produce by the bag instead of by the piece. If you buy more than you need, freeze them or use them in your meal plans for the following week.
Grow Your Own Produce
If you have space in your yard, consider growing your own produce. With effort and time, you can grow tomatoes, herbs, and onions from your outdoor space. By growing your own food, you’ll have a continuous supply of crops, saving you money from buying them.
Eating healthy and sticking to a budget—it’s possible to do both. You just have to plan, be intentional, and stick to your goals. With these tips, you can meet your health and finance goals.