Want to slash your grocery bills while still enjoying nutritious meals? You can find out how to do this by following these simple budgeting guidelines. You don’t even have to have math skills!
Table of Contents
- 1. Plan ahead
- 2. Compare and contrast
- 3. Grow or make your own
- 4. Stretch your meals
- 5. Buy wholesale
- 6. Go meatless (at least a few times a week)
- 7. Cut back
- Conclusions – how to eat healthy on a tight budget
7 Smart Ways to Eat Healthy Food on a Budget
Let’s talk about some ways to buy and cook healthy food without overspending. Buying berries from the supermarket, rather than going to a health food store, is actually cheaper, which means you don’t need a budget!
1. Plan ahead
Plan your meals in advance to avoid making impulse purchases, eating unhealthy foods, and fixing low-quality meals. Stick a paper on the refrigerator. That can then help you create your weekly grocery list based on your meal plan. Here are some more tips to turn into healthy eating habits:
Your refrigerator & pantry should have a list of the items that are currently present. This should help you plan your shopping trip so that you can be sure that what you need to buy is also available.
Include some protein, vegetables and other versatile ingredients in your meals like soups, stews and casseroles. You’ll want to use a combination of healthy & cheaper items for greater portions. You can ask friends, family members or look up recipes on the Internet for ideas
There are many reasons as to why you should never shop when you’re hungry; shopping while hungry can lead to bad purchases and regret down the road.
2. Compare and contrast
Check the store’s website to see what is on sale that week. The fliers in your weekly newspaper can also help you find sales if you know the coupon code for that week.
Grocery shopping has never been so easy with the evolution of modern technology. There are now apps that can help you decide on what products to buy at a discount and which ones to skip, as well as apps that will connect you with stores in your area.
Most people today keep a food budget and buy ingredients in bulk to save money. You can use some of the tips I’ve offered to make meals that are tasty & filling for a low cost.
Make sure you buy seasonal fruits and vegetables. You can buy them wholesale, freeze the excess and save money in the long run. Summertime season? Buy mangoes, corn, peaches, berries, tomatoes, zucchini & squash! These vegetables, especially winter squash and sweet potatoes, can often be found cheaper at most supermarkets during the colder months. A typical diet rich in these vegetables & fruit also supports weight loss and a well-rounded diet.
Although fruits are usually the most nutrition-dense, vegetables are much cheaper than fruits. Since they pack the most nutrition per dollar, you will save significant amounts of money if you choose to incorporate more veggies into your cooking.
Organic fruits and vegetables often cost a bit more than their non-organic counterparts. You can try shopping in your local farmer’s market for organic produce if pesticides are a concern. If you have the extra time & space, there is no better way to get those fresher, more nutritious fruits than growing them yourself!
Frozen vegetables & fruits have a huge advantage in that they are cheaper than fresh. They also tend to be equally or even more flavorful.
We always recommend buying store or generic brands as they cost up to 25% less. The packaging may be simple, but it’s a must-have for anyone looking to save money.
Save hundreds of dollars on your favorite products with coupon codes. Get anything from food to clothing at a discount just by clipping these online coupons or coming across them in paper inserts.
3. Grow or make your own
Starting a garden is a great way to grow your own produce, eat healthier, and save on grocery costs. You can even start small by planting just a few seeds that you can keep indoors under LED light at first. Here are some more ways to save money by making your own food:
Make your own yogurt, sour cream, kombucha, kefir, pickles or fermented veggies. These foods are rich in healthy bacteria that boost gut health and work as a natural probiotic.
Making your own bread is easy and healthy. You can make sourdough, a type of bread that lasts for a long time and is not prone to spoilage.
Forget all the unhealthy side effects and stick to making your own delicious homemade scrambled eggs & hashbrowns.
4. Stretch your meals
If you have leftover food in the refrigerator, you should use that as an ingredient when you cook. Try to create delicious side dishes or second helpings by using your creativity. Here are some tips to help you make tasty side dishes or second helpings: Add leftover cooked rice to make stews or soups. Or get creative and try adding an egg and some veggies to leftover brown rice for a healthy casserole!
If you have leftover veggies and want to use them in a dish, try making savory pancakes or pasta. You can also toss them in with the rice or make your own vegetable side dishes. Have any leftover chicken from last night’s dinner? Chop it up and add it to canned beans and create a variety of tasty meals. Left with some canned or fresh fruits? Make delicious smoothies or add them to your breakfast cereal, desserts, or advancé recipes.
5. Buy wholesale
Consider the unit prices of foods you buy, their price across brands and packaged in ounce or pound forms, as well as their sizes and packaging. You want to find items that are most cost-effective to use.Buying in bulk can save you 20%! Avoid buying flour, dried beans & rice in packages that are sold separately-they’ll cost more. Add a few items into your cart and check out with free shipping over $35.
Be sure to buy in bulk! Buying large quantities can save you more money because you will use less. Buy whole chickens for less than cut up chicken and buy better quality cuts at the store where they may be on sale.
You can save money when cooking with cheaper cuts of meat. With little creativity, however, you’ll still be able to make these cuts taste as good as the more expensive ones.
Start a food club with friends and family members & save money by shopping in wholesale bulk.
6. Go meatless (at least a few times a week)
Alternative meat options are becoming more and more available, especially beans. They provide a high protein intake, can be used in many different ways, and it is easy to find lots of variety in them. You should consider using them as they can be baked, fried, with rice or in a salad or burrito: chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans etc. Here are some more tips for going meatless:
Use eggs. It can be a great side dish or even your main meal, and it’s affordable and nutritious.
Soy, tempeh, and tofu are a delicious and cost-effective alternative to meat that can be enjoyed by everyone as well as health-conscious carnivores.
7. Cut back
Less snack foods like chips, cookies, and soda are often unhealthy & full of sugar. Sometimes they can be expensive too! Here are some other healthier-yet-affordable alternatives:
Drinks can get expensive-and when the cost of alcohol is so high, it might be hard to avoid it sometimes. However, if you try some more efficient alternatives for your drinks, you might be able to save a lot in just one go! A healthy lunch is easy to make with a packed brown bag. You can also save some money by packing your own lunch!
Stop buying food from overpriced, inefficient grocery stores and consider shopping at your local farmer’s market instead.
Restaurants can be expensive, so you should always think twice before going out to eat. Early bird discounts often include appetizers and drinks, meaning you’ll be getting dinner for less than $10. Instead of ordering a drink that may be pricey, order water. Of course, look for any two-for-one deals you can find!
Conclusions – how to eat healthy on a tight budget
Eat food that is both affordable and healthy at the same time! Implement these 7 smart tips using large pantry staples to make healthy food affordable. Trying to eat healthy on a budget is always challenging, but you should be able to find some helpful advice found in this article.