10 Tips for Healthy Eating While Staying on a Budget
This post comes from our Registered Dietitian Divyani Sarkar M.S., R.D
Sometimes the greatest intentions to eat healthy get derailed by being on a budget. Here are some simple tips on how to on your budget while eating healthy!
- Buy fresh produce when it’s in season and freeze it.
Fresh produce is always great, but the cost can add up fast. Stick with buying what’s currently in season, and consider stocking up when you find a good deal.
- Look for sales and plan meals accordingly.
If your local grocery store offers a savings card be sure to sign up, and check the weekly circular to see what’s on sale. Instead of shopping for groceries based on your weekly meal plan, consider planning your meals around what’s on sale.
If you do not like prep I strongly recommend watching for sales on frozen vegetables.
- Try less expensive cuts of meat.
You can still enjoy meat, even when you’re on a tight budget. Look for less expensive cuts of meat, like skinless chicken thigh instead of chicken breasts, and use different cooking methods like the slow cooker, to make tougher cuts of meat tender and juicy.
If you’re a meat-eater, learn to love cheaper cuts! Try making a whole chicken, they are often much cheaper than buying the parts.
- Embrace whole grains and beans.
Beans and whole grains, like quinoa, and brown rice are an inexpensive and tasty way to bulk up meals, and can even be a meal in themselves.
Whether it’s veggies for the week, tomorrow’s breakfast, lunches or dinners, prepping food in advance is a step in the right direction towards eating healthy. Plus, it’s also a good way to make sure you’re eating what’s in the fridge, to minimize waste.
Spend some time every weekend planning your meals for the week.
- Broaden your culinary horizons!
Cuisines, like Mexican and Indian, rely heavily on inexpensive ingredients, like beans and rice.
- Keep an organized fridge and pantry.
Leftovers are always great, but it totally defeats the purpose if they get lost in the back of the fridge. Reduce waste of leftovers or frozen food can be minimized by keeping an orderly fridge/freezer and by labeling. Use a strip of masking tape and a Sharpie to identify food and date on the container. Package foods in amounts you will use, such as freezing chicken pieces by twos and hamburger in patties separately wrapped.
- Repurpose leftovers.
If you don’t like eating the same meal over and over, consider reusing leftovers into an entirely new and delicious meal.
Things that you can make into a sandwich later work well (poached chicken, meatballs, meatloaf, roast beef/pork/chicken).
- Shop at ethnic markets.
Consider checking out local ethnic markets. Not only are you likely to find a bargain on certain products, you’ll also find some really interesting ingredients.
- Try using an app or website to keep track of your coupons and other savings from the grocery store.
This will help you create a grocery game plan for when you are at the store!
If you would like to get more HANDS ON training, support, or help in implementing these, grocery shopping, meal planning, or healthy weight-loss, contact us for a free Nutrition Consultation!