Hey there lovelies! On my blog, I constantly promote ways to live a healthy lifestyle and eat clean. However, I know how expensive it can be to buy organic, fruits, vegetables, and overall healthy food. The honest truth is that half of the obesity rates are from families who can’t afford to eat healthy. Breads, carbs, ramen noodles, cakes, these types of things are cheap and accessible. So today I want to talk about different ways to eat healthy for cheap or when you’re on a budget. It’s so important to take care of your body, eat as healthy as you can and cut out those unhealthy habits. It can be overwhelming so lets take it one step at a time. Here are some different ways to eat healthy on a budget!
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Buying Fruits & Veggies
Fruits and veggies are going to be a staple in your diet when you are trying to eat healthy. Going to your local grocery store things like strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and others can be around $4.00 a container, which is way to expensive. When it comes to eating fruits and veggies on a diet there are a few tips I have. Number one, stick to buying fruits and veggies that are under $1.00-$1.50. These fruits would include bananas, apples, oranges, etc. You don’t need the “fancy” fruits, you just need to have some fruit in your diet. Of course eating to many bananas can increase your potassium levels so be careful with that. Veggies that are under or around $1.00 are things like carrots, cucumbers, tomato’s, and such. Again you don’t need to buy the expensive veggies like kale, and artichokes to Incorporate veggies into your diet. The second tip I have is to grab some canned veggies. Now a lot of people steer away from getting canned veggies or fruit, because they think it’s not as healthy as fresh fruits and veggies. This is true to an extent, but when you only have a little bit to spend on groceries canned food is a great way to go. You will still get the nutrients you need from those veggies, stick to things like corn, green beans, tomato’s, and peas. Each can is under or around $1.00, and it can last you two or three meals if you are eating alone. And the third and final tip I have is to grab the fruits and veggies that are on sale. A lot of times, grocery store sell fruits and veggies with bruises and indents cause they are not visually appealing to the eyes and they think people won’t buy them. There is nothing wrong with these fruits and veggies, they are going to be super cheap and when you get home you can clean them up.
Fast Food Options
Most of the time, people swing through fast food places because its cheap and fast. Whether you are trying to eat healthy or not, fast food is one of the worst things to eat. Its high in cholesterol and fats, and can be your total days worth of calories in one meal. Just because you’re eating healthy, doesn’t mean you have to stop going to your favorite fast food places or restaurants. Surprisingly there are healthier options you can choose from when swinging through these places. My top favorite is Wendy’s, of course they have hamburgers, fries and chicken nuggets like any other fast food place, but they also have a wide range of salad options. Whenever I am out and don’t have time to eat I always swing by Wendy’s and grab either a spicy chicken Cesar salad, or their Asian style salad. Now these are going to be higher in calories than a salad you would make at home, but when your busy and on a budget, these are a perfect way to eat cheap and stick to your lifestyle. Stay away from soda’s when going to these places, try going with water or a lemonade. At places like McDonald’s you can also grab a salad, yogurt, apple slices, or a smoothie. These options are going to total to around a dollar more than a burger or fries but it is a much better option. When eating at restaurants, stick to things low in carbs and sugars. Salads, chicken and veggies or rice, stir fry’s, and others.
Plan Meals and Create a food budget
One of the main tips I have is to create a food budget. Each week put aside money for groceries so you know how much you can buy, and what your budget is. Once you have a budget, plans meals that will last you all week. Pinterest is a great place to look for budget friendly recipes. Print out some recipes and see what ingredients you need to buy. Another tip I have is to pick up the flyer from the grocery store you shop at. This way you can see whats on sale, and plan your meals around this as well. Next once you have the groceries, separate them into the meals you want to make. If you are planning on making chicken and veggies one night, pull out a piece of chicken but it in a zip lock and put the rest in the freezer so it doesn’t go bad. This way your meals last longer, and will last you the whole week. The last tip I have is Couponing, I tell all my family and friends to do this coupon, coupon, coupon. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using coupons, I think there is a stigma around using coupons cause it makes you look like you don’t have money. Even if you are not on a budget why wouldn’t you want to save some money, it’s a no brainier. The flyer from your grocery store will most likely have coupons in it, as well as the receipts. You can also go only and print out a ton of coupons for things you know you’ll need. For example paper towels or toilet paper, you can go directly to the companies website and print out coupons for $1.00 or 15% off. Couponing will make your money go further and allow you to get more.
Inexpensive Poultry & Meats
This isn’t an aspect of food shopping I’ve ever had to deal with, because I am a vegetarian. I do know however, when I buy meat and poultry for my family meals how expensive meat is, its ridiculous. So how do we get the iron, nutrients and protein when we are on a budget. The first thing is to find foods, that have the iron and protein you need without shelling out the money for meat. Foods like eggs, beans, nuts, and rice. These things will give you the protein and iron you need in your diet. Eggs are awesome cause you get a bunch for only a few dollars, and you can make eggs a million different ways. Hard boiled, scrambled, omelette, sunny side up and more. if you are a big meat eater and don’t want to give it up buy what is on sale. You can’t be picky when you are shopping on a budget. You don’t have the money to buy steaks, ribs and things like that. If the chicken is on sale that week buy that and wait for the meat you want to go on sale. You need to shop smart so you don’t go over budget. If you are a vegetarian or vegan spend that extra money from not buying meats to buy tofu, extra eggs, an avocado or something like that.
Compare prices & find the cheapest place to shop
When you only have a certain amount to spend on groceries you’re going to need to do a little bit or comparing prices, don’t just go to your regular grocery store and buy what’s available. I live on the upper east coast, so near me I have three big grocery stores, Shop-rite, Acme (similar to Kroger’s), Aldi’s (similar to Lidl’s). Depending on sales at each grocery store, is depending on where I shop. I always buy my fruits and veggies at Aldi’s cause they are always the least expensive at this shop. Just yesterday I was grocery shopping there and their mango’s were $0.59 and their avocados were $0.60 each so I stocked up. I always look at the different flyers and Shop according to that. I also shop at different stores, I never go to one store and do all my shopping there. For example like I just said I buy fruits and veggies at Aldi’s but then I’ll go to Shop-rite for canned food or poultry cause it is cheaper there. Shopping smart, and buying what’s on sale allows you to make your money stretch and you can buy more. Stay away from places like whole foods, your money will go quickly and you will not get everything you need, it is way to expensive. Do your research, find out what’s on sale, and visit different shops depending on those sales. Another random tip is to not forget your reusable bags. I don’t know about you but where I live there is a plastic bag band, so you have to either bring your own bag or buy a bag at the store. If you bring your own bag you don’t need to spend the money to buy a bag, even if they are cheap.