Eating Healthy On a Budget
Every where you look the experts are telling us we are fat and need to lose weight. Yet, if you want to eat healthy, it’s going to cost a bit more in the long run. You’re on a tight budget and buying healthy food is difficult, especially when the not good for you stuff costs less overall.
What do you do?
Buying healthy does cost a bit more initially. But I think it evens out.
Learn to plan your meals in advance. This is the toughest for me, since I tend to fly by the seat of my pants at any given time. Planning in advance helps to keep mealtime under control, and eating right. When it’s not in control, unhealthy eating quickly gets out of hand.
Pick a day that’s best for you, and decide with your family the meals you want to eat. You can take advantage of a number of online menu planning services, or you can find menu planning software to assist you in healthy eating. If you decide to use a meal planning service, you can generally expect to get a shopping list and recipes for a week via email.
Coupons are great if you can remember to cut them out and then actually use them. Every Sunday go through the coupon section and cut out the ones you use. It helps you with controlling the money you spend on food. Coupons are great for trying something new as well. If your grocery store offers a double coupon day, go shopping on that day.
Check out your local fresh fruit stand or farmers market. Fresh vegetables and fruits are much better for you than their frozen or canned counterparts. Prices are usually reasonable and you can get a better variety than you would at the grocery store.
Another great alternative is if you live near farms that let you “pick your own.” There’s nothing like picking your own food, and while it can be a ton of work, it can also be a lot of fun. It’s also a cheap way to get those fresh fruit and veggies that you need.
Try to buy some of your groceries in bulk. If you don’t want to go for a warehouse place like Costco or Sam’s club, keep your out in your local grocery store for bulk items. You can also pick up some decent deals at your local health food stores. For instance, buying oatmeal in bulk runs me $1.29 a pound, brown rice is on the low side as well.
How about leftovers? Eat last nights dinner the next day for lunch. This removes the need to go to the local fast food joint for lunch. You can divide up night’s leftovers into separate containers – easy to grab the next morning on your way out the door to work.
When you’re on a budget, eating healthy is possible; it just takes a little creative thinking.