If you hear someone telling you that eating healthy is more expensive, don’t believe it. The truth is that eating healthy can be done without spending a lot of money. It is just a matter of being resourceful. If you know where to buy cost-effective but healthy ingredients, prepare your own meals and are prepared to change your lifestyle, you can certainly eat healthy on a budget.
Prepare Your Own Meals
Eating out is expensive and can be an unhealthy practice in the sense you don’t know exactly what goes into the food you are eating. This is especially true if eating out at fast-food restaurants. By preparing your own food, you can control the ingredients, including excessive salt, oil, sugar, butter, and other items that have proven to be unhealthy in large quantities.
You can also save money by having a meal at home you’ve prepared prior to leaving for work, school or going out. You can also prepare meals in advance to take to work or school. That way, you won’t have to spend the extra money to go to lunch.
Plan Meals Ahead of Time – 8 Simple Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget
By planning your meals ahead of time, you’ll know exactly what to buy when you are shopping. Once you know what you are going to make, before you make your shopping list, check for ingredients you already have. Then make a list of what you need.
Once you have that list, do some pre-shopping by going online. You can find the stores with the best deals. You can also compare products, so you know which ones are the healthiest at the best price. You can also download in-store coupons. Many stores with online sites will allow you to order online for in-store pickup.
Avoid Impulse Purchases
When shopping, it is easy to get distracted by promotions on items you don’t need. Stick to your grocery list and buy just what you need. That can be difficult because those sale items on the endcap are so alluring but maintain your discipline. Also, you may want to go shopping alone, so you don’t have your best buddy or significant other telling you to buy those sale items.
Buy Whole Foods
Whole foods can take longer to prepare but they are generally healthier and less expensive than processed foods. There are many highly processed foods you may want to avoid like liked canned vegetables, bread, sausage rolls, packaged bacon, tinned ham and many more. You can buy fresh vegetables, buy your bread at the deli and your meat at the butcher.
Buy Less Expensive Cuts of Meat or Use Meat Substitutes
Yeah, there are times when you may want to use the more expensive cut of meat but, depending on the cooking method, a less expensive cut may be preferable. It will certainly by cheaper and, depending on your meal plan, if you buy larger cuts, you can use it in more than one dish.
On the other hand, some of those meals might also be able to have meat substitutes like beans, lentils, peas, etc. For instance, instead of a beef burrito, you can have a black bean burrito. There are also meat substitutes made form soybeans, tofu, tempeh and more.
Buy Frozen Fruits and Vegetables – 8 Simple Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget
Despite popular belief, frozen fruits and vegetables are very nutritious. Depending on your meal plan and cooking method, frozen fruits and vegetables may even be preferred. One thing is certain, they are generally cheaper than their fresh counterparts and can be stored longer if kept frozen.
Buy Generic Food
At any grocery store, you can usually find a generic private-label version of a name brand product. In many instances they are just as good as the name brand and cheaper.
Buy in Bulk – 8 Simple Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget
Foods that can be easily stored for longer time periods can, and should, be purchased in bulk. Items like grains, rice, beans, nuts, oats, etc., can all be purchased in bulk and stored in your pantry. If you can find them on sale, buy as much as you can afford and plan to use.
This article originally appeared on Wizefind.com, 8 Simple Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget.