Being more aware of what you eat is something that describes the younger generations. However, doctors and nutritionists have long advised people to avoid eating junk food and start eating healthy like more fruits and vegetables. But we live in a hectic world where being busy is something many want. People run between meetings, doing the house chores, meeting with friends, taking the kids from the kindergarten, and so on.
Students share their time between written tasks and learning for exams, and also want to have a rich social life full of friends, parties, and experiences. So, it seems that eating healthy is difficult to do in these conditions. Especially when you try eating on a budget to save more money. There is this common misconception that eating healthy is expensive. And indeed, it is if you order your food.
How to Eat Healthy on a Budget
But here are some clever ways you can eat healthy and stay on a budget at the same time.
Plan Your Meals
Planning your meals is the first clever way to eat on a budget. Food waste is one of the main people’s habits that contribute to climate change and global warming. Moreover, by throwing away food, you waste a lot of resources, and on top of this, money. It is therefore important to minimize food waste as much as possible and eat your food before it spoils. So, it would be wise to make a weekly inventory of the products you have and plan your meals according to that. Like this, you will also be able to make a grocery list.
Have a Grocery List
When shopping for food, it is easy to get distracted and approximate wrongly how much food you eat. Many people buy more than they can eat and this is leading to food waste and money loss. If you plan your meals around the products you already have, you will know what exactly you need to complete the meal. Buying fruits and vegetables from the grocery store is encouraged, especially if you want to eat healthily and save money. A grocery list will also help you avoid impulse buying and falling for new product launches in the supermarket.
Cook Your Meals
The next clever way to eat healthy on a budget is to cook your meals. Ordering food might be the easiest solution when you do not have enough time for cooking, but it is also expensive. With a simple calculus, you will notice that buying the ingredients and cooking your meals is way cheaper than ordering food at home. Moreover, you also choose what ingredients to use (you can buy bio/organic ones) and you can focus on healthier ones. You can combine and spice them to your taste and enjoy a well-cooked meal.
Cooking in Batches
Another clever way to eat healthy on a budget is to cook in batches. Apart from helping you save money, you also save time. Indeed, life can be pretty chaotic sometimes, and finding time to cook your meals every day can be challenging and demanding. So, cooking your meals for the whole week on weekends can help you eat healthy without having to order food. You also save money. You can refrigerate or freeze your meals and prepare them in 10 minutes when you are hungry.
Avoid the Grocery Store on an Empty Stomach
Another important tip is to go to the grocery store after you have had a heavy meal. When you are hungry, you are tempted to buy more food than you can eat. Your stomach is constantly telling you that it needs food, so food is all you want. This is another way to reduce impulse buying and stick to your grocery list.
Use Your Leftovers
Sometimes, you may cook more food than you can eat. Or maybe you do not feel like eating the same thing for the third or fourth time in a row. So, to minimize food waste and money loss, you can use your leftovers to cook a new meal. Sometimes, you only need to change some ingredients and you have a new delicious meal. For example, if you have some leftover chicken, you can shred it, add some barbeque sauce, vegetables, and a pita and you have a new meal. Of course, you can do this to your taste and you might discover new tasteful combinations.
Avoid Highly Processed Foods
Buying highly processed foods can be a choice you make when you do not have enough time to cook. But if you take a look at the price and compare the quantities, you will see that highly processed foods are often more expensive. At the same time, they might lack the essential nutrients you need to stay healthy due to their high processing.
Buy Whole Products
There is a trap many people who want to eat healthily and stay on a budget fall into. Because food waste is a problem to prevent, you may be inclined to buy shredded cheese instead of a block of cheese, for example. To the final cost of a product is also added the processing cost, so processed food will end up being more expensive than less processed ones. Buying whole products and planning your meals around them is a clever way to eat healthy on a budget.
Another way to eat healthy on a budget is to buy generic brands. Premium brands are usually more expensive and have the same quality as generic ones. All these food producers have to follow strict regulations regarding the standards for the food, so the quality of the products has to be high. Only generic brands do not invest so much money in advertising and marketing, so they are less known by the public. However, it is important to always check the list of the ingredients to make sure they meet your needs.
If meat is one of your favorite things to eat, you probably know that it is expensive. And if you want to eat healthily and stay on a budget, you could reduce your meat consumption. And then you may wonder what is a good replacement for the meat proteins. Well, vegetable proteins. You can eat more beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas, and many more.
Having your own garden can save you a lot of money. And on top of this, you also eat healthy fruits or vegetables that were not sprayed with pesticides. Even though you live in an apartment, having a small garden is a nice thing to do. You can choose to grow vegetables that do not need so much space and grow easily. For example, tomatoes, radishes, parsley, green onion, or dill are just a few of the things you can grow in your own garden.
Buy Seasonal Products
Another clever way to eat healthy on a budget is to buy products that are in season. Exotic products that are imported from overseas are often more expensive because you also need to pay for transportation. Seasonal products bought from local farmers and producers are cheaper and healthier. Buying by the bag is a nice way to save money and if you do not eat everything, you can freeze them and eat them later.
Freezing the Meals
If you have a freezer, you need to use it to prevent food waste. Whenever you have bought something in bulk and do not manage to finish eating before it spoils, you can freeze those products. You can freeze the ingredients for your meals and then just cook them. The freezer prevents them from spoiling. You can also already buy frozen fruits and vegetables and use them to prepare healthy meals. Smoothies, milkshakes, oatmeal, and nuts could be a healthy and fresh breakfast or snack.
Pack Your Meals
If you do not work from home and go to the office, then eating healthy could seem a challenge. Ordering food should be the last option because you want to stay on a budget. So, preparing your meals at home and packing your lunch for the workday is a nice clever way to eat healthily and save some money.
Use Online Coupons
Shopping for food online might seem more expensive, but it is not. Due to the world pandemic, many businesses and local producers have online shops with healthy products. Some local producers even deliver fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables to your door. So, you do not have to spend time looking for the best offers. At the same time, many of these sellers offer coupons and discounts that can help you reduce the costs of your order. And you can eat healthy on a budget easily.
Eating healthy on a budget might seem difficult and challenging, something you can never achieve. However, these 15 clever ways help you organize your time and spending effectively. Planning your meals, sticking to your grocery store, freezing your meals, or avoiding highly processed foods are just some of the tips that will help you eat healthy on a budget.