Create a plan that is good for your body and your bank account with these 7 tips for healthy eating on a budget.
One of the biggest excuses I hear for not eating healthy is that healthy food is expensive. It’s kind of like when people tell you they don’t run because “running is bad for your knees”. Usually I just smile and keep my opinions to myself, but sometimes after a couple glasses of wine, my thoughts come out a little…less than tactful. It’s just not true. Yes, organic foods are typically more expensive, and so is meat, but when it comes down to it, just buying whole, unprocessed foods is always less expensive than loading your cart up with chips, crackers and ice cream.
I know, I know, it’s easy to say how easy to is to eat healthy on a budget, but until you feel things out for yourself, there can definitely be some hefty grocery bills. Here are 7 tips to get you started on living healthy and budget friendly.
- Meal plan. I literally cannot stress this enough. If you plan out exactly what you want to make that week and only shop for the things you need, you will end up spending and wasting less. Setting a plan makes it easier to cook nightly rather than the old “I don’t feel like cooking…Let’s go to Chipotle!” <– Me every single time we don’t meal plan.
- Plan meals that use similar ingredients. It’s rare that you will use up ALL of one ingredient in one recipe, so planning a few meals to use that ingredient up means you buy less and, again, waste less.
- Shop deals. Listen, I’m not suggesting you become one of those extreme couponers (OMG have you ever been in line behind one?!?! THE WORST.), but it doesn’t hurt to see what’s on sale and plan your grocery shopping accordingly. You can even visit more than one store if that’s something you have time for. I do that just because I’m picky. 😉
- Make vegetarian meals. Not for every meal…unless you’re a vegetarian, but things like beans and eggs are less expensive proteins than filet mignon. And ya know what? There are some delicious vegetarian meals that might help you to venture out and try something new.
- Read labels. I’m not saying spend hours agonizing over nutritional info, but generally by comparing a few things you’re looking at, you can make a more informed decision as to what to buy. If you have the choice between two products that cost the same, and one looks exactly the same but with less sugar, choose that.
- Eat your veggies, By bulking up your meals with plenty of vegetables, you spend less money on meat, and you get full off nutritionally dense, low calorie food, and end up eating less fillers. Now I am NOT saying to only eat veggies, but a big plate o’ greens, a small chicken breast and a little brown rice is never a bad plan.
- Buy foods you like. Here’s the deal: If you buy only foods you think you “should” be eating and don’t really like, you will end up not eating them, having to buy more food, and reverting back into unhealthy habits. Try to branch out and try new foods, but stock up on your favorite healthy foods to make sure you stay on the right track.
Today food is a great option for staying on top of your meal planning, budget and healthy eating. By signing up, you receive a 5 day meal plan and shopping list, answers to all your cooking questions and more. Also, it’s absolutely free! Just a great way to get started on the healthy eating budget bandwagon. They are also currently running a pretty sweet sweepstakes that is definitely worth checking out:
To celebrate the launch of the TODAY Food Club, we’re hosting the Ultimate Cookware Giveaway. One lucky TODAY Food Club Member will win:
● An all expenses paid trip to NYC
● Behindthescenes access at a TODAY cooking segment
● $3,000worth of musthave Zwilling cookware and J.A. Henkels cutlery
The sweepstakes ends on November 30th.
If you’re looking for some healthy, inexpensive recipes to get you started, here are some of my personal favorites:
This post is sponsored by TODAY. All opinions are my own.