The statistics are sobering, with more than two-thirds of the American population is overweight or obese. As a result, many people want to start eating healthier foods, but the idea comes with the notion that a healthy lifestyle is more expensive. Here are some great tips that demonstrate that this doesn’t have to be true.
Cooking and eating at home can be the biggest influence in how much eating healthy can cost. Cooking provides the opportunity to cook what you want to, with the right ingredients, whilst it is also fun and cheap. When shopping for these ingredients, focus on shopping the perimeter of the grocery store, avoiding the middle aisles which include pre-packaged foods, frozen meals and sweets. Otherwise take a list with you, for any of the meals you planned to have in the week, sticking to the aisles that subsequently stock them.
Fruit and Vegetables
Fruit and vegetables should be at the top of your grocery list, buying fresh will always be less expensive (an healthier) than pre-cut, bagged and canned produce. It may be a little bit harder in the prep work, but you know exactly what is going into your food and you can find a new found love to cooking.
When shopping for fruit and vegetables, shop in season. When it is in season, you can stock up and freezing it yourself so you have it throughout the year. You can also seek out frozen fruits/vegetables which can be just as healthy as fresh produce. You may also be able to search out bargains at farmers’ markets and smaller shops.
Fruit and vegetables are a fantastic source of long-lasting energy and vitamins. It can be challenging to incorporate them into your diet, but a simple hack is to seek out what you crave and replace this with some fruit or vegetables.
Everyday, families across America throw hundreds of dollars worth of good food away every month. Start out by planning what meals you will be eating for the week, writing a list of all the ingredients you will need. Therefore, you can stick to the food you need and will actually eat.
Leftovers for lunch, or dinner the next day, can be super simple by cooking an extra portion of the evening meal. Other leftovers can be frozen for another day. If you make plenty and freeze them, you can have your own homemade, healthy ready-meal, for times when you may be too busy or tired.
Buy Whole Foods
Some foods are way cheaper in less processed forms. A block of cheese is cheaper than shredded cheese, or canned beans are cheaper than refriend ones. Whole grains, like brown rice and oats are also cheaper per serving than many processed alternatives. They are often sold in larger quantities and yield more servings per pack.
Generic Brands Only
The majority of stores will offer a generic brand for every product. All food manufacturers have to follow standards to provide safe food. The generic brands are also frequently the same quality as national brains, just less expensive. You can shop around to find the best options for you.
Stock up on Sales
If you have some favourite products or staples that you use frequently, you should stock up on them when they’re on sale (as long as they can be stored for a long-period of time). If you’re sure you will definitely use it, you may as well stock up and save.
Replace Meat with Other Proteins
Meat can be expensive, therefore, one way to save money could be to eat less meat. As a start, you could change your source of protein just one or two days a week, e.g. legumes, hemp seeds, eggs or canned fish. These are often inexpensive, nutritious and easy to prepare. They also have a longer shelf life, therefore, less likely to spoil quickly.
Take a Pack Lunch
Eating out is very expensive, especially if done regularly. We all enjoy the convenience of grabbing lunch on the go, but by packing your lunch, snacks and drinks is far less expensive and healthier. Also, as mentioned in a previous tip, my cooking an extra portion for your evening meals, it can be a steady way of taking lunch without any additional effort or cost.
Embrace Whole Grains and Beans
Beans and whole grains, like quinoa and brown rice, are inexpensive and can bulk up meals – it may also be meal in themselves. Adding something like black beans to a chilli, may help the meal stretch from one meal to two. The same for whole grains which are typically more filling and on the cheaper side.
You don’t have to break the bank to eat well, in fact, there are many ways to eat healthy even on a very tight budget. Simple measures of planning your meals, cooking at home and making smart choices can quickly save you money. Remember, unhealthy foods cost you twice, once when you buy it and again with medical costs (also it costs you a healthy lifestyle).