It’s a common belief that sticking to a healthy diet involves spending a lot of money on groceries. It’s true that some specialty health food stores are known for marking up prices, but there are plenty of ways to improve your diet while saving money. Here are some of the top ways to eat healthy while sticking to a strict budget.
Foods that are in season are cheaper to buy because they do not have to go through the process of being transported from another part of the country or world. Do a bit of online research to find out which foods are in season where you live, and then find a farmers’ market that carries those items. Many farmers’ markets send out a weekly email list of what they have in season, and you can plan meals around what’s in stock. Buying locally grown food works wonders for your budget, as you won’t be overpaying for food that was grown thousands of miles away.
Cultivate Couponing Skills
When you’re shopping at chain stores like Target, the advantage of couponing is on your side. You’re much more likely to be able to find good deals at big stores when you invest just a few minutes of each day on couponing. There are plenty of healthy foods to be found at chain stores, like condiments and cookie dough made by hamptoncreek. If you love spreading mayo on your sandwiches and you can’t stand a salad without dressing, Hampton Creek has a line of guilt-free mayo and dressings.
It often feels like we’re constantly running behind, which results in impulse buying. If you’re at the grocery store with no plan, it’s easy to start throwing things in your cart without thinking about when or how you’ll use them. This habit can lead to serious food wastage and, of course, wasted dollars. Try to take some extra time to meal plan for the week so you can head to the store with a well thought out list.
Prepare Meals in Bulk
Related to planning ahead, making meals in bulk and freezing them is a great way to ensure you have the healthy food you need on hand. If you run across a great deal in the store or at a farmers’ market, stock up right then and there. You can then prepare a recipe or two with the food, and have them ready to heat up at a moment’s notice later down the line. Save time and money in one easy step when you buy in bulk.
Skip Eating Out
Eating out is both expensive and (usually) unhealthy. If you’re looking to clean up your diet while saving money, eating out should be one of the first things to go. Fast food is especially insidious to your diet and wallet, because buying a cheap meal for lunch a few times a week doesn’t feel particularly extravagant, but the money adds up fast. After an adjustment period, it gets easier to avoid eating out on a regular basis.
Grow Your Own Food
Growing your own food is one of the most rewarding ways to save money. If you live in a small apartment, growing food will be more difficult, but you can still start a small garden out on your balcony. If you’re lucky enough to have a bit more space to work with, more options are available to you. Starting a garden takes some time and research, but you’ll save fuel by making fewer trips to the grocery store, and you’ll gain the peace of mind that comes with knowing exactly where your food came from and how it was produced. In addition to saving money, you’ll also get a daily dose of sunshine and exercise from working outside in the garden.
It can be tough to focus on a healthy diet while you’re also working on a budget. However, it’s possible to live a healthy lifestyle without breaking the bank. Farmers’ markets are an excellent way to save money on seasonal produce and support a local business. When you’re sticking to a budget, make sure to limit eating out and try to plan ahead to prevent unintentional trips through the drive through. When you have plenty of healthy food on hand, it’s much easier to stick to your dietary and financial goals. With a little practice, you’ll be able to create a sustainable lifestyle.