I had a few people asking for some tips for eating healthy on a budget so here are 26 tips I found that should help out when shopping for healthy foods.
26 Tips to Eat Healthy on a Budget
Do Your Research – Find out what stores have the best deals. Take a look at the flyers you get in the mail or you can also look them up online.
Coupons, Discount Cards, Points – Look through flyers and online to find coupons for the foods you are going to buy. Some stores may also have discount cards or points you can earn for shopping in their stores.
Sales – Buy Items that are on sale. They may be items that are almost expiring but still good if you are planning on using them soon. Go at night when they are starting to put these items on sale.
Brand Name – Compare unit prices of national brands vs store brands. Many times they are the same ingredients and you are just paying more for the brand name.
Prevent Waste – Only buy what you need and freeze what you won’t be able to eat.
Make a List – Avoid impulse buying by having a list. This will keep you on track with what you need not what you want. You’ll also be able to budget how much you are spending. Get what you need and get out of the store as fast as you can.
Check Your Bill – Check that everything is priced correctly at the checkout counter. Sometimes sale items don’t ring up correctly and the cashier doesn’t notice.
Eat First – Eat before you go shopping so you aren’t hungry. Simple tip but can save you a lot. This stops me from buying needless foods that I just want in the moment.
Avoid Restaurants – Stop eating out and prepare your own meals for work and eat before you go out so you aren’t tempted to buy something for convenience.
One Store – Buy everything from one place so you don’t have to drive around from store to store spending more money on gas which will probably cost you more than the 50 cents off deal at the other store.
Calorie Dense – Buy calorie dense foods like whole milk, potatoes, rice, pasta and oats which are more filling so you won’t have to eat as much. You’ll get to your caloric needs faster.
Go Frozen – Buy frozen fruits and vegetables. They are often cheaper and last longer. Great if you find that your fresh vegetables go bad before you eat them.
Veggies – Load your meals with lots of vegetables.
Cheap Protein – Buy cheap protein that cost less like eggs, milk, frozen chicken breast, mackerel, tuna and cottage cheese.
Whole Food – Buy whole food and not processed food. It will fill you up faster, it’s better for you and it will usually cost less because you have to prepare it.
Go Basic – If you are really on a tight budget skip the organic. Wash thoroughly.
Reduced Packaging – Find items with reduced packaging or packaging that isn’t fancy. Usually they will be placed at the bottom of the shelves.
Seasonal Produce – Seasonal fruits and vegetables usually cost less so included more of these when you are deciding on your meal plan.
Local Market – Shop in your local market. Most times they will be cheaper.
Local Foods – Eat more local foods.
Bulk – Buy in bulk to save money. Larger quantities are less.
Don’t Buy Junk – Cut out the junk food and high calorie drinks.
Water – If you buy water, don’t buy the individual bottles. Buy in bigger jugs and use a reusable bottle to take it with you when you go out. Brita water pitchers will also run you less and you can just fill them with tap water.
Gardening – When in season start your own garden. We have tomato plants and peppers that are just potted plants on the front porch. You don’t need a yard to be able to have a garden.
Cook More – Cooking in bulk can save you time and money. Cook more than enough portions and store them in the fridge or freezer so you can use them for another day. Use leftovers from dinner for your lunch the next day.
Keep It Simple – Keep your meals simple. Complicated meals that have a lot of ingredients are just going to cost more.
Increase Budget – You can look closer at your overall budget and find things you are spending money on that aren’t as important as your health. You could also start helping others with their health and fitness to earn money part time so you can spend more on higher quality foods.