Healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive: 10 tips to cut costs
Many people think that it takes a lot of money to eat healthy. However, that doesn’t have to be the case.
On the contrary, the cost of fast food, cooked meals and unhealthy snacks can add up quite quickly and become very expensive over time.
From personal experience, I have also found that eating healthy can actually save money in the long run, especially if you stick to a few key principles when buying, selecting, and choosing. preparing your food.
Here are 14 simple tips that can help you save money while eating healthy.
Seasonal fruits and vegetables are often fresher, tastier and more affordable than foods produced out of season.
That’s because these seasonal ingredients are harvested at maximum maturity and aren’t transported that far, minimizing the time it takes to get from the farm to your grocery store shelf.
There are many guides online that detail seasonal fruits and vegetables near you. You can also get a good idea of what foods are in season by visiting your local farmer’s market to check out what’s available.
Many grocery stores offer products in both generic and branded varieties.
Going for generic brands instead of famous brands is an easy way to save money without compromising on quality.
Generic branded foods are generally comparable to branded versions in terms of safety, quality and nutritional value.
However, it is always a good idea to compare the ingredient list and nutrition labels of your favorite branded products with those of the generic versions before purchasing them.
Planning your meals in advance is a smart way to save time and money.
Try to create a weekly meal plan, write a shopping list, and set aside a specific time to prepare your meals for the next week.
One of my favorite methods of meal planning is finding a few recipes that use a similar set of ingredients to alternate throughout the week.
I like to focus on a few ingredients with a shorter shelf life, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, and switch between various whole grains, legumes, spices, and seasonings for each meal.
It can help you streamline your shopping list while adding a lot of diversity to your diet, as every day you savor ingredients in new and interesting ways.
Cooking your own food at home instead of eating out or buying prepackaged meals is one of the easiest and most effective ways to eat healthy on a budget.
In fact, a single restaurant meal usually costs a lot more than buying the ingredients you need to prepare your own food at home.
Plus, with additional charges like delivery charges, service charges, and tips, the cost of dining out or ordering take-out can quickly add up.
Preparing your own food also gives you full control over what you put on your plate. This makes it easier to include fresh, whole foods in your diet.
It also helps reduce your intake of added sugar, salt, and artificial ingredients.
Plant-based proteins like beans, lentils, chickpeas, tofu, and tempeh are often much cheaper than animal proteins like meat, fish, and poultry.
Plus, these foods are high in protein, fiber, and a variety of other essential vitamins and minerals. They are easy to incorporate into recipes like casseroles, soups, salads, and stir-fries.
Keep in mind that eating more plant-based protein doesn’t mean you have to become a full-fledged vegan or cut animal products out of your diet altogether.
If you are eating meat now and want to start eating more plant protein, consider replacing plant protein in your diet a few times a week. It will help you save money and reduce your meat consumption.
A flexitarian diet like this encourages eating mostly plant-based but also allows eating animal foods here and there.
Most grocery stores have weekly deals and discounts, which are usually advertised online or distributed in flyers.
Checking out if there are coupons available for your favorite products before shopping is a great way to save money.
You can also look for deals offered by online retailers, such as Thrive Market, Fresh Direct, or Amazon Fresh, which can be useful if you have limited access to a traditional grocery store.
Personally, I like to stock up on shelf life essentials whenever they are on sale. These include rice, beans, spices, frozen foods, and canned vegetables.
If you’re struggling to use up all of your fresh fruits and vegetables before they start to spoil, consider buying frozen foods. It’s a great alternative.
Frozen fruits and vegetables offer the same valuable nutrients as fresh varieties, but have a much longer shelf life to help you reduce food waste (
I like to keep lots of frozen fruits on hand to mix them into smoothies or toss them into my yogurt and oatmeal. Frozen vegetables are also a great addition to stir-fries or can be baked, sautéed, or roasted for a simple side dish.
Many parts of meat and produce are usually thrown away when you cook healthy meals at home.
However, there are plenty of interesting and creative ways to use your leftover food instead of just throwing it away. This can help save extra money on grocery shopping.
Save the vegetable stems and stems for making broth, freeze any remaining herbs or cut stale bread into cubes and bake them to make your own homemade croutons.
Need more ideas? Check out this article for some other easy ways to use up your leftover food.
Storing foods properly can extend shelf life, extend the length of your meals to reduce food waste, and lower your shopping bill.
Try lining your produce drawers with paper towels to absorb extra moisture and keep your fruits and vegetables from spoiling.
You should also store shelf-stable ingredients, such as pasta, rice, and grains, in an airtight container and place them in a cool, dry place to maximize their shelf life.
You should also keep dairy products in the main part of your refrigerator instead of the door and freeze raw meat or poultry if you don’t plan to use them in a few days.
For example, experts advise storing fresh poultry or ground beef in the refrigerator at 40 ° F (4 ° C) or below for up to 2 days. Make sure to keep raw meat separate from other foods (2).
You can buy some foods in bulk at a lower price, making it even easier to eat healthy on a budget.
Shelf-shelf options like grains, nuts, seeds, and dried legumes are especially great foods to store and buy in bulk.
Make sure to avoid buying bulk foods that have a shorter shelf life, including:
- fresh products
- ready meals
- dairy products
Fresh herbs are great for boosting the flavor of your favorite healthy meals at home, but they can be quite expensive too.
Fortunately, growing your own herbs at home can be an easy, fun, and economical hobby.
It’s also super easy, even if you don’t have a green thumb – all you need is soil, seeds, and a sunny spot by your window or in your garden. There are many indoor gardening opportunities to consider.
If you’re like me and live in an apartment with limited sunlight, consider trying an indoor hydroponic garden. These are fitted with LED lights for a surefire way to grow herbs at home.
Incorporating money-saving habits into your grocery routine is a great way to cut costs while eating a healthy diet.
- Write a list ahead of time. To get started, write down what you need before you go to the store. When you’re there, stick to the items on your list.
- Shop on the perimeter of the grocery store. This can make it easier to skip items like processed foods and snacks, which are generally more expensive and less nutritious.
- Buy when you are calm with a full stomach. You should also avoid going to the store when you are hungry or stressed, as this could fuel your cravings and lead to unhealthy shopping choices.
Instead of throwing away your leftovers, try saving them for a simple meal the next day.
Not only can it save you time, but bringing your leftovers to work or school instead of buying lunch can also help you save money.
I like to double the size of my portions when I’m making dinner and then save half for lunch the next day.
Many online grocery services have popped up in recent years, delivering discounted food items right to your doorstep.
Some services, like Imperfect Foods or Misfits Market, offer products with minor cosmetic imperfections at a lower price.
In addition to helping you add more fruits and vegetables to your diet, these services can help save you money and help you stick to your meal plan if you only buy what you need.
It can also be a useful option if you don’t live near a grocery store or have limited access to fresh foods in your community.
Although many people believe that eating healthy can be expensive, this is not necessarily true.
In fact, eating a healthy, balanced diet can save you money in the long run.
Try to put into practice some of the tips outlined above, which can help you eat healthy easier than ever before without breaking the bank.