Being Healthy on a Budget

Eating healthily doesn’t have to be expensive! There are many things you can do to spend less money on food and still eat meals that are good for you. Follow these tips to save on food while staying on track with your healthy eating plans!

  1. Plan ahead. Planning ahead for meals can prevent you from choosing unhealthy and expensive fast food or takeout.
  2. Avoid shopping in the middle section of grocery stores. Heavily processed and high-priced items are usually in the middle aisles at grocery stores. Shop around the perimeter for fresh, healthy, and inexpensive foods.
  3. Look for deals. Check your local papers for coupons or specials and buy produce (fruits and vegetables) that is in season.
  4. Make a list. Heading to the grocery store without a list can cost you. You may end up bringing back more than what you actually need.
  5. Set a budget. Set a monthly budget for how much you want to spend on food/groceries, and then set a smaller weekly budget. This will help you stay on track to saving more money.
  6. Prepare your meals in advance. Cook a large batch of healthy meals on Sunday night, then divide those meals up into portions to consume all week long. This will help you stay on a healthy meal plan and save you money.
  7. Don’t go to the store hungry. An empty stomach can lead to an overfull shopping cart. Eat a full meal before heading to the grocery store to keep you from buying foods you don’t need.
  8. Watch for sales on frozen vegetables. Stock up on frozen veggies like carrots, peas and broccoli. This will make it easier for you to whip up a healthy last-minute meal.
  9. Be versatile. Buy a cooked rotisserie chicken from the supermarket and find ways to make multiple recipes. From one chicken, you could make sandwiches, chicken salads, quesadillas, soup and more.
  10. Cook dried beans instead of buying canned. Choosing dried beans instead of canned will take a little longer to prepare, but it’s worth it. Dried beans have less sodium and are sold for a lot cheaper. You can even cook a large amount of dried beans in a slow-cooker.
  11. Consider shopping on Wednesdays. Frequently called “double ad Wednesdays”, shoppers looking for good deals prefer to shop on Wednesdays because it’s the day of the week where the deals and coupons from last week and the current week are both valid.
  12. Don’t buy into the brand. Don’t be afraid of store or generic brands. A lot of generic brands have the same (if not better) quality than the big brands. Another tip is to purchase spices that come in releasable bags—these tend to be cheaper than the spices in glass or plastic containers.