We all know that we should be eating healthy and exercising regularly, right? Some things, however, are easier said than done. Ever noticed that when you buy groceries that it’s the healthy food that’s the most expensive? If you could live off of potato chips and water, you would save a lot of money. But, we all know that we have to buy our share of fresh fruits and vegetables too and that can add up.
If you are looking for ways to eat healthy without the high cost, you’ve come to the right place. There are lots of different ways you can save money while still eating well, so keep reading!
Eat At Home
One of the best and cheapest ways to eat healthy is to eat at home. When you go to a restaurant, you will be tempted to eat fatty, deep-fried food, or you will order something that you think is low in fat when it isn’t. When someone else is cooking your food for you, you don’t know what they’ve put in the food. For example, you might not cook with butter at home, but a restaurant might use a lot of butter in their creams and sauces. That translates into a lot of fat that you shouldn’t be eating. Plus, eating at home is always cheaper than eating in a restaurant, so if you want to cut down on your food and grocery budget, start by eating out less.
Grow Your Own Food
Fruits and vegetables, especially when they are organically grown, can cost a lot of money. If you are feeding a family of 4, you can be set back several hundred dollars each month just buying fresh and/or organic fruits and vegetables. When you are on a tight budget, it’s really hard to spend this money cash on food; conversely, you have to buy fruits and veggies because your body needs them.
Growing your own food is one way to save money while having access to fresh food. It’s really simple and easy and contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a huge backyard or garden to grow food. If you have a balcony or terrace that gets good sunlight, then you are set for growing your own food.
All you have to do is visit your local nursery to buy some plants. Tomatoes and peppers are great for planting in pots, so start with those and go from there. You will need a few pots to grow the plants in but you don’t have to spend a lot of money on that either. In fact, you can buy large plastic tubs for less than $10 each. Drill small holes in the bottom of each tub so that the soil can drain. Then, buy some potting soil and away you go! You will be eating fresh tomatoes, onions, peppers, and a variety of other foods very soon.
If you shop around and don’t rely strictly on the big box grocery store that’s closest to your home, you will also be able to find good food deals. For example, find out where the farmers’ markets are held in your city and visit them regularly. You will get locally grown, fresh produce and it’s often cheaper than the stuff you will find in the grocery store. Ethnic food stores are another great option. You’ll be able to find ingredients in these stores that you won’t be able to find elsewhere and it’s usually fairly priced.
Some cities also have food delivery programs whereby fresh, in-season produce is delivered to your door step every month. Depending on the time of year, you will receive different produce that you can cook with at home. This is a great way to support the local economy and it’s also a great way to experiment with types of produce that you might not otherwise have tried out.
Never Go Shopping While You Are Hungry
This is a very important point. If you go to the store hungry, you will fall prey to the impulse items that line the check-out counters. The last thing you need is an over-priced chocolate bar, so make sure that you have eaten before you head to the store. If you have children, it’s a good idea to leave them at home when you are going shopping. It’s easy to buy unhealthy, fast snacks for whining children but if they aren’t with you, you will be able to resist temptation.
Learn Cheap But Tasty Recipes
People tend to eat too much meat in general, and in portions that are far too big for one person. One way to eat healthy on a budget is to cut back on the amount of meat you consume each week. Instead of making meat the main course, just use it as a way to season pasta or rice. You won’t have to worry about not getting enough protein because you can get it in other ways. All you have to do is add lots of leafy greens to your menu and legumes, which are high in protein, and you will be able to consume the same amount, if not more, protein than with eating meat.
One of the best ways to stay healthy with your diet is to plan your meals. It’s too easy to order out for pizza if you are tired when you come home from work. The best way to plan your meals is to plan a menu for the week that follows. Then go grocery shopping to ensure that you have all of the ingredients for the week. That way, you will know what you are going to make when you come home from work and won’t be tempted to order in pizza.
These are just some ways to ensure that you eat healthy without spending a lot of money on food. Everyone has their own tricks to staying on budget so ask your friends and family how they stay on budget while eating healthy too!