When making the goal to eat healthy, budget isn’t necessarily something that comes to mind. However, eating healthy can be expensive. For example, a burger at a fast food restaurant can be as inexpensive as $1.00, whereas a salad is upwards of $5.00.
Here are some quick and easy ways to help you eat healthy while on a budget:
- Participate in local CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture) or programs like Bountiful Baskets. With Bountiful Baskets, you’ll receive 8-10 different fruits & vegetables per week for a small price of $15.00.
- Visit your local farmer’s markets. Get to know your local farmers.
- Check out local farms and see if they sell their foods at a fruit stand or a store located on their property.
- Grow your own garden. How easy and cheap is that! All you have to do is go in the yard to harvest your own fruits and veggies.
- If possible, get some chickens! There is nothing better than going out to the chicken coop, getting some fresh eggs, and using them in the kitchen.
- Purchase animal proteins in bulk and freeze for later. A lot of farms will sell beef in large amounts, along with other things like chicken and pork.
- Buy in bulk whenever possible. This is especially helpful with rice, beans, and spices.
- Make your own food, rather than buying it in the store. Foods you can make at home include breads, rolls, beans, and broths.
- Plan your meals. Take an hour or so to plan all of your meals for the week. Use what items you have on hand to lower your grocery bill.
- Buy food that is in season. This food travels less distance and contains the most nutrients. By traveling less, it has a lower impact on the environment, plus the cost of fuel to deliver will be less.
- Prepare your own food. Cut your own fruits and veggies. Make your own rice and beans. By preparing as much as you can at home, you’ll avoid having to buy pre-cut fruits and veggies or frozen foods.
- Use coupons and sales to your advantage. A lot of grocery stores will even ad-match produce to lower your grocery bill!
- Freeze unused food and leftovers. Whenever there are leftovers, freeze them for another meal down the road making it so you get 2 meals out of 1 meal!
- Make a shopping list and stick with it! Try to buy most of your food on the outside of the grocery store i.e. produce, proteins, etc. All the junk food is jammed in the middle aisles.
- Avoid junk food and alcohol. These are high cost items and typically high calorie items too.
- Increase your water intake. Drink at least 64oz of water per day, however in the warm summer months increase this! Try to drink ½ of your weight in ounces of water per day. If you weigh 180lbs, drink 90oz of water per day.
- Try canning and preserving extra fruits and vegetables.
- Try adding in more vegetable proteins like peas, quinoa, and beans.