There's No Need to Break the Bank for a Healthier Lifestyle
Healthy eating is often (unfairly) associated with spending hundreds of dollars extra a month on fancy organic ingredients with names you’ve never heard. While some so-called superfoods can be on the expensive side, eating healthy doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. Here are ways for eating healthy on a budget to help you feed yourself and your whole family well.
1. Meal Delivery Services
Meal delivery services can be a convenient and time-saving option for those with busy schedules or limited cooking skills. If you're looking for meal delivery options that won't break the bank, consider choosing services that offer discounts or promotions for first-time users or recurring customers. You can also look for services that offer lower-priced meal plans, such as vegetarian or family-style options. Another way to save money is by ordering in bulk or sharing a subscription with friends or family. Additionally, you can try meal kit services that provide the ingredients and recipes for you to cook yourself, which can be a more affordable option than fully-prepared meals.
2. Have an Emergency Treat Stash
It’s easy enough to pledge a vow to six months of healthy eating. What’s not so easy is sticking to it, especially after a stressful week. A culprit that disrupts our healthy eating and our money-saving endeavors is takeout.
To save money and avoid reaching for the takeout menu whenever you want a treat, keep a stash of emergency fun food in your freezer - whether it’s a frozen pizza, a bag of fries, or even some homemade brownies.
That way, you’ll satisfy your cravings without spending excessive money or ruining a healthy week with a calorie-laden takeout meal.
3. Stock Up on Pulses
What if we told you there was a delicious way to replace meat in many meals that’s cheaper and healthier but still packs a protein punch? Enter: pulses.
Pulses, such as black beans and garbanzo beans, are relatively affordable, full of vitamins and minerals, and are a great source of vegan-friendly protein.
Replace the beef in your chili with black and kidney beans, or swap out the ground meat in your pasta sauce for lentils to reduce food costs and increase your vitamin intake.
4. Meal Prep
Making an entirely different meal every night costs more than making a few and eating the leftovers across the week. Opt for meals like pasta dishes, curries, and chilis, which can be easily bulked out using vegetables, and make a couple of large batches at the start of the week.
Separate the leftovers into containers, and eat the portions for lunch and dinner throughout the week. Not only does this cut down on food waste, but it also saves you time and leaves you less likely to order takeout when you don’t have the energy to cook from scratch.
5. Opt for Healthy Snacks
A budget-friendly grocery list doesn’t have to be devoid of snacks. Depriving yourself of snacks during the day can make you more likely to binge on unhealthy food as a result of a rumbling tummy from restricting food.
Instead of avoiding snacks altogether, swap the chocolate bars for healthy snacks and maintain a healthy budget.
Replace potato chips with fruits and vegetables and if you need something more substantial, try a snack that contains some plant-based protein, such as carrot sticks and hummus.
6. Grow it Yourself
If you’re short on money but not time, take matters into your own hands (literally) and start growing your own vegetables. Not only will you save money that you would have spent at the store, but you’ll also get to enjoy the fruits of your labor and prioritize growing your favorites.
The best part? If you have small children, you can get them involved in the growing process as a family bonding activity and a way to teach them about healthy eating.
7. Buy Frozen or Canned
There’s a misconception that fresh food is always healthier, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Fruits and vegetables are often frozen in their most nutritious state, so you can get all that good when you defrost and eat them.
Opting for frozen or canned goods saves money, often allowing you to buy more of a particular food for less, proving more cost-effective.
8. Stick to your Grocery List
We’ve all been there. You get to the checkout and see the glistening bags of candy and chocolate - they can be hard to resist. But one of the easiest ways to stick to your budget, as well as your healthy eating plan, is to go to the grocery store with a strict grocery list and don’t stray from it.
Ordering your food shop online can make this easier since you won’t be distracted by the extra products on display in the aisles.
Eating healthy on a budget should not become a daunting task. Swap out some of your favorites for healthier alternatives, pack your meals with plant-based protein, and plan; so you’re less likely to give into that Friday night takeout temptation.