How to Eat Healthy on a Budget
You’re ready to make some changes in your day-to-day eating. More fruits. More veggies. Less of the other stuff.
Great job! Choosing to make a change is the foundation of a successful journey. Whether it’s vegan, keto, The South Beach Diet, Soy-Free, or Paleo, each diet has its own benefits and works best for different people. No matter the diet you choose, your goal is to help your body thrive. This is a very honorable and important goal. It is also important to know if you can stick to the diet long-term.
Sometimes, one of the biggest hurdles with sticking to a diet is a person's budget. So you may be left wondering…”Can I afford the diet I hope to stick to?”
Eating healthy on a budget doesn’t have to be wishful thinking. Here are some tips for how you can eat healthily without breaking the bank.
1. Find Your Favs
Whether you’re thinking of your go-to snack, your favorite weekday meal, or the easiest thing to whip up after a long day of work — your favorite foods can go where you go.
For example, if cheese incites happiness in you and you’re choosing to go on a dairy-free diet, you may be concerned about giving up your favorite snacks. And who wouldn’t – cheese is the bomb!
You don’t have to sacrifice cheese completely. Instead, try using a cheese alternative, limiting the amount of cheese you use, or having a scheduled ‘cheese day’ where cheese is an option.
When embarking on something new, be sure to have grace with yourself as you find what works for you.
2. Fun in the Kitchen
If you’re worried about buying expensive keto-friendly meals that are pre-packaged in the grocery, and you enjoy cooking from scratch at home, meal prepping at home is a very cost-effective way to keep your diet under budget.
By researching what you’ll enjoy, you can put it all together and make it both convenient for yourself and easy on your wallet.
Making meals from scratch is a great way to avoid allergen ingredients as well.
3. Shop for In Season Ingredients
Depending on where you live, different fruits and vegetables are more cost effective at certain times of the year. Produce is sourced at your local grocery store from places where that specific fruit or vegetable is in season, which can lead to increased prices when the source is farther away.
Shopping with the seasons is an easy way to eat healthy on a budget.
4. Research Sales and Promotions
Looking at your local grocery store’s weekly circular is a great way to save. Most new sales and promotions start every week on Wednesdays, giving you plenty of time to research the best meals for the upcoming week and plan accordingly. Utilize your store's coupons or digital coupons for maximum savings.
5. Meal Prep
Planning your meals ahead of time will save you not only money at the store, but time during your busy week. Meal prepping is a very effective way to stick to your budget and nutrition goals!
Start by collecting healthy recipes or ideas and create a spreadsheet with all of your favorites. Then, dedicate some time once per week to plan out the upcoming week or month of meals. This way, you’ll be able to shop for only what you need by sticking to your plan and lists.
You can even prep early in the week by pre-cutting all your vegetables, marinating meats, and cooking any grains. Consider using leftover dinners for lunches the next day in your meal plan.
6. Find Support
You’re not alone.
So be sure not to go it alone! There are others out there – no matter the diet you choose – that would love to share their pro tips with you.
Social media platforms are a great way to find and connect with similar people who are making the same changes you are – and experiencing the same challenges as well.
Even diets that are often glamorized as high-cost, fancy, and unattainable (cough cough: vegan), there’s likely to be an amazing Facebook group dedicated to that. (And if the vegan diet calls to you, you may want to check out Cheap Vegan Food for so many recipes and ideas.)
7. Enjoy the Journey
No matter where this journey takes you, be assured that it is doable. Your financial budget does not have to keep you back from living your best life.
Instead, be free to choose what works for you and your body. And have fun along the way!
For more ideas, tips, and resources, check out Get Complete Care to see how we can serve you.