A lot of people know that eating healthy also means you need to tweak some of your food, and usually, these foods are expensive than the usual ones. This may be just one of the reasons why some people prefer eating some that are unhealthy since besides they taste better, they are also cheaper.
Well, I did some research and I have found out that there are ways on how to eat healthy even if you are on a budget. In fact, you don’t need to purchase those fancy foods that you see on the table of most celebrities or fitness gurus. There is a lot of healthy substitute for your usual meals that I can help you with, without burning a hole in your pocket and draining your savings.
In this article, I will be providing you some helpful tips on how you can eat healthily for a healthier you without spending hundreds of dollars just to tweak some changes in your meals. But first, we should talk about the benefits of eating healthy, not just physically but as well as mentally.
Benefits Of Eating Healthy
As mentioned above, eating healthy will not only help you physically but as well as mentally. Reports show that people who eat unhealthy foods most of their lives have issues with their moods and even with their productivity. The reason may be because the energy always goes down and getting sick too often since your immune system is also compromised when you eat nothing but unhealthy foods.
Eating healthy means that you are not only helping yourself avoid the above, but also helps you avoid or at least lower your risk of certain kinds of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and being obese or overweight. Eating healthy will also help you boost your immune system, while also saving you more money when it comes to healthcare costs. Transitioning may not be easy, but if you put your heart into it, everything will fall into the right places.
How You Can Eat On A Budget
1. Eat At Home
Usually, with the busy schedule that the majority has, eating at home can sometimes be impossible. They sometimes order pizza or usually carry takeaways from their favorite restaurants. But what most don’t know are the number of ingredients and seasonings that each meal has. Usually, the foods at restaurants are high in sodium or sugar, and you won’t really know about that.
Cooking and eating at home is the step for you to start losing weight. Besides, eating at home means less takeaways or less ordering, which can help you save money.
2. Do The Groceries
Each month, it would be best to allot a certain amount that you can spend on groceries. Work on your budget and choose ones that fit your budget but make sure that it will still be healthy for you. You can choose vegetables and fruits as these are the healthier types of foods that you can have. Choose inexpensive types, including banana, apples, celeries, and even potatoes as it is carbs.
When doing the grocery, it would be best to avoid salad dressings and the like as they are packed with high calories, which is not at all healthy. Avoid the chips section and even the sweets section as these sections will cause temptations and you might have a hard time resisting it.
Besides the budget, you also need to create a list of foods that you need to purchase. Make sure to stick with the list and avoid purchasing unnecessary ones like a bag of chips or a bar of chocolates will not only ruin your health plan but as well as your budget.
3. Avoid Grocery Shopping When Hungry
This is somewhat an old saying but is proven true by a lot of people. Doing your grocery shopping when you’re hungry will only make you purchase unnecessary foods, including sweets or junk foods. These are huge temptations when you’re hungry. So before heading to the grocery, it would be best to eat a snack to ensure that you are going to follow the list.
4. Plan Your Own Meals
When planning your own meal, it would be best to plan a week’s worth of meals. You can use a plastic container that you have at home or any container where you can prepare your food. Meal prepping, as they say, will help you to stick with your healthy lifestyle no matter how busy you can be. You can start the meal prepping every Sunday so you can have something to eat the entire week when you get home from work or even before you leave.
5. Make The Most Out Of Discounts
Just like what you do when purchasing clothes or bags that are on sale, it would be best to make the most out of the discounted produce. There are online discounts for fruits and vegetables that you can, and you surely will be surprised at how you can save hundreds of dollars because of it.
If there are supermarket coupons from sales ads or apps, make sure to use them. Using these will help you score great savings in the long run. Also, if you go to supermarket to start holding a sale, it would be best to go and purchase anything that you need. This will help you save and use the money the next time you go grocery shopping.
6. Bulk Buying
Another way to save is by buying in bulk, but make sure that you can consume them all. But make sure to take into consideration some things, including the space where you will put them, the price, and if you can eat them before they start to go bad. Now, if you answered yes, then by all means, buy in bulk.
7. Choose Generic Brands
When purchasing at the grocery, it would be best to skip foods that have popular brands as they usually come in pricey. The best thing that you can do is to choose generic brands because they also follow the same standards to ensure that they are providing you with safe food.
Generic brands are also good and usually, the only difference would be the price and of course the brand. Choose local brands if you please as they are usually cheaper than international brands.
8. Check Online Retailers
In today’s technology, everything is accessible including online retailers. In fact, there are websites where you can purchase produce at a lesser price. You can also check if they will be having an actual bazaar so you can check the things that they are selling.
Buying from these retailers will not only help you save money, but will also help them earn by supporting them.
9. Packing Your Own Lunch
When at the office, it’s not really easy to avoid restaurants or fast foods since they are everywhere. Also, finding a restaurant that can serve you a healthier menu is somewhat hard since they can still have a high amount of sodium and such. The best thing that you can do is pack your own lunch. You can have this prepared ahead of time so you can just bring it and heat it up in the microwave.
Healthy Foods for Your Budget
Everyone loves popcorn and guess what, they are not only for movie theaters because you can eat them anytime. This is a good snack because it is not only budget-friendly but as well as high in fiber yet low in calories. You can purchase loose kernels as they are less expensive and healthier. The pre-bagged ones are usually high in sodium and calories due to the flavor.
When cooking popcorn, it would be best to put some kernels in a foldable paper bag and put it in the microwave for a couple of minutes. Once done, you can use Himalayan salt or put some olive oil if you prefer doing that.
Proteins are usually found in eggs, pork, beef, and other meat. But sometimes, depending on the meat, they can be pricey and might ruin your budget. You may opt for an egg since it has 6 grams of protein, while a chicken breast has 30 grams. Some of the other foods that are high in protein are greek yogurt, tofu, cottage cheese, walnuts, whole grain bread, peanut butter, dried beans, and even a cup of milk.
3. Whole Grains
Whole grains are a staple to almost everyone who is eating healthy, it doesn’t mean that they are all expensive. There are whole grains in oats, brads, and others. If you love eating flour bread, it would be best to start switching to whole grains. There are even crackers that are made from whole grains, and switching from your usual crackers to whole grains would be perfect.
Some of the whole grains that you can purchase are quinoa, Farrah, couscous, and bulgar. There is also rice that is whole grain, like brown rice so if you into that, purchase in bulk. You can find whole grains in huge supermarkets or specialty stores.
4. Fruits and Vegetables
Always remember to include both fruits and vegetables when grocery shopping. Buying them fresh is definitely cheaper than buying the ones in cans, bags, or the pre-cut ones. Fruits have their own natural sugar, which can help you get all the energy that you need. There are foods that have refined sugars, which are not at all healthy. So it would be best to start switching to fruits as your snack.
There are also a lot of vegetables to choose from. These vegetables can become a salad, and make sure to just add red wine vinegar and olive oil. Avoid salad dressings because they are high in fat and calories, which can only ruin your healthy eating.
A lot of people are eating dairy on a regular basis which is good as they are high in calcium. But put in mind that there are some, like cheese, that are high in fat. So when purchasing dairy, make sure to check the label to ensure that you’re purchasing one that is not high in fat.
The best thing that you can do is instead of drinking milk, drink soy milk as it is high in calcium but not fat. You can also opt for almond milk which you can put in whole grain cereals or mix them with your fruit smoothies if you want.
6. Black Coffee
If you’re a coffee with milk drinker, whether at home or at the local coffee shop, it would be best to change your habit. Adding milk or ordering those frappuccinos at your local coffee shop will ruin your health plan. The reason behind this is because they are high in sugar and you wouldn’t believe the amount of sugar that they have. So it is better to switch to black coffee, instead of your usual. Besides, black coffee is rich in antioxidants which is also good for the body.
7. Growing Your Own Produce
What better way to have your produce by growing them yourself. If you have a garden or not, you can usually plant them since they can grow on pots. There are a lot of herbs that you can plant, including onions, tomatoes, and sprouts. Planting your own produce will ensure that they are safe and have no pesticides in them. The reason behind this is because some farmers use pesticides for their produce to avoid pests.
Growing your own produce also means that you can just get a few if needed. You no longer have to go to the grocery store just to purchase a few herbs. Why purchase when you can grow them in your own home?
With the tips above, you surely won’t break the bank just to be able to eat healthy. Switching to a healthier habit will surely help you both physically and mentally. Follow these tips and you will surely be able to achieve a healthier lifestyle in no time.