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Eating healthy keeps your energy level up, improves your mood and productivity at work, and keeps you full longer, which helps to tame your cravings and assists your fitness goals.
Furthermore, healthy foods lower your risk for heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and some cancers that indirectly save you money with lower healthcare costs.
- The statistics show more than two-thirds of the American population is overweight or obese, and 1 in 3 children is currently overweight or obese, and worse, the number is still rising1.
Nowadays, most people have decided to eat green, organic, non-GMO, and healthier foods, but it seems that healthy eating is not achievable in most cases as our modern lifestyle limits our choices. Working late and lack of time leads us to pick convenient options like ordering a pizza or Chinese food delivery.
It is no secret that time and income could be obstacles to purchasing and preparing healthy foods. If you want to enjoy healthy, affordable meals without seeing a significant dip in your bank account, follow these effective strategies for eating healthy on a budget that needs some smart choices and planning.
Schedule Your Meals and Make a Grocery List
Do not bypass planning before shopping as a hungry shopper with no plan is more likely to makes poor grocery-buying decisions.
To quit wandering the aisles and grabbing foods aimlessly, prioritize your grocery by scheduling your meals out for the week beforehand.
You will indeed spend a bit more time upfront, but if the day cravings strike, you will be pleased to know a wholesome dinner is within easy reach.
Don’t Shop When You Strike Cravings
Going to a grocery store with an empty stomach may end up with impulse buying, straying from your shopping list, and craving foods that are not great for your health or your budget.
Buy Healthy Snacks
Cleverly satisfy your sweet tooth by thinking of high quality but low quantity. If you want chocolate often, buy a giant bar of dark chocolate, but eat just one square when the craving hits. If you’re craving salty snacks, try making popcorn.
Following a restrictive diet can cause binge-eating as almost everyone wants some yummy snacks once in a while. But, we’ll live healthier, and longer, if we approach foods like pizza or burger as treats, rather than dinner options.
Keep Food Staples handy
Look for superfoods such as beans, frozen peas, dark green leafy veggies, yogurt, quinoa, spicy peppers, onions and garlic, berries, broccoli, and cauliflower, cinnamon and tea.
And do not overlook other cheap, wholesome staples like eggs, sweet potatoes, canned beans, carrots, ground beef or poultry, canned tuna or salmon, and whole-grain pasta and bread. In case you’ve got these things on hand, then it’s easy to whip up a quick, healthy & yummy meal.
You’d be amazed to see just how much you might be paying for junk foods such as sugary beverages, crackers, snacks, prepackaged meals, and processed foods. Besides providing very little nourishment and being filled up with unhealthy ingredients, they are pricey.
Don’t Stray From Your Grocery List
It is quite easy to get interrupted in the grocery store by selections of every food you can imagine, which may result in unplanned, costly purchases.
As a rule of thumb, try to keep the perimeter of the shop first as this area more likely is full of whole foods as the center of the shop frequently includes more processed and unhealthy foods. While crossing those aisles, see the very top or underside of the shelves, not straight forward, since the most expensive foods are generally positioned at eye level.
Cooking at Home
Cooking at home is more affordable than eating out, and if you can take the time, the simplest way to eat healthy on a budget is to cook in your home.
Restaurants are a cash gouge. Generally, it is possible to feed a whole family of 4 to the same price as buying meals for a couple of individuals at a restaurant. A great idea for busy mothers is cooking for the whole week on the weekends.
Also Read: Top 6 Tips for Eating Healthy at Restaurants
Regardless of the popular belief, processed foods will typically be more expensive than the foods you cook. The drawbacks to cooking have been time and convenience, but it is worth the effort as individuals typically take approximately 20 to 40 percent fewer calories when they eat inside2.
- With some practice like keeping your pantry stocked and cooking in bulk, you can do it effortlessly.
Eat and Repurpose Leftovers
Americans squander tons of edible food which may be considered food snobbery — throwing off bruised foods or fruits which have not gone bad. Leftovers can be used for lunches, in different recipes or frozen in small sizes to be appreciated in the future. Leftovers generally make very excellent stews, stir-fries, salads, and burritos, so let them inspire new dishes.
Remember the Freezer is Your Friend
Double your recipes, which means you can use half of the ingredients and freeze the other. You can also save fresh bread, cheese, herbs, and other stuff in the freezer vacuum-sealed bags with no worry for weeks on end. Fresh fruits, vegetables, fruits, and berries are often in just a couple of months each year and are sometimes quite costly.
And like canned goods, frozen foods last more than fresh and can be readily integrated into several meals.
Moreover, you get the benefit of taking out just what you are going to use. The rest will be kept protected from spoiling in the freezer, leading to less waste; that’s an excellent way to save money.
Buy Less Meat
Meat can be expensive, so give other sources of protein such as black bean tacos, veggie soups, legumes, hemp seeds, eggs, canned fish, or a yummy frittata with a green salad.
All of these are cheap, healthy, and easy to prepare with a very long shelf life and less inclined to spoil fast.
While shopping for meat, select more affordable and rougher cuts such as beef brisket or skirt rather than middle cuts. These are excellent to use in burritos, casseroles, soups, stews, and stir-fries.
They take longer to cook, but it is not a problem because you have a trick up your sleeve since all it is nifty kitchen gadgets such as the Instantpot or Nuwave that yields an incredible flavor and texture possibilities.
It may seem that eating healthy is expensive, but with these tips, you will be eating healthy while saving money in no time.
1.Belluz J. The right way to count calories, according to weight loss experts. Vox. https://www.vox.com/2014/12/3/7324047/how-to-count-calories. Published December 3, 2014. Accessed July 4, 2019.
2.Sifferlin A. More Than Two-Thirds of Americans Are Overweight or Obese. Time. https://time.com/3929990/americans-overweight-obese/. Published June 22, 2015. Accessed July 4, 2019.
Results may vary. Information and statements made are for general purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Her Own Health does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Her Own Health are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.