Top 10 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget

We all want to eat a nutritious diet and live a healthy lifestyle, but there is one hurdle that many of us face. Price is often a factor that deters people from making healthier food choices. But, contrary to popular belief, it can be just as expensive to eat unhealthily. Fast food and processed foods add up faster than you think, and since they don’t fill you up, you end up buying and eating more food. If you really think about it, eventually you will end up paying more in medicals bills in the long run if you don’t take care of your body. Despite what many people think, it is not extremely expensive to live well, and today I want to give you my favorite money savings tips and tricks for living the life you want!

Top 10 Tips:

  1. Buy whole foods- Buying whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, and meats are much more nutritious AND more cost effective than processed food items. If I can give you only one tip, it would be to stop eating processed foods! There is no nutritional value and they can degrade your health, and they are not cheap.
    • Examples:
      • Whole foods- fruits, veggies, squash, meats, eggs, raw dairy, nuts, seeds, fish, leafy greens, etc.
      • Processed foods- chips, candy, crackers, breads, convenience meals, soft drinks, vegetable oils, breakfast cereals, deli meat, margarine, etc.
    • Easy Replacements:
      • Pasta to zucchini noodles
      • Deli meant to chicken breast
      • Starchy carbs to yams or sweet potatoes
      • Dessert to fruit
      • Crackers to carrot sticks
  1. Coupons/Sales- I know this one seems pretty obvious but it truly works. I won’t buy something at a place like Whole Foods unless it is on sale! Keep an eye out for sales at your local grocery stores and clip coupons when you see them. Foods that are in season are often on sale and are extremely fresh (not shipped across the ocean). There are also many coupon apps that you can download as well to save money.
    • I use coupons that I get in the mail or that I see while I am at the store
    • My main app that I use for coupons is Cartwheel at Target, but many stores have apps now such as Fred Meyer/Kroger
  2. Don’t always shop at healthy markets/Whole Foods- Contrary to popular belief, you CAN actually get healthy food at non-health food stores! Most stores with groceries now have a health food/organic/gluten free section. There is usually an organic produce section with many seasonal options for fruit and veggies. In addition- check the Clean 15 list of produce that you don’t need to buy organically!
  1. Buy in Bulk (Costco, Cash n Carry, etc.)- Health food and products are often sold at a much lower priced when packaged in bulk. As the saying goes, “Buy more, save more!” and it is very true. Disclaimer- if you cannot eat the large amount of food that is sold at these stores, then don’t shop there because then you will end up wasting money by throwing food away!
  2. Price Compare- I will always make sure to shop around and make sure I am getting the best prices. There are so many different places you can buy health products, so make sure you get the lowest price! Don’t just impulse buy, calculate which stores will give you the most bang for your buck!
  3. Online subscription options- Most people nowadays are members of online stores (ie. Amazon, Thrive Market, etc). This can be a way to obtain significant savings on health products! Since my family is a member of Amazon Prime, I always check the prices online before I buy it in the store. Some things are definitely cheaper and it is worth it to do your research.
  4. Dine In- When I worked in a corporate setting, it used to absolutely amaze me that people could afford to eat out for lunch every day. That can really add up fast! Imagine how much money you can save by bringing your own food to lunch and not spending $10-20 per day on food. In addition, it is usually not the healthiest choice to eat out for more meals. Don’t get me wrong, I love going out to eat (maybe more than most) but I definitely watch my monthly budget. Bringing lunch to work is one of the easiest ways to save in this category. Go out to lunch as a treat, not a regular occurrence.
  5. Meal Prep- Stemming off of my last tip, making meals in bulk is a true money and time saving option. Sunday is a day that is easy to spend an hour or so making a little extra food for the week (batch of chicken, yams, veggies, etc.). If you don’t want to make tons of prepped food, then start by making extra food for dinner every night that you can eat the next day for lunch. It is cost effective and saves time.
  6. Don’t always buy name brand items- There are so many popular brands out there that have ridiculously expensive price tags. Make sure to check the off-brand items that are sitting right next to the name brand items. Off-brands typically have the exact same ingredients for half the price.
  7. Be prepared and write your list ahead of time- Stay out of the central aisles at the grocery store which are full of unhealthy snacks. Don’t shop when you are hungry because you will want to buy everything!

 

I hope you enjoyed these tips and start putting them to use today! Please do not hesitate to reach out to me for any questions, I am always happy to help.

xoxox