Food,  Health & Wellness,  Lifestyle

5 Tips For Eating Healthy While On A Budget

I am a huge proponent when it comes to eating healthy! I enjoy feeding my body what it needs and I love feeling good from the inside out.  I haven’t always been aware of what I was putting in my body though.  In fact, it took my body completely shutting down, before I started making some much needed changes. Over the past couple of years, I have been more aware of what I’m putting in my body.  I am not obsessive by any means, but I do like to nourish my body to the best of my ability. With healthy eating comes a higher cost though, or does it? I have found that it actually has saved me money! But how? Well, today I am going to share five tips with you for eating healthy while on a budget.

1) Buy In Season

You may have heard this tip before, but believe me, it is so important! Buying in season not only ensures fresher produce, but it is a lot kinder on your wallet.  I always print out a list of fruits and vegetables that are currently in season and that way, I can plan my meals around what will be the freshest!

2) Buy in Bulk (Sometimes)

items I buy in bulk: carrots, pepers, baby spinach, spring salad, and apples.

I used to never buy anything in bulk until I realized how much it could save me! I used to think buying in bulk meant I would waste more food because I’m only buying for two people. But then, I quickly realized that most things can be frozen! I did this a few weeks ago with blackberries.  They are usually pretty expensive and they were only a dollar for a pint! I ended up buying ten of them and freezing them for future smoothies, fruit salads etc. I also stock up on canned food items when I see them on sale. Up front, it will cost you a bit more, but over time, the savings will start to add up.

3) Plan Your Meals In Advance

Planning your meals in advance can mean saving more money and wasting less food. It can also save a lot of time throughout the week!
I used to try and plan a week’s worth of meals in advance but I quickly found that it was too overwhelming for me. So, instead, I only focus on three to four days at a time. It made it so much more enjoyable and it has still made a huge difference.

The steps I take while planning my meals:

  1. I check my fridge and pantry first so that I can create a quick list of what I have on hand and what I will need to use up before it goes bad.
  2. After I have created a list, I look at my recipe book and then decide what meals I can create from the list of food I already have on hand. I also search on for meal ideas because they have a tab where you can search by ingredient, which is super helpful when you are trying to use up the ingredients that you have.
  3. Then I go to the store. My list usually consists of filler items that I will need for that week. Once a month, I usually have a bigger list where I stock up on staples like eggs, almonds, rice, bread, frozen fruit, nut butters, oats, salmon, chicken, chicken stock, diced tomatoes, etc.
  4. After I get my ingredients, I usually make one batch meal for the week to give me a head start. I don’t worry to much about cooking every meal on Sunday, I just focus on one meal that I can eat for lunches throughout the week. That way, I go into the week with a head start. I already know what I’m making that week and I have all the ingredients on hand to make it happen!

Above are some of my favorite pantry staples! I normally get chicken stock, tuna, marinara and nut butters from Costco, because I have found that they are cheaper there. As far as beans, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce, I usually buy whatever is on sale at the grocery store. It just so happened that all of the simple truth cans were on sale and cheaper than the generic brand, so I grabbed those! I think it’s important to compare prices and figure out how to get the most out of your money.

4) Eat A Few Meatless Options Throughout The Week

I always try and plan 3 to 4 meals a week that do not contain any meat. Instead of using meat, I replace it with another protein option like beans, eggs, nuts or lentils. If you have never tried it before, give it a try for a few meals and see how you like it! I used to think I couldn’t survive even one meal without meat, but I have proved myself wrong time and time again. 😉

5) Cook At Home As Often As You Can

I grew up in a family of seven, so eating out didn’t happen very often.  My parents got good at batch cooking, that way we would have enough for dinner and leftovers throughout the week. My parents taught me how to cook early on and it has enabled me to develop a love for being in the kitchen. I know not everyone loves to cook, so that can be tricky but just start small and work your way up. Do it even when you don’t feel like it and I promise you will start to get more comfortable in the kitchen and maybe even begin to enjoy it! Cooking at home is such an effective way for saving money and eating healthier! 😉 Ultimately, if you are prepared and have ingredients stocked up and on hand it will be easier to cook at home rather than going out.

Bonus tip: I usually purchase things like, oats, almonds, popcorn kernels and chia seeds in the bulk section because they tend to be cheaper! I like to keep them in mason jars on a shelf in my kitchen, so I can see when I need to purchase more. It makes it easier to keep them on hand.

If you made it this far, you are a rockstar! I know today’s post was long, but I really wanted to share some things that have worked for me. I hope this helps you! Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any tips for eating healthy while on a budget. 🙂