How To Eat Healthier On A Tight Budget
This is a guest post by my friend Tracy Roberts of MomsInABlog.com. Tracy and I have been on a journey of eating healthier and moving more. One obstacle to eating healthier has always been the belief that healthy food is expensive food. We know there are ways to eat healthier on a tight budget, because we are doing it! Here are the tips Tracy has discovered in planning her own healthier lifestyle:
Many of us are trying to live healthier by moving more and eating better. One commonly held misconception about eating healthy is that it’s too hard to do on a tight budget. The truth is, it’s possible to purchase foods that are good for you and good for your budget, too. Yes, it is possible to eat healthier on a tight budget.
Like many things that make life easier, eating healthier on a budget is all about planning. You have to plan ahead to get the best food you can for the money you have available.
Walking into the grocery store unprepared is one of the biggest downfalls for both your budget and your healthy eating habits. With that in mind, let’s talk about planning your healthy meals, and sticking to your budget.
Plan meals around sales.
Find the sales ads for the grocery stores in your area and plan your meals for the coming week around what’s on sale. You know what you want to eat to stay healthy, so look at the sales on those items. If you see a nutritious food item on sale that you haven’t tried yet, now’s the time.
Make a grocery list.
After you’ve planned your meals, write down everything you need for each meal. Check your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator to see if you already have some of the items. Be sure to include EVERYTHING you need for each meal. You’ll want to check your supply for basics such as flour, spices, oil, and other staples you may need. And don’t forget the beverages for your meal.
When you plan your meals around sale items, there may be coupons involved. Be sure to clip those and attach them to your grocery list. Avoid coupons for items you don’t need for the week’s menu so you are not tempted to “save” money on items you may never use.
Never go grocery shopping hungry.
Everything looks yummy when your tummy is empty. A bag of chips will certainly satisfy you immediately. That head of cabbage is just not the same. But, if you are full, you can imagine that cabbage in a nice salad when dinnertime rolls around. Eat before your trip to the store. If you can’t go to the store right after you’ve eaten, take along a light healthy snack like a little bag of almonds to help you resist temptation while in the store.
Shop the perimeter of the store first.
In most grocery stores, the layout is the same; items around the outside walls, the perimeter, are the healthiest choices. These areas will have the fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy items. The center items are usually the prepackaged, processed, or convenience foods. These foods are not only more expensive, but they normally aren’t the healthiest choices. There are exceptions, but this is usually the case with most foods.
Buy in season.
Look for produce that is in season as these will often be cheaper than non-seasonal choices. Another seasonal item is turkey. Stock up and plan turkey meals when the prices are cheapest; around Thanksgiving time.
Buy bulk when possible.
Choose foods that are in larger quantities as the price is typically lower. For instance, rather than buying individual pieces of fruit, buy a larger bag. You’ll find the price per pound is cheaper. The same goes with meat, chicken, and fish. Stock up and save in the long run.
Buy store or generic brands.
Years ago, it was believed that brand name food would be better food. Those days are gone. Nowadays, there usually isn’t much difference in the taste or quality, but you can definitely see a difference in the price. Always compare prices before you buy.
Eating healthy on a budget is all about a system.
As you can see, a systematic approach to grocery shopping can help you save money while eating better at the same time. Choose healthy foods first from the grocery store sales, plan your menu around those sales, make your list, then head to the store… on a full stomach, of course. Once you get to the store, stick to your list and the savings will add up. Your budget will thank you, and so will your healthier lifestyle!
What’s stopping YOU from becoming A Healthier You? Is it the thought of going on a diet? Or is it the notion of taking an hour out of your day to exercise?
Perhaps, like me, you just get to the end of the day and think; “Why did I eat that bag of chips?” Or; “Why didn’t I go out for a little walk today?” It’s those little choices that make all the difference – the difference between being healthy and being unhealthy.
Don’t let another day go by ignoring your own needs! Join our community of folks just like you who want to finally, once and for all, live the kind of life we were meant to live… a HEALTHY life! Learn to eat healthier and get up and move so you can enjoy every minute of every day. Click on and sign up and become a member of A Healthier You today!
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
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