How to Eat Healthy on a Budget
One of the things I always hear people say is that eating healthy is “too expensive.” I get it, if you think you can only shop at Whole Foods (#wholepaycheck) to eat healthy, or only eat organic, it can seem pretty daunting.
I wanted to share some of my favorite ways to eat healthy while staying on budget, because let’s be real – we might want to spend our money on fancy shoes, or in my case, my next plane ticket 🙂 Here it is, my favorite ways to eat healthy on a budget:
Buy in bulk: if you’re trying to eat healthy on a budget, buying from the bulk section is a great resource. Don’t want to drop $$ on a huge bag of quinoa or almond flour – buy in the bulk section to grab exactly how much you need. This also ensures you’re getting whole grains and legumes without any additives.
Shop on the periphery of the supermarket – its pretty easy to eat healthy when you have a pantry and fridge stocked with healthy foods. The easiest way to do this? Shop on the outside of the supermarket, and you won’t need to even worry with nutrition labels. By sticking to whole fruits and vegetables, good sources of protein, and organic full fat dairy products – you should be good to go! Bonus – if you fill your cart with fruits and vegetables, your bill will likely be much less than buying packaged foods. Sweet!
When thinking about how to put together a meal – focus on vegetables first, then add your source of protein (fish, beef, eggs, etc.), and add a healthy fat (nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado). If I’m looking at a plate, I’ll cover the entire plate with vegetables first like salad greens, roasted vegetables, or crunchy fresh vegetables (get a variety!) and then add my protein and fat. This ensures you’re getting loads of fiber, slow-burning carbs that won’t spike your blood sugar, and protein and fat that help keep you full and satiated. Aim for all of your meals to look like this, or even just start with lunch or dinner in this way. Your body may not be used to all of this fiber at first, but it will get used to it!
Lose the soda, juices, and other calorically dense drinks and stick to water or sparkling water. If this is a huge deal for you, start by reducing it by 1 each day. If you drink 1 soda/day, try drinking 1 every other day instead. Sodas and juice add loads of extra calories and don’t have much to add except sugar. If you’re looking to eat healthier or lose weight, making this switch will be huge for you. It may take some time to adjust, but just take it slowly and don’t beat yourself up over it! I also recommend avoiding diet sodas despite having zero calories. Remember, water is free! You can get it from the tap or invest in a water filter and never pay for soda and juice again. Make the switch to water and never look back 😉
Meal prep!!! I have an entire blog post on how to meal prep like a boss, go check it out! In the meantime, meal prepping is the #1 thing I recommend to all of my clients, and personally use this method to help me reduce stress during the week by having ready-made or almost ready-made meals available that are healthy and delicious. Most importantly, you can save loads of money by actually using up all the food in your fridge and not letting anything go to waste!
Hydrate hydrate hydrate. Start your day with water, and continue to stay hydrated throughout the day by keeping a big reusable water bottle by your side. Try drinking before and after each meal to help remind you, or take a sip of water at the top of every hour. This aids in detoxification in the body, increased metabolism, and weight loss. Don’t overlook this step!
Share meals with friends – have a group of friends that all wants to eat healthier? Try having a weekly potluck! You make less food, but everyone gets to enjoy together! I typically have a potluck meal once a week on Friday nights and it’s my favorite time of the week. Good healthy foods, good friends, and good conversation. What more could you want? 🙂
That’s all for now! If you have more tips on how to ball on a budget, or your favorite ways to save money while still eating healthy, share them below!