Eating Healthy on a Budget is a blog post which is part of a 3 part series, make sure to scroll down to read the post below this, and stay tuned to read the last blog posts to follow this one.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, organic food is expensive and it’s not a realistic goal for everyone. However, just because you’re living on a budget does not mean you have to live off the McDonald’s dollar menu. Read below for a few of my favorite cost saving, and healthy, tips!
- Fruits and vegetables fluctuate in price, depending on the climate and growing season. Buying produce when it’s ‘in season’ will result in the best tasting and cheapest product. When buying in season isn’t an option, there’s nothing wrong with frozen or canned fruits and vegetables. Frozen fruit is great for a smoothie or with some yogurt. Frozen veggies are often just as nutritious as fresh veggies as long as they are frozen at the peak of freshness. (In other words, the freezer does NOT destroy any vitamins and minerals.) If you are going the canned route, look for low sodium or no added salt versions. Also, rinse your canned veggies in a colander to remove excess sodium. Unfortunately, the canning process does destroy some nutrients, and the longer they sit in the packing water, the more nutrients that leave the veggies. And if you like fruit cups or applesauce look for versions with no added sugar and that are canned in their own natural juices. Stay away from fruit canned in syrup.
- Consider going meatless a few nights a week. When I look at my grocery bills, it’s always the meat that seems to increase my bill. There’s plenty of other ways to get protein by adding beans, cheese/dairy, and some grains (brown rice and quinoa come to my mind when I think about grains with protein!) In general, Americans are consuming well over the recommended amount of protein daily, so you don’t have to worry that skipping your beef or chicken a few nights of week will lead to a deficiency.
- Designate one night a week for “kitchen sink” night— in other words, time to use up all the odd ends and bits in your fridge. Stir-fry and soup work great for this. Use leftovers, and add any vegetables you didn’t get to in the week. Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, google recipes containing “x and x” to find new ideas to put your leftover food to good use. (You’d be surprised how many recipes will come up when you try this!) Whatever creation you create will be way healthier than going out, without a doubt!
Also, don’t forget to make a shopping list! Research shows this sames you time and money when going to the grocery store, which is definitely a win-win.