You want to eat healthy, but it seems so expensive. The healthy items you look for are never on sale. And when you do buy them, they end up going bad before you can use them all.
If it seems like eating healthy on a budget is impossible, we have good news for you: it's not. In fact, we have the answers to the specific problems we just described in this guide.
And that's only the beginning. You'll also find plenty of other practical tips on this guide that will have you eating healthier while spending less.
Ready to learn more? Then read this guide.
1. Make Good Use of Your Freezer
Your freezer can be a huge money-saver if you make good use of it. For one thing, there are probably many more types of food you can freeze than you realize. This includes raw foods like produce and eggs as well as prepared foods like crockpot stew and cooked bacon.
You can minimize a lot of waste by freezing at least a portion of your leftovers. You can also save money off of your grocery shopping by making use of your freezer.
For example, you can stock up on certain items while they're on sale, like seasonal fruit, and then freeze what you won't eat right away. Save money this way on any freezable item.
Furthermore, you can buy items that are already frozen. You may find that frozen chicken and produce is cheaper than buying raw, anyway.
2. Cook What's On Sale
Speaking of buying items on sale, you can take this a step further. Check your grocery store's sales ahead of time, before you plan your meals for the week. Then, you can plan which healthy meals you shop for based on what's on sale that week.
This way, you always get the best deals. And, this is also a great excuse to try new healthy meal plans.
3. Become a Bean Connoisseur
Meat isn't the only healthy source of protein. Beans, lentils, and legumes are also high in protein and much, much cheaper than meat. Additionally, they're packed with fiber and various other nutrients and vitamins, too, depending on the variety.
Speaking of variety, there are so many to choose from. Find all sorts of bean side dish recipes to discover new (and cheap and healthy) flavors to add to your dinner menu.
Best of all, they aren't just a substitute for meat. They pair perfectly with your meat of choice.
Serve them as a side dish or mix them together with your meat to stretch your meat supply further. For example, on taco night, mix some black beans in with the taco meat for a larger batch that makes more tacos.
Keep in mind, however, that beans and legumes are much higher in carbs than meat. So, if you're watching your calories or carbs, you might need to account for this.
4. Now, Add Some Grains
Rice and grains are another “filler” you can use to stretch your meals. It's true, though, that adding empty carbs like white rice isn't exactly healthy.
That's why you substitute more nutritious grains instead. Even brown rice, which is about as cheap as white rice, is far more nutritious because it's a whole grain. In addition, you can try quinoa, whole-wheat couscous, and other healthy grain side dishes.
5. Use Your Crockpot
Besides your freezer, your crockpot is your best friend when trying to eat healthy on a budget. To be specific, a bunch of raw meat and veggies, thrown in a pot, is about as cheap and healthy as dinner gets.
Also, you don't have to be stuck eating the same stew every night for a week. You can make large batches and then freeze your leftovers when you're done. This way, you can stock a variety of stews and chilis in your freezer for easy meals, later.
This also helps you use up any leftover produce in the fridge before it goes bad. Besides, the raw meat and produce you use can be kept frozen until you're ready to cook them.
6. Eat Sack Lunches
Some people have a habit of getting fast food on their lunchbreak for convenience. Bringing a bag lunch is obviously the healthier and cheaper choice.
On the other hand, ordering lunch isn't necessarily unhealthy. Fresh deli wraps and smoothies are decently nutritious.
But they definitely aren't cheap. You could, instead, spend half as much on lunch by buying groceries and making your own sandwiches.
Remember, you can freeze lunchmeats. You can even portion them out in individual freezer bags the day you buy them. This way, you can stock a variety of meats so you won't get bored with one type of sandwich and splurge on takeout.
7. Use Your Blender
Lastly, consider making smoothies for your work lunch. Blend up some of that frozen fruit and those healthy quinoa grains.
Plus, mix in some of those other healthy foods you aren't so crazy about, like raw spinach. You won't even taste it when blended with the more flavorful ingredients. (Raw spinach can be frozen for smoothies, too.)
Don't forget to add in yogurt, almond butter, or protein powder to sate your hunger for the rest of your workday. This is extremely helpful as a meal replacement option or for increasing your fruit and vegetable intake.
And, of course, you can stock several of these in your freezer as a convenient, grab-and-go lunch option. Allow at least one day in the fridge to thaw, though.
Remember These Tips For Eating Healthy On a Budget
You see? Eating healthy on a budget is easy! Just keep this list handy and apply these tips from now on.
Now, read 10 Tips for Building Home Gyms on a Budget.