Processed foods are cheaper and may be your solace when you are operating on a tight on a tight budget but they are unhealthy because they contain a lot of salt and preservatives.
Having limited money doesn’t mean that your health has to suffer too. It is still possible to eat healthy even when on a tight budget. The secret is planning your finances and your grocery shopping such you can get a bargain on fresh produce.
Here are tips on how to eat healthy on a budget.
Plan your meals in advance
ecide what food you want to get in advance and compile a shopping list so you won’t forget. This helps you know how much money you need and you can then budget accordingly. Visit Dollarcents.Org for tips on how to budget.
You also resist the temptation to buy something because it’s cheap even if it’s unhealthy. Moreover, you can create time to find cheaper stores for your ingredients unlike when you are in a rush to make a meal.
Go with the season
A healthy diet consists of a generous portion of fresh fruits and vegetables. However, the cost of these foods is high and they might be unaffordable when you are on a small budget.
With a little research though you can still include fruits in your diet while foregoing their high costs. Look for the fruit in season and make it your favourite, at least until your fortunes improve or the seasons change and bring in another fruit.
Fruits are much cheaper when they are in season and you will save a lot of money when you take advantage of that.
You have much control over the ingredients in your food when you cook at home. Moreover, it’s significantly cheaper than dining out.
Preparing the meals yourself results in eating less salt, fat, calories and preservatives. It also costs much less. Cooking also reduces the risk of unhealthy impulse eating, it burns calories as you prepare the food, and it can be emotionally satisfying because you know that you’re doing something good for yourself and your family.
Buy in bulk
The economics of scale favour you when you do your food shopping in bulk. Most stores have discounts for people buying quantities above a certain threshold.
So do your shopping in bulk if you can afford to or come together as a group of friends and buying everything in bulk then split the products among yourselves.
Budget for your snack food
Keeping carrot sticks or yoghurt in your fridge will keep you away from more expensive, unhealthy foods. Also, eat before you go shopping because shopping while hungry may make you toss quick, easy to eat and unhealthy foods into your shopping basket because they look good at the time and you know they will satisfy you quickly.
Make your own simple dressing and sauces
Olive oil, lemon juice, herbs and garlic mixed with pasta makes for tasty, in-expensive dressing. Look for similar alternatives. Also, fixings for foods like salad, sandwiches and pasta are inexpensive and healthy.