How to eat healthy without breaking the bank—or spending your entire paycheck at the grocery store
We all love to admire the Instagram foodie profiles filled with spinach and kale smoothies and fancy açai bowls, dreaming of one day eating as healthy as our insta-fluencers seem to be. But all of the fresh avocado toast and quinoa dishes can add up fast. Too fast.
Follow these five easy tips to eat healthy on a budget.
Plan out your grocery list. A good rule of thumb: plan out exactly what food you need for the week so you don’t overshop, overpay, and let food go to waste. It’s also a good idea to shop the perimeter of the store, to focus on the fresh fruits and vegetables—and skipping the “empty calories” like chips, cookies and ice cream. (Especially the mega-delicious, but mega-pricey, ice cream by the pint.)
#MEALPREP! Use leftovers to your advantage. It’s like Thanksgiving! If you’re cookin’ up some veggies, rice or other yummy foods you can save for later, get out your tupperware! Saving a portion of your meals for tomorrow’s lunch or making a little extra of an item so you can use it in tomorrow’s meal can be an easy and cost-effective way to save some cash while eating healthy. Cooking for one? Even better! Cook a normal-sized family portion and parcel out your lunches for the week.
Make your own dips and dressings. Foods like soups, salads, dips and dressings can be very yummy but very pricy and unhealthy if store-bought. Making these foods on your own lets you cut out any unnecessary fats or sodium, bring down the calorie count, and keep your spending to a minimum, as they’re often cheaper than their pre-packaged counterparts. Plus, you know exactly how much you want to make and can prevent any food waste.
Choose healthy (and cheap!) snacks. Making your own popcorn (not pre-packaged microwavable!) can be a healthy and cheap snack when you’re craving a little something-something. Buy popcorn kernels in bulk to drive the price down even further. Another cheap, easy, and delish snack could be apples or celery and peanut butter—a match made in heaven!
Be on the lookout for in-season fruits and veggies and weekly sales. When a fruit or vegetable is in season, its price usually falls, saving you big bucks! Sign up for your local grocery store’s rewards program to snag deals on the foods you love. Also, check to see if your store is having any sales each week and plan your meals to incorporate those foods. Saving big + eating healthy = *chef’s kiss*
Eating healthy while on a budget can be a lot easier than it seems. You’ll be whipping up fresh veggie salads and tasty fruit dishes before you know it—while watching your cash stack up!