Eating Healthy On A Budget Isn’t As Hard As You May Believe!

frozen vegetables

When you’re on a tight budget, it can feel like you don’t have any options if you’re trying to eat healthy. Sometimes it can feel like all the healthy food is overpriced and it isn’t going to fill you up like the cheaper processed foods can.

That isn’t the case. In fact, eating healthy on a budget is very do-able, especially if you have a little help. Today we are going to go over tips on how this can be done, and even give you some ideas of what to add to your grocery list that will save you some money.

Healthy Eating on the table

Tips For Eating Healthy On A Budget

Here are our tips for eating healthy on a budget:

Buy Produce When It’s In Season And Freeze It

If you’ve ever looked through the fresh produce section of your grocery store, you might notice that the prices fluctuate depending on the season. Only buy produce that is in season and stock up on it when it is on sale. You may have to cut it up in useable chunks, but it’ll be worth it! On the other hand, sometimes you can find some really good deals on frozen and canned vegetables too.

Before Planning Meals, Look Through The Coupon Flyers First

By planning your meals by what is on sale, you can budget your money better and choose only the items that are actually on sale. Also, always try to shop on the outer edges of the store and avoid going down the aisles if you can.

Coupons to save on groceries

Instead Of London Broil, Try Less Expensive Cuts Of Meat

When you’re on a budget, sometimes meat can feel like a luxury. However, a well-rounded diet should include some kind of protein like meat. Look for less expensive cuts of meat and try different cooking methods to ensure the meat is good and tender. A slow cooker is great for transforming the tougher cuts of meat into something deliciously tender.

Whole Grains And Beans Are Your Friends

Beans and whole grains may seem boring and uninspiring, but these healthy foods can really bulk up your meal while still staying on budget. Also, the whole grains like brown rice can help you feel full longer, thus helping you to lose weight.

Plan And Prepare Meals Ahead Of Time

It doesn’t matter what you are preparing, preparing food in advance is a good step toward eating healthy because you’re less inclined in reaching for too many snacks in between meals, or pondering what to make to eat. Just take out your prepared food, heat it up (or cook it), and voila, you’ve got lunch.

weekly meal preparation

Try Different Cuisines

While you may be at a loss of how you can be eating healthy on a budget, look at other cuisines for inspiration. Mexican and Indian food relies heavily on affordable staples like beans and rice.

Keep Your Pantry And Refrigerator/Freezer Organized

One of the biggest mistakes people make in eating healthy on a budget is over shopping. They don’t know what they have in their home so they just pick things up haphazardly. However, when you’re planning your meals, you can take a quick inventory of what you have and go from there.

Turn Leftovers Into Something Else

If you don’t like eating the same dish over and over, you can repurpose your left overs into a completely new dish. For example, that left over steak? Cut it up and make fajitas with it. That left over chicken breast would be perfect as a chicken salad for a sandwich.

What to do with left overs

Go To The Farmer’s Market Near Closing Time

Depending on your location, a farmer’s market could save you a lot of money. You could save even more when the vendors are about to go home for the day and they are looking for a quick sale.

Don’t Be Afraid Of Ethnic Shops

In a quest to eat healthy and maybe try new foods, you’re going to want to check out the ethnic markets. Not only can you find unique ingredients, but you could find staples like beans, rice, seasonings, and noodles much cheaper than your big grocery store.

What To Add to Your Grocery List For Healthy Eating On A Budget

When you’re trying to shop on a budget, you might feel overwhelmed at how quickly the prices add up. However, if you fill your list with budget friendly items like this, you might find that your money stretches a bit further.

Note: Prices that are under $1 are based on units per serving and they follow the national average retail price. The prices are approximate and will vary by the brand and your location. Also, this is not taking into consideration sale prices.

Proteins

  • Pinto beans - $0.30 per 1/2 cup, $3 per can
  • Eggs - $0.19 per egg, $3.50 per dozen
  • Almonds - $0.60 per ounce (20-25 nuts), $5 per 8-ounce bag
  • ​Peanuts - $0.50 per ounce (25-30 nuts), $4 per 8-ounce bag
  • Chicken Breast - $0.75 for 4-ounces, $2.99 per pound
  • Black Beans - $0.30 per 1/2 cup, $1.50 per can
  • ​Lentils - $0.12 per 1/2 cup, $1.50 per pound (dry, in bulk)
  • Garbanzo Beans - $0.30 per 1/2 cup, $3 per can
  • Tofu - $0.20 per ounce, $3 per pound
  • ​Pumpkin Seeds - $0.50 per ounce, $6 per pound
  • Oats - $1 per pound (in bulk)
  • ​Canned Salmon - $0.20 per ounce, $2.50 per 14.75 -ounce can
  • Canned Tuna - $0.30 per ounce, $1.50 per 5-ounce can
  • Whey Protein - $0.75 per scoop, $40 per 3-pound container

Dairy

  • Yogurt - $1 per 6-ounce cup
  • Cottage Cheese - $1 per 1/2 cup, $5.50 per 16-ounce container
  • ​Milk - $0.25 per cup, $4 per gallon

Whole Grains

  • Brown Rice - $0.18 per 1/4 cup, $2 per pound
  • Whole Wheat Pasta - $0.37 per 1/2 cup, $3 per box
  • ​Popcorn - $0.30 per 1/2 cup, $1 per pound for kernels
  • Quinoa - $0.60 per 1/4 cup, $5 per 12-ounce box

Fruit

  • Grapes - $0.75 per cup, $1.50 per pound
  • Watermelon - $0.30 per cup, $5 per melon
  • Bananas - $0.50 per banana, $2 per bunch
  • Kiwi - $0.40 per kiwi
  • Cantaloupe - $0.50 per 1/2 cup, $3 per small melon
  • Apples - $0.75 per apple
  • Pears - $0.85 each, $1.75 per pound
  • Oranges - $0.50 each, $1 per pound

Vegetables

  • Garlic - $0.30 per bulb
  • Canned Pumpkin - $0.75 per 1/2 cup, about $2.50 per 15-ounce can
  • Canned Tomatoes - $0.50 per 1/2 cup, $1.80 per 14.8-ounce can
  • Onions - $0.18 each, $0.59 per pound
  • Carrots - $0.50 each, $2 per pound
  • Winter Squash - $0.50 per 1/2 cup, $1.50 per pound
  • Kale - $0.50 per cup (raw, chopped), $2 per bunch
  • Beets - $0.35 each, $1 per pound
  • Broccoli - $0.50 per 1/2 cup, $2 per bunch
  • Spinach - $0.50 per cup, $2 per bunch
  • Sweet Potatoes - $0.50 each, $1 per pound
  • Edamame - $0.50 per 1/2 cup, $3 per 10-ounce frozen package

Beverages

  • Coffee - $0.40 per 16-ounce cup brewed at home, $10 per pound
  • Tea - $0.10 per tea bag, $5 per box

Conclusion

Now that you have an idea of how to make eating healthy on a budget work for you, now it’s time to take this knowledge and put it to good use! Go forth and create deliciously healthy meals without breaking the bank!

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