14 Ways to Eat Healthy Whilst on a Shoestring Budget

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14 Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget

Let’s face it…

Healthy food can be expensive…

Forking out a load of your hard earned cash on healthy food is a sure easy way to kill off good habits…

But, there are lot’s of ways that you can eat healthy even whilst living on a shoestring budget.

Here are a few… 

1. Plan Your Meals

Planning is step number 1. Before you go to the supermarket, plan your meals for that week and then make a list of what you need to buy. Before you leave, check the fridge and cabinets to see what you already have so that you don’t end up over-buying or throwing away leftovers.

2. Stick to Your Grocery List

Once you’ve made your shopping list, actually stick to it!

As you’re walking through the supermarket, its easy to get excited and end up buying more than you originally intended. Try not to look around too much to avoid getting sidetracked, and head straight to the aisles where you’re going to find the foods on your list.

Download a shopping list app such as Anylist or Mealtime to make it easier for yourself - you won’t be wasting paper and there’s no chance you’re going to forget it at home.

3. Don’t Shop When You're Hungry

When you’re hungry, you often crave foods which aren’t very healthy and which aren’t within your budget. In order to save from being tempted at the supermarket, make sure you’ve eaten before you go. 

Cool guy with sunglasses in supermarket

4. Cook at Home

Cooking at home is always cheaper than eating out. It’s amazing how many excuses you can come up with to excuse yourself from rustling something up in the kitchen. 

Make a pact to yourself that come hell or high-water, you are going to cook at home, even if you’re tired and don’t feel like it, so as to not break the good habit. 

A well-known statistic is that, on average, you can feed an entire family of 4 for the same price of eating out for one person.

Another side benefit of cooking your food is that you know exactly what is going into it, and so you have more control over the actual health content of what it is you are eating.  

Attractive girl eating a healthy food salad

5. Cook Large Portions

It may work better with your schedule to cook your meals in batches rather than one meal at a time. I like to cook all of my weekday meals on a Sunday afternoon as this frees up more time to go to the gym after I’ve got home from work.

I find that cooking in large batches not only saves time, but also money, as it means I have to buy less ingredients. 

6. Buy Whole Foods

Whole foods are often much cheaper than their processed options. For example, buying rice or oats is often far less expensive than buying processed cereal off the shelf; or buying a block of cheese tends to be much cheaper than buying cheese which is already grated.

Not only are these whole food options cheaper, they also tend to yield more servings per package too. 

7. Replace Meat With Other Proteins

Eating less meat or fish is another good way to save money. Having one or two days per week where you eat other protein sources, such as legumes, eggs or canned fish, can be effective alternatives. The good thing about these is that they also have a longer shelf life, giving you more flexibility.

8. Buy Frozen Fruits and Vegetables

Frozen fruit and vegetables are often underrated. Not only are they just as good for you as fresh ones, but they also come pre-chopped. Frozen vegetables are simply fresh vegetables that have been picked at their peak of freshness and then frozen to seal their nutrients.

9. Buy Generic Brands

Most supermarkets offer their own generic brands. These tend to be cheaper than other national or international brands. Do make a point of reading the ingredients list though, just to make sure you’re not getting a lower quality of product compared to what you are used to.

Young lady picking a good team off the shelf in the supermarket

10. Stock up on Sales

This one is obvious. If you’re in the supermarket and you see that one of your regular products is on sale, stock up on it whilst you can. It might mean that you’re forking out a bit more money on the front end, but in the long-run is going to be more cost efficient. 

Be sure to check the expiry date so that you end up throwing a load of it away and wasting money.

11. Buy in Bulk

Buying food in bulk quantities from e.g. Cosco can result in huge savings. Products which keep for a long time are the best for buying in bulk, such as rice, pasta, beans and lentils, for example.

12. Buy Cheaper Cuts of Meat

Buying fresh meat and fish can often be the most expensive things on the shopping list. However, think about the cuts of meat that you are choosing as this can massively impact the price. 

A smart option might be buying a large and inexpensive cut of meat and then using it for several different meals throughout the week.

13. Grow Your Own Produce

Seeds are often very cheap to buy, and with a little effort, you can grow your own onions, tomatoes, herbs etc. This saves you spending money at the supermarket and can often be much tastier.

14. Use Offers and Coupons Wisely

Coupons are a great way to save some money. Most coupons are for unhealthy, processed foods so be careful what you are using them on.

Apps such, as the LYFE app, are a great for discovering which healthy retailers are in your local area and what discounts they are offering. 

These are just a few ways that you can still eat healthy even whilst on a shoestring budget.

Even if eating healthily is more expensive (which it doesn’t have to be) then it is still worth it because, at the end of the day, you can’t really put a price on good health.

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