It’s like a luxury that most of the common people can’t even afford. So, does that mean you shouldn’t eat well? Of course not!
While it can be tough to eat healthy food when you have a limited budget, there are numerous ways to consume wholesome foods without breaking the bank.
Clever Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget
Here are 8 budget-friendly ways to eat well:
1. Meal planning
Want to save money while shopping for grocery? Planning is the key!
Every week, dedicate one day to plan your meals for the week ahead. Next, create a shopping list of all the ingredients required.
Before you head over to the supermarket, quickly scan your refrigerator and kitchen cupboards to find out what ingredients you already have. Usually, there are lots of food items buried in the cabinets or hidden behind other things that can be used.
Instead of stockpiling stuff, only buy things you are sure you will use. This way, you won’t end up discarding a lot of what you purchase.
2. Adhere to your grocery list
As easy as it may sound, it is quite difficult to stick to your grocery list. We often end up buying things in bulk or something that we aren’t going to use in the near future simply because they are on sale.
Control your shopping hormones the next time you see 50 percent off on your favorite food item and look at your grocery list first!
Getting distracted at the superstore can result in unplanned, costly purchases.
If making a grocery list every week sounds like a hassle then download a grocery list app on your smartphone. It’ll not only help you shop easily but can also save your favorite things and share lists with your friends and family.
Moreover, using an app will help you ensure that you don’t forget your grocery list at home!
3. Understand the psychology behind store design
Once you enter the store, first try to shop the perimeter. Most probably, you’ll fill your cart with healthy foodstuffs as the central part of the store is often loaded with the most processed and unwholesome foods.
Once you reach these aisles, avoid looking straight ahead as the most expensive items are usually placed at eye-level. Instead, look to the upper or lower section of the shelf.
4. Skip eating out, cook at home
Want to save a few bucks every week? Cook at home instead of eating out!
You can always dine out on special occasions or once in every fifteen days but try to cook at home instead of making last minute plans for eating out.
Normally, cooking at home can help you feed a family of four for the same expense as ordering food for one or two individuals at a fancy eatery. On top of it, you’ll also get to know what exactly is in your food and what you are feeding to your family.
Well, this doesn’t mean you’ll have to slave in the kitchen every day! You can either prepare for the whole week on the weekends, or cook one meal at a time.
Here’s another tip: cook large meals and use the leftovers for lunch next day, incorporate in other recipes or freeze them as single portion servings to be relished afterward.
5. Shop from inexpensive, online retail websites
There are numerous online retail websites that provide healthy food options for up to 50 percent discount. All you have to do is register on these websites and access daily concessions and deals.
What’s more, the foodstuffs are delivered all the way to your doorstep!
For example, Thrive Market is a great online retail website that deals exclusively in wholesome and natural foods. Purchasing as much as you can from them can save you some cash.
Another online retailer that can help you save money on healthy food is Vitacost. You can find all kinds of foods here, from vegan to kosher to gluten-free or simply organic!
6. Start a food buying club
How about starting your own food buying club? Join hands with a group of friends, families or even neighbors and purchase foodstuff from the same merchant at wholesale costs.
Wondering how will it work? It’s simple! Everybody will select what items are needed from a list and then all the orders will be gathered and placed with the merchant either by phone or via e-mail. The order will then be supplied to one place, typically somebody’s home where everybody else will come to collect their things at a fixed time.
This can help you buy a wide range of healthy food in bulk while saving hundreds—or even thousands of dollars every year!
7. Cultivate your own food
This is one great idea if you love gardening and have some open space to grow your own produce.
You can buy all kinds of seeds at a nominal cost. Put in some time and effort and you may be able to cultivate your own herbs, sprouts, veggies and many more nutritious items!
With a constant supply at home, you can save a lot of money at the grocery store.
Moreover, home-produced foodstuff may be more palatable than those brought from the store. You can also ensure that it is harvested at the right time.
8. Buy food that is in season
Food that is in season is usually cheaper, tastes better and is more nutritious because the food that is out of season has often been carried halfway across the globe to reach your grocery store. Hence, it is neither environment-friendly nor budget-friendly.
If you purchase too much of in-season food, simply freeze the remaining or include it into upcoming meal plans.
Eating healthy food doesn’t always mean making a dent in your pocket. These are just a few ways to eat well even on a very limited budget. All you have to do is plan your meals, cook more often at home, and make clever choices at the grocery store.
Remember, poor health comes with health costs, medications and even abridged work ability. Hence, even if eating well was more costly (which it does not have to be!), it’d still be worth it.
After all, you really can’t compromise on your health!