How to Save Money and Eat Healthy on a Budget
When you want to eat a healthy meal, but your bank account is dwindling, it can be difficult not to head for the dollar menu. However, even though eating healthy may seem like it costs more, studies have actually shown that people who eat the most nutritious diets only spend about $1.50 more per day than the least healthy ones. Try it out with these tips that you can start using today to eat healthy on a budget.
Cook at Home
The best tip for saving money and eating more nutritiously at the same time is to cook more at home. Take-out food is almost always more expensive and less nutritious than cooking at home. This doesn’t mean you have to go gourmet status every night — you can learn how to make just a handful of simple meals to put into your weekly rotation.
Meat and seafood tend to cost more than plant-based proteins. Try having at least two dinners per week as vegetarian nights, with the protein star of your meal being beans, lentils, tofu, or eggs. Plus, eating plant-based can help the environment, too!
Buy in Season
Eating strawberries in the dead of winter is a luxurious treat — but not always the cheapest option. Buying fruits and vegetables that are in season is much less expensive than buying produce widely out of season, and they will taste better too.
Buy in Bulk
If you have the space, bulk-buying foods that have long shelf lives or can be frozen can save you both money and trips to the grocery store. Good items to buy in bulk include nuts, seeds, jerky, peanut or almond butter, beans, pasta, and canned goods. You can stock up with frozen berries or other fruit, vegetables, meat, and seafood if you have freezer space.
Don’t Take the Shortcuts
Although they are convenient, pre-cut fruits and veggies will cost more than their whole-food counterparts. Taking the extra time to prep and cut them at home will save you money. The same goes for bagged produce compared to free-standing fruits and vegetables.