Many people want to eat healthy, but believe that it’s just too expensive. More than two thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. When you are on a tight budget, the thought of preparing healthy meals each day can seem daunting. Healthy eating could save Americans over $200 billion a year in medical costs. The good news is that eating a balanced diet doesn’t mean that you always need to buy expensive foods. Here are a few simple tips on how to eat healthy on a budget:
Plan Your Meals
Meal planning is a key factor in eating healthy without breaking the wallet. It helps ensure that you always have foods prepared. Make a grocery list and plan your meals ahead of time. Don’t shop when you are hungry. Summer is a great time to buy those foods that you would like to eat year round. Go to the farmers’ market and stock on inexpensive, nutritious foods like cherries, peaches, and green beans.
Go online and check the local newspaper for discount codes and vouchers that will cut your food costs. Consider discount stores. Buy store brands if cheaper.
Eat Less Meat
Buying high quality meats but eating less of them is a great way to reduce costs. Most people eat more meat than they need to. Grass-fed, organic animal products may cost more, but they will help you stay healthy.
Buy Whole Foods
Whole foods are cheaper and more nutritious than processed foods. Make sure your diet includes olive oil, flax seeds, real butter, whole rice, apples, spinach, cottage cheese, and ground beef. These foods will make you feel full and improve digestion. Research indicates that eating whole foods lowers your risk of heart disease and helps prevent obesity and colon cancer. You can easily include many good sources of fibers into your meals.
Drink More Water
Water is healthier and cheaper than any other drink. Quit the soda and drink more water. If you consume carbonated drinks and alcoholic beverages on a regular basis, look at the percentage of your food bill that they take up.
Frozen fruits and vegetables are usually fresher and less expensive than anything that can be found in the canned sections of the store, and you can get up to eight times as much for the same price. Apples, pears, and bananas are all good choices. Try freezing your own fruits and veggies in the summer when prices are low.