With the popularity of cheap junk food and easily available processed snacks, many people have the perception that eating healthy is simply expensive. Yet a tight budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your health. It’s possible to purchase foods that are good for both you and your budget. Below, I have 9 ways to eat healthy on a tight budget to benefit you and your family.
Good news! There are websites that can actually help you plan a food budget. Try visiting Iowa State University’s “Spend Smart Eat Smart” website for some great food budget tips and resources. With a little planning, savvy shopping, and tasty recipes to cook at home, you’ll be well on your way! If eating healthy is also one of your New Years’ resolutions, consider also reading this article before getting started.
Ask About Discounts
Spend one night a week planning the meals you want to make and looking for appropriate discounts and coupons. Just remember, however, that sometimes another brand costs less even after you use the coupon.
Shop for Produce That’s In Season
Shopping for watermelon in December is probably going to cost you — and will it even taste good?
Consider Store Brands
These products are made under a special label, sometimes with the store name. You might have to look on shelves that are higher or lower than eye level to find them.
Make Enough Food for Leftovers
Making healthy food at home — win. Making healthy food at home with plenty left over for meals during the week — double win. Meals like chili, stews, and casseroles are going to be your friends in this department. Slow cooker and Instant Pot recipes are great for this, too!
Try Less Expensive Cuts of Meat
You can still enjoy meat when you’re on a tight budget. Look for less expensive cuts of meat, like chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts. Also, purchasing the whole chicken is oftentimes even cheaper and yields enough for leftovers.
Look at Unit Prices
Those small stickers on the shelves tell you the price but also the unit price — how much the item costs per ounce or per pound. Compare unit prices to see which brand is the best value.
Identify Healthy Foods for Cheap
Eating healthy on a budget doesn’t need to be difficult. In fact, the website Greatist created a list of 44 Healthy Foods Under $1.
Try to Buy in Bulk
Only buy a size you can use before it goes bad. If you buy meat in bulk, decide what you need to use that day and freeze the rest in portion-sized packages right away.
Don’t Eat Out as Much
Even though many of us already know this is a huge part of eating healthy on a budget, not enough of us actually make it a priority and stick to it. I’ve definitely been guilty of this! When you’re super hungry, it’s just a little too easy to take the family out to Wendy’s. That’s why planning your meals ahead and creating a food budget is so important.
Were these tips helpful for you? Was there a tip that I missed that works well for you (or your family)? I’d love to hear your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. And please be sure to sign up for our newsletter to receive more great tips like these straight to your inbox.