Monday, October 10, 2011

Eating Healthy on a Budget

I hear people use the excuse all the time that they can't or don't eat healthy because it's "too expensive."  I know Ramen noodles, hot dogs, and mac-n-cheese are all cheap options, but they the toll they will take on your health costs far more than most are willing to pay.  I know it can be expensive, but there are ways to choose healthier options that won't break the bank.  Here are some of my tips:
1. Eat eggs.  Eggs are full of protein and  vitamins, and they are CHEAP.  Plus, there are lots of healthy ways to prepare eggs so you won't get bored.
2. Do not buy pre-cut fruits or veggies. It is definitely more convenient, but the fruits and veggies are cheaper if you buy them whole and slice them yourself.
3. Buy frozen veggies.  They don't go bad if you don't use them in time. You can buy them in bulk, and you can add them to a variety of meals to add to the nutritional value.
4. Buy in bulk.  Some places offer discounted prices per unit when you buy in bulk.
5. Beans and brown rice are both cheap, filling, healthy options.
6. Think tuna. Tuna is cheap & healthy- low fat, high protein. Try mustard instead of mayo, & add any other favorites like pepper, pickles, etc.
7. Buy generic.  Same ingredients, lower price. (think oatmeal, canned goods, peanut butter, whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, skim milk, low-sodium soup, Greek yogurt, etc.)
8. Spaghetti is to make it a healthier option, choose wheat noodles and use ground turkey instead of beef. Use olive oil to brown the meat instead of vegetable oil.
9. Drink water. From the tap.  Drinks in general are expensive and are typically empty calories. Bottled water adds up too, so stick to filtered tap water.
10. Make your own pizza. We use whole grain, high fiber tortillas, top with pizza sauce, low fat mozzarella, spinach, green peppers, and mushrooms, and bake. Fast, easy, cheap.
11. PLAN AHEAD.  Plan meals, write grocery lists, and stick to it. Pack a healthy lunch so you're not tempted. Planning takes time & effort, but in the long run saves money & results in a LOT healthier choices.

No more's totally doable to eat healthy on a budget. I know... because we do it!!


Sam W. said...

amen! love all these tips :)

Emily said...

great tips!!!! i only buy frozen veges but i do buy the precut mixed fresh fruit - so easy for a toddler ;) AND i am hardcore about generic brand (esp Publix. the BEST!) but could never eat anything other than Jif peanut butter ;)

Kit said...

all very true! I try to explain this to ppl all the time!!!

Danielle said...

Agree! Thats exactly how we keep it cheep and healthy too. Generic vitamins also saves us a few dollars. :)

Unknown said...

Could you tell me what kind of vegan mayo you buy, or where or how. I have not been able to find it. Thanks!