10 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget
Many people believe that in order to eat healthy, they have to shop at the top-tier grocery store that sells strictly organic and natural foods. Not only can this be costly, but it’s also not necessary for eating healthily. Good eating habits can be created on a budget. Here are ten ways to do it:
Before you even leave home, make a list of the items you need to buy, and once you get to the store, stick to the list. In addition, if you avoid shopping on an empty stomach, impulse buys will be easier to avoid.
Shop around the perimeter of the grocery store. This is where you find the fresh produce, meats and breads. Items found in the aisles are generally preprocessed and therefore high in fat, sodium, carbohydrates and sugars.
When you buy vegetables, use all the parts. For example, broccoli and cauliflower flowerets can be tossed into a salad while the stems can be chopped up and dropped into soup.
Plant a garden. With a few dollars, you can buy tomato plants and a variety of seeds for squash, carrots, peas and beans. You’ll be surprised how much food you’ll be able to grow for minimal upfront costs.
Avoid buying small packages of flavored yogurt. Instead, purchase yogurt in quart-sized containers. For a variety of flavored snacks, mix it with crushed pineapple or other fruits.
Purchase generic brands of nutritious cereals instead of the more expensive name brand options such as Cheerios, Chex, Raisin Bran and Corn Flakes.
Cut coupons … but only those for healthy food options. Look for the weekly specials in the produce, dairy and meat departments.
Buy meat in bulk so that you can stock up when lean ground beef, turkey and chuck roast go on sale. You’ll need to be diligent in managing the inventory in your freezer by rotating the food and eating the oldest foods first, but if you don’t mind these added steps, it is possible to save a substantial amount of money on meat.
If you have the time to grate your own cheese, slice your own apples and make your own salad, then buy unprepared ingredients and create your own meals at home. When you buy anything prepackaged, such as fruit trays and shredded cheese, the mark-up is significant. Single serving snack packets are also expensive; make your own snacks instead.
Buy locally when possible. Neighborhood farmers’ markets pop up throughout the spring and summer, and purchasing produce here not only stimulates the local economy but will likely save you several dollars had you purchased the same item from the grocery store down the street. Plus, chances are the food from the local farmers’ market came straight from the farm.
Learn more about eating healthy without breaking the bank on Wednesday, April 14, at 6:30 p.m. at The Specific Chiropractic Center. Please call 1-888-722-4467 to reserve your seat!
Fernstrom, Madelyn, Ph.D., CNS. Eat Healthy on a Budget. Today.MSNBC.MSN.com. (February 12, 2007) Retrieved March 9, 2010 from http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/17113255/.
Skarnulis, Leanna. Lose Weight, Save Money: How to Eat Healthy Without Blowing Your Budget. MedicineNet.com. (April 7, 2005) Retrieved March 9, 2010 from http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=56708.
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