January is a month when so many of us have vowed to make healthy lifestyle changes. Personally, I shy away from the word ‘diet’ but am committed to purchasing healthier foods for myself and my family. Unfortunately, rising food prices have made it more difficult for families on a budget to eat healthy. But I have a strategy and have come up with some simple ways to eat healthy on a budget.
1. Eat more grains and legumes. Try to have a meatless meal at least once a week. Grains and legumes are inexpensive, very filling, and pack a nutritional power punch.
2. Buy in bulk. Proteins such as chicken, pork, fish, and beef are expensive. But you can save on these proteins by purchasing family packs and buying in bulk. Simply break them down into smaller portions when you get home, and seal in freezer bags. You can also purchase grains, pasta, nuts, dried fruits, and other items in the bulk section of your grocery store. Also, take advantage of sales and stock up on things that have a long shelf life.
3. Purchase generic foods. Buying store brands and using store loyalty cards can save you money. Most store brand foods taste just as good as the name brands. You’re just not paying for the fancy packaging and advertising.
4. Plan your meals. Planning your meals around sales and what you’ve stocked up on can save you a lot of money. I like to use printable meal planners like these, when planning for the week.
5. Eat seasonally. Seasonal fruits and vegetables not only taste better, but also cost less because they are more readily available and not being shipped half way around the world. Stick to root vegetables in the winter, apples and squash in the fall, broccoli and berries in the summer.
6. Buy locally. Buy whenever possible from your local farmer’s market and participate in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program which allows you to regularly enjoy a share of a local harvest. If at all possible, grow your own. Even a small patio garden is beneficial.
7. Go frozen. Frozen fruits and vegetables are healthier than what you can find in a can and are often less expensive than what you’ll find on the produce aisle.
I realize that the words healthy and budget are not necessarily synonymous, but with a little planning it is possible to eat healthy on a budget.
- Celebrate National Bread Month with the Grain Foods Foundation (aboutamom.com)
- The Only Time It’s Okay to Eat with Your Hands – Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament (aboutamom.com)
- Healthy Living: Homemade Oatmeal Packets – Easy Portion Control (miscfinds4u.com)
- My Weight Loss Plan: Move More, Eat Less, Add Key Supplements (miscfinds4u.com)