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)
Lots of great tips. While it’s definitely harder to eat healthy for less, it’s doable it just takes more work.
Amber Edwards says
Those are excellent tips! We’ve started changing over to buying more items in bulk. We have quickly discovered, we need to seriously rearrange our pantry and open up some space in the storage room for the food, as bulk means we get more of each item, instead of the one small box, we get the big boxes with the same amount as 6 small boxes. So….we need more space to store it all. But in the long run; we are totally saving money, building up our emergency preparedness kit and eating better.
Now I just need a bigger freezer so I can do the bulk meats too.
A larger freezer is on my list of things to get also!
What great tips. I find it so disgusting how much cheaper it is to buy a box of Mac n’ cheese then a head of lettuce, LOL… so these tips are awesome. Thank you
Michelle F. says
Defnately planning meals around sales is a huge money saver.
Great tips! Healthy and on a budget is becoming more and more doable.
Krystle(Baking Beauty) says
This poor college student really appreciate this post! I think I’ll work on trying to buy generic and frozen foods this month.
There are also coupons out there for healthy items like yogurt, cheese, frozen veggies and sometimes you can find them for produce. Check out brand sites to see if they have coupons available for their products or write them and ask. Check out your local dollar stores….I go to one weekly because they carry produce.
Great post! Thanks for all the tips…always looking for ways to save money and eat more healthy.
Lisa Hollis says
My mother taught me out of necessity how to make a meal stretch and the cheapest way to do so. So fortunately I grew up knowing what was the cheapest but the best way to do it. You have still added some things here that will make things even easier for me. Thanks!
I have a few quick meals my son loves for those days I get home from work late or am tired. I keep the basics on hand and stock up when I see sales. That way I’m not tempted to eat out.