It can be difficult to stick to a healthy, clean eating plan when you have a tight budget. Lucky for you, there are several ways to make every dollar of your grocery budget stretch, so that you can eat well without breaking the bank. Here are five tips to eating healthy on a budget:
1) Buy fresh produce on sale and freeze it
When fresh fruits and vegetables are in season, grocery stores often have more produce than they can sell. With such a high supply, many grocers will have a sale for seasonal foods in the front of the store. Stock up on fresh produce when you spot one of these sales and freeze whatever you won’t be able to eat for the week. You’ll also enjoy having fresh berries or melons that taste like they’re in season year round.
2) Prep and plan your meals ahead of time
The key to healthy eating is planning! Use your Sundays to plan your meals for the week and consider making all of your lunches ahead of time. Next time you are running late for work, you’ll be able to grab a pre-packed healthy lunch instead of being forced to buy something unhealthy while you’re out.
3) Buy whole chickens and utilize your leftovers
Whole chickens are almost always cheaper than buying chicken breast or tenderloins in the meat aisle. Buy a full rotisserie chicken in the deli section, then use whatever you don’t eat that night for your lunches, casseroles, soups, or anything other recipe that calls for chicken. Since chicken itself is healthier than beef or other processed meats, you’ll be eating well and saving money.
4) Invest in superfoods
There are endless forms of proteins, but most people don’t think of eating protein besides meat. Beans, legumes, nuts and seeds, and wild rice are all examples of plant -based “superfoods” that have a high source of nutrients and are very good for you. They’re also much cheaper than meat.
5) Shop at ethnic markets
If you’re adventurous and like trying new foods, ethnic markets sell lots of different types of products that are generally more healthy than the American staples. Try visiting an Indian, African, or Hispanic food store and you’ll find less processed food at great prices. Not to mention, you’ll also get to try the exotic flavors found in their spice and sauce aisles.