Imagine doing grocery shopping and you’re walking through an aisle of your favorite products. You notice the organic version of the pasta brand you usually buy. However, its price is strikingly more expensive than the cost of the regular version.
So here you are, torn between the desire to save money and switch to healthier food options.
But does healthy eating always have to come with a hefty price? No. You can stick to your food budget without compromising your health.
With a few strategies and a little creativity, you’re on your way to healthy living without breaking the bank.
Keep reading and take note of these tips for eating healthy on a budget!
Create meal plans
Your habits when shopping at the grocery store say a lot about how you spend money in general.
Are you the type who goes straight to shopping without a list of the things you intend to buy? Or do you create detailed meal plans and make a list of the products you need?
If you fall under the latter, keep it up! You’re doing a great job! Otherwise, maybe it’s about time to give this habit a try.
Plan your meals ahead and determine which food products to buy. Not only will this help you avoid spending more, but it will also keep you from purchasing unnecessary stuff which you might end up throwing out in the end.
Stick to your list
Step 1 won’t be as effective if you fail to stick to your plan and list.
It may be tempting to deviate from the grocery list, especially when you’re bombarded with great products left and right, but this will only lead to more expensive purchases.
Try to avoid the sections displaying unhealthy and processed foods. It’s going to take a lot of discipline but remember that your goal is to switch to healthy eating while sticking to your budget at the same time.
Two very simple rules of thumb you might consider:
- Anything with only one ingredient is automatically okay. That means almost everything from the meat, fish, and produce departments. It also includes things like eggs, rice, beans, milk, etc. For things with more than one ingredient, make it a habit to read the ingredients list. If it has more than five, it probably doesn’t deserve a place in your cart. (Though you can make occasional exceptions as a special indulgence so you don’t feel deprived all the time.)
- Aim to spend about 50% of your total grocery budget on produce. This won’t always be possible, especially when you have a lot of non-food products to buy. However, it’s a good goal to strive for.
Opt for the local farmer’s market
If you’re looking for a wellspring of affordable and fresh produce, your local farmer’s market is the place to be. The products here are often cheaper than comparable ones in the supermarket or grocery stores.
Go for home-cooked meals
Another excellent strategy for saving on healthy meals is cooking your own food at home.
If you eat out on a regular basis, maybe it’s time that you go for home-cooked meals.
By preparing your own food, you have the freedom to choose healthier items to include in your cooking. You can also opt to avoid using preservatives and other unhealthy ingredients in your cooking.
Cooking at home is also ideal if you’re feeding a family. You can save a significant chunk of your budget because it’s cheaper to cook large portions than to buy food outside.
Buy in bulk
When you shop for food, it’s a good idea to go for large quantities or bulk-buying, especially when buying everyday staples (e.g nuts, grains, oats, etc.)
This stuff usually doesn’t have fancy packages so they come at a cheaper price when bought in big quantities.
Just have them stored in food containers and you’re good to go!
Skip the junk
Let’s admit it. Binging on junk food such as chips, soda, cookies, and other processed foods feels good.
But since you’re switching to healthier food options, try to skip the junk altogether when grocery shopping. Like they say “out of sight, out of mind”. If you don’t have junk foods stored at home, chances are you won’t be eating them.
Do your body and your wallet a favor by skipping junk and going for healthier options instead.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be daunting. It doesn’t have to be costly either.
There are several ways to eating healthy even on a tight budget and these tips should help you out. Try them now and see how you can save money without compromising good health.
Here at Calcite Credit Union, we value the importance of saving and we’re here to help you take care and grow your savings. Please visit or give us a call for more information.