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Some tips for eating healthy on a budget:
1. Buy in bulk, especially when it comes to meat.
I love to buy large bags of frozen chicken breasts because I can usually get them for half the price. I just keep them in my freezer and pull out the amount of chicken breasts that I need for each recipe.
2. Junk food is expensive.
All the drinks, snacks, crackers, cookies, and sugar-filled treats add up. When you are craving something sweet, grab an apple or banana. You’ll save yourself unnecessary calories and give your body nutrients it needs.
3. Take one hour each week and plan out your meals.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. After a long day of work or school, the last thing that you want to do is figure out what to make for dinner. However, if you already planned out your meals, you know exactly that you need to make and have all the ingredients on hand. It will save you a trip to the drive thru at a local fast food place, which not only saves you money, but all those calories and fat.
4. Prepare your food in bulk.
At the beginning of each week, I will grill up a couple chicken breasts or even throw a couple in the slow cooker. That way, when I need a quick meal, I can throw the pre-cooked chicken on a salad, in a pita, in a wrap, or just eat it as is.
5. Go grocery shopping on a full stomach.
I know it’s something that you have heard many times, but it’s true- if you are hungry, you will most likely impulse buy a lot of items you don’t need. Also, make a list and stick to it. Don’t even go down aisles that you don’t need anything from.
6. Don’t worry about brand names.
Many generic or store brands are made in the same exact plant as brand name items and just labeled differently for a fraction of the cost.
7. Buy what’s in season.
Fruits and vegetables peak at different times throughout the year and will be priced according to their availability, so stock up on what’s in season.
8. Shop local.
If you have a farmer’s market that takes place close to you, I highly recommend you visit it! You can get amazing fresh produce and food at a great price, plus you are supporting local businesses, which is always a plus!
9. Buy frozen or canned food.
If certain fruits and veggies are out of season, buying frozen or canned varieties is a great alternative. Canned or frozen items have a much longer shelf-life than fresh, so you can buy them in bulk if they are on sale and not have to worry about them going bad. Many frozen and canned vegetables are equally as nutritious as their fresh versions. However, keep in mind that canned food usually contains more preservatives, salt and sugar than fresh fruits and vegetables. For canned items, the USDA recommends choosing fruit canned in 100 percent fruit juice, and vegetables labeled “low sodium” or “no salt added.”
10. Make more and eat leftovers throughout the week.
I love this idea because it also is such a great time saver! Double or triple your recipe, package it up in appropriate serving-size containers, and you have a quick on-the-go meal ready at your convenience!
Make it happen,
By Jared Beckstrand