One of the hottest topics in the world of healthy eating right now is the price of healthy food. For some people, the price of healthy food is too high to afford, particularly if you are trying to eat healthy on a limited budget. (For example, a recent government study found that healthy food now costs more than unhealthy food, and some experts argue that this is due to corporate corruption and greed.) But if you want to make healthy choices, there are still ways to eat healthy on a budget.
If you’re like most Americans, you’re watching your dollars. So, you’re probably looking for easy ways to cut costs without sacrificing quality or performance. One of the easiest ways to cut your grocery bill is to eat healthier foods, but if you’re on a tight budget that can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to eat healthy on a budget.
Preparing healthy meals for your family doesn’t have to break the bank. Even if you’re under some pressure to prepare quick meals for your family, you can still save money and eat well. Think about it. The majority of food you buy will probably stay in your kitchen cupboards or the freezer. (Unless you’re buying fresh fruit or vegetables every day, chances are your fridge is your biggest food-spending culprit.)Yesterday I needed some ideas on how to eat healthy. Finally, I found a healthy diet on Pinterest for inspiration. But there was a problem: Pinterest, as always, provided me with an insane amount of recipes and healthy meal ideas. But most were very complicated or contained unusual ingredients that I don’t normally buy. I spent a lot of time trying to find a recipe that wasn’t too complicated with the ingredients I had. There must be a better way! Have you ever found a recipe that looks great, but requires 10 different ingredients and you only have 6? I’ve found that the easiest and most economical way to eat healthy is to keep it simple. As simple as possible.
Ways to simplify and save
1. Keep your favourite fruit and vegetables easily accessible
To begin with, keeping it simple and healthy means keeping it simple simple fruits and vegetables. Concentrate on 1 serving of fruit or 1 serving of vegetables with each meal . No exceptions! Do you have a bad snack from McDonald’s? Add an apple or some small carrots. Are you hungry? Instead of gorging yourself on a cookie, eat your favorite fruit or vegetable first. We try to have at least one favorite fruit and one favorite vegetable as a snack each week. Then we can buy a bag of pears and fresh cucumbers to chew on. We put them on the counter or in the refrigerator so they are always in sight.
2. Minimise meat
First, meat is expensive, so we try to stretch it as much as possible. Here are some of the ways we do this:
- Replacing meat with new favorites We add beans to tacos and quesadillas to use less meat. They are cheap, hearty and very good for you. We like lean baked beans.
- Cut meat: Instead of serving a big expensive steak, add ground meat to your dishes. Or smaller slices of steak. For example, add slices of ham to salad and baked potatoes. You can also buy a large bag of frozen roasted vegetables with the sauce in the frozen food section of the grocery store. Prepare a serving of rice and add chicken, shrimp or ground beef for a healthy and economical meal.
- Soup! A little bit of meat, some vegetables you have, and a little bit of broth. We love soup. This fall, I plan to share some of my favorite soup recipes.
- Jolly plate. This is my husband’s specialty: He uses our fresh leftovers to make an amazing plate. Pieces of meat, cheese, vegetables and anything else he can find become a small feast. It is a cheap and healthy dish, with little meat and lots of vegetables.
If the main course is meat, don’t go overboard with complicated recipes. Simplicity is good.
3. Use of chicken
We buy boneless and skinless chicken breasts in bulk when they are on sale (less than $2 a pound). I freeze everything in 1 to 2 pound portions. The easiest and tastiest chicken recipe I know is to marinate it overnight in a balsamic vinaigrette, then grill it. That’s it. You won’t believe how good it is. We cut the chicken up and use it in wraps, quesadillas, on schnitzels or whatever. If we eat it as a main course, we make sure to include large portions of vegetables and rice.
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4. Fish is healthy and can be cheap
I know fish is very healthy, but it always seemed too difficult to prepare. This year, however, was different. We eat a lot of fish and I’m shocked how quick and easy it is. I can prepare a dinner like the one below in less than 15 minutes. Plus, it’s so good for you! If you’re not used to eating fish, you might be surprised at how savory it is. I know the price per pound seems high, but we feel fuller when we eat a small piece of fish than when we eat an equally large piece of chicken or beef. Frozen tilapia is the cheapest in our area. I usually buy a big package at Aldi or Sam’s Club. We buy frozen salmon when we have a little extra money. After thawing, I cook them on the stove with a tablespoon of olive oil and some herbs. Lately we have been using the lemon pepper spice. While the fish is cooking, I warm up some sweet potatoes in the microwave. Other side dishes we like to add are pasta (I’m a fan of roni) or chips and salsa.
5. Special ingredient(s)
Many of the super healthy recipes use foods I don’t normally buy. Some ingredients are very expensive, and their cost can add up quickly. I’m wary of buying all kinds of new specialties. When I buy organic chia seeds, goji berries and flaxseeds, my budget is empty in no time. When I want to try new healthy ingredients, I do it one at a time. I buy one and try it in different ways to get used to cooking with it and eating it. Most of our meals consist of the same group of ingredients. I know that if I try a recipe that is totally different from what we usually eat, we probably won’t like it and we’ll have to spend extra money on all kinds of ingredients we don’t have in the house. That’s one of the reasons I try to add new ingredients as I go along.
6. Plan to reduce costs
You know I can’t talk about saving money on groceries and staying within a grocery budget without talking about meal planning. If you’re trying to eat healthier, don’t just buy some healthy products at the store. You need food that goes together, otherwise you have tons of ingredients you can’t do anything with. When I make my shopping list for the week, I also make a separate list of all the dishes I’m going to make with the food I bought. If you need some extra help with meal planning, I have a series of free video tutorials that tackle meal planning in its simplest form, so it’s no longer an overwhelming task. You’ll learn why your grocery bills are so high and how to avoid the most common meal planning mistakes! Click HERE to sign up for free meal planning videos! Related items:
⇒ How do you eat healthy on a budget?
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While a lot of folks who want to eat healthy on a budget talk about how expensive healthy food is, there are actually a lot of ways to save money without sacrificing nutrition. Buying produce at the farmer’s market or growing it yourself are great ways to save. But even frozen fruits and veggies are a good deal when they are on sale. And for the majority of people, fresh produce won’t be the biggest budget buster in the grocery store. Look at the processed and packaged foods in your basket, because those items are often cheaper than fresh produce, but are also the worst things you can put in your body for your overall health.. Read more about cheap healthy diet plan and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cheapest most nutritious food?
The cheapest most nutritious food is actually a no-brainer. Of course, it’s broccoli. While it’s not the most popular vegetable in the produce aisle, broccoli is often found growing for free in backyard gardens and can be bought for less than a dollar at farmer’s markets. It’s loaded with essential vitamins that your body needs to function properly. In fact, the only thing broccoli can’t do is grow hair on balding heads. After going to the grocery store and spending $100 on food, and then coming home to realize that your fridge is empty, you realize that you need to go grocery shopping again. But, you’re not sure what to buy. Some foods are too expensive, and their nutrition is mediocre. Others are cheap, but they are also nutritionally poor. So what can you do? The best way to approach this dilemma is to focus on foods that are both cheap and nutritious.
How do you eat on a tight budget?
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s all a matter of knowing where to cut corners. Here’s how to eat on a budget without sacrificing nutritional value. First, cut out unnecessary costs. If you’re spending $10 on a sandwich every day for lunch, try bringing your own and getting lunch for half the price. You’ll still save and eat better. Second, look at food prices at different grocery stores. Shop around for a store with lower prices on nutritious staples like bread, milk, and eggs. Finally, meal plan. Take inventory of what you already have on hand and combine it with what’s on sale at the grocery store. You’ll waste less food and money, and have some healthy meals on hand. ~~ If you buy organic food, you may think you need to spend a fortune to get your five daily servings of fruit and veggies. But you can feed yourself for less by choosing some of these lesser-known fresh, frozen and canned superfoods. For example, pinto beans are a nutritional powerhouse, providing almost 20 percent of the recommended daily dose of fiber for very few calories. Frozen corn is a great source of vitamin A and folate, so it’s worth paying a little extra for organic corn. And canned tomatoes are a good source of lycopene, an antioxidant associated with a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease. All three foods are staples in many of the healthiest cuisines around the world, so keep them on hand
How do I start eating healthy for beginners?
You’ve decided to start eating healthier, but how do you know where to start? This question is easier to answer than you might think. The first thing you’ll want to do is to start reading labels on the foods you already eat. This will give you a good idea of what you can start doing differently in your own kitchen. You’ll also want to check out some cookbooks, or online sites that specialize in healthy cooking. Once you have a good idea of the type of foods you want to start eating, now you’re ready to start shopping! When you decide to start eating healthy for the first time, it can be a lot to take in. Health food stores are filled with bags and bottles of stuff you’ve never heard of and don’t know where to begin. Also, you don’t want to spend a fortune on food that you’re unsure you’ll actually like. The best way to get started is with a little education. By reading up on what you should be eating, you’ll know what to look for and have the basics down.
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