If you’re like me, you’ve been assuming that eating healthy always costs more. I’m here to tell you that we’re both wrong! (This is one time I don’t mind being wrong.)
Contrary to what you might have heard, eating healthy on a budget is completely doable. There are also lots of tips for grocery shopping on a budget as well.
If you know which foods to buy and you have a handful of basic cooking skills, you can eat well and improve your health while still enjoying delicious food.
Here’s how I get the most out of my grocery budget — by following these 5 suggestions…
#1 – Buy Produce When It’s In Season
Fruits and vegetables are important staples of a healthy diet, but they can be expensive. Cut down on your produce costs by shopping smart: buy fruits and veggies when they’re in season.
You’ll get more flavor from your food this way, and in-season produce is cheaper and easier to find than fruits and vegetables that have been grown in a greenhouse and shipped hundreds of miles to your store.
#2 – Think Simple
To eat healthy on a budget, you’ll need to go back to basics.
A lot of foods like rice, oatmeal, potatoes, and beans, are both inexpensive and good for you. Simple, unprocessed foods can be your best friends when you’re shopping for nutritious fare on a shoestring.
Sure, they require a little cooking, but anyone can learn to bake a potato or boil beans, and the effort is so worth it. Keep in mind that simple foods don’t have to be bland – it’s all in the preparation.
#3 – Eat Your (Frozen) Veggies
If fresh vegetables are putting a strain on your budget, try visiting the freezer aisle instead.
Frozen veggies are just as good for you as their fresh counterparts, and they’re easy to steam or add to soups, casseroles, and stir-fries.
Usually veggies are flash-frozen soon after picking and retain plenty of their nutrients and flavor. However, sometimes, frozen vegetables have tasted, well … frozen to me. It depends on how you cook them.
Here are some tips for cooking frozen vegetables that I’ve used.
#4 – Practice Your Cooking Skills
If you’re serious about eating healthy on a budget, cooking is an invaluable skill to have.
You might still be convinced that processed, unhealthy food is cheaper than nutritious food — but this is only true if you don’t know how to cook.
By learning some basic cooking skills like how to cook rice and lentils, bake chicken, or whip up a quick pot of oatmeal (the kind that doesn’t come out of a packet!), you will definitely save money when shopping.
You don’t have to be an expert in the kitchen to get started. Learning a few basic cooking skills is usually enough to help you start preparing foods that you enjoy… and eating healthy.
You might even find that cooking becomes your new favorite hobby. And it’s a great way to meet people!
#5 – Pass Up The Soda
If you drink a lot of soda, the cost can really add up over time – and you’re not doing your body any favors either.
I used to drink 5 to 6 cans of diet soda a day! I have now cut that down to 2 per week and I feel (and look) a lot better.
How did I do it? I basically substituted with water (and I’d usually use Crystal Light to flavor it).
I did notice some slight headaches and I drank coffee for the caffeine withdrawal.
It only took a few weeks for me to cut down on soda considerably. Going cold turkey on sugary drinks puts money back in your pocket, giving you more wiggle room in your grocery budget.
Here are 13 ways to stop drinking soda for good!
If you’re willing to get adventurous in your kitchen and turn your basic pantry staples into something delicious, you can definitely eat healthy without breaking the bank.
Ready To Get Started Eating Healthy On A Budget?
- Best And Worst Frozen Vegetables
- How To Find A Cooking Class Near You
- How To Make A Meal Plan On A Budget
- When Are Your Favorite Veggies In-Season?
- How To Grocery Shop On $40 A Week
I’m a health nut, a frugal mom, a dog lover, a DIYer, and a gadget girl. Personally, as a post-divorce, working single mom on a budget I have a lot of experiences that I enjoy sharing so others can learn from the things I wish I knew earlier! Professionally, I’ve worked full-time in a variety of marketing, sales, and editing jobs. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as Managing Editor at The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).