5 Tips to Eat Healthy on a Budget
For the budget conscious shopper, eating healthy can feel like an overwhelming task. Expensive health food stores can break the bank, and cheap processed options seem to appear everywhere. In reality, eating healthy on the cheap isn’t as hard as it seems. With these few tips, you’ll be looking and feeling your best while sticking to your budget.
Eat breakfast. Breakfast is not only an important way to start your day, it offers the chance to eat cheap, healthy sources of protein, produce, and complex carbohydrates. Eggs are a perfect source of complete protein that cost only cents each. Pair with wheat toast and fruit for a complete breakfast. Skip the expensive sugary cereals and processed pastries in favor of oatmeal, oatbran, and other high fiber options. You’ll feel better and stay full longer.
Up your fruit and vegetables. Most people know that eating fruits and vegetables is a healthy bet, but it’s also a great way to save money. In most states, fruits and vegetables aren’t taxed, while processed food is. Opting for more nutritious options can help put pennies in your pocketbook as well as have you looking and feeling your best. “Eating the rainbow, “or choosing fruits and veggies of different colors, will make sure you consume the full range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that the produce aisle has to offer. For the best bargains, eat fruits and vegetables that are in season, and consider freezing fruits and veggies for other seasons instead of buying imported products.
Learn to love legumes. Beans are filling and nutritious, making them a great option for the budget conscious eater. To save even more money, consider making beans yourself instead of buying the canned version. By preparing beans in a slow cooker instead of dumping them right out of the can, you’ll save on sodium too. Try black beans or chickpeas to start out.
Organic food is healthier, but you don’t have to buy all organic. Studies have shown that organic foods are healthier and safer, but they can be really expensive as well. Instead of buying all organic, focus on choosing products where organic really matters. Some crops have more pesticides than others. Leafy greens and hot peppers are most likely to be laced with especially toxic pesticides, whereas avocados, sweet corn, and asparagus have some of the least. By researching which produce has the most pesticides, you can avoid the worst options without the steep bill.
Cut back on sugar. The American diet is a laden with sugar. It’s hiding in many foods and beverages, even in places that you wouldn’t expect. About 13% of calories in the average American diet comes from added sugar, often in the form of high fructose corn syrup. By avoiding products with added sugar and opting for whole, unprocessed foods, you’ll save on money, calories, and keep yourself healthy. Opt for water instead of soda. Choose fruit instead of cookies. Cook a whole chicken instead of choosing processed lunch meats.
We hope this post has given you some ideas for improving your health and your finances (don’t forget your grocery coupons). Happy shopping and eating!