I use to think it was impossible to eat healthy on a budget And it didn’t help that I was listening to all these health “gurus” on youtube who were saying you have to eat all organic to be healthy and were promoting expensive herbs and fancy superfoods that were waayyyy out of my budget.
And because of this so I adopted the belief that being healthy means eating expensive superfood powders and fancy exotic herbs and shopping at high-end health food stores.
Boy was I wrong!
I wish someone came along and told me I really didn’t need to do all that to be healthy, and that leading a healthy lifestyle is much simpler and cheaper!
By the way, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t buy superfoods or exotic herbs and not to do your weekly shopping at high-end health food stores if that’s what you want to do. Of course, you can do those things if you wish. My point is that it’s not a necessity to do those things to be healthy.
And the good news is no matter your budget, there’s no need to sacrifice your health because they’re loads of ways to still eat healthy, delicious meals, giving you make a few smart choices.Here are 7 ways to not break the bank when trying to eat right:
1.Eat a Starch-Based Diet
A starch-based diet is a plant-based diet that centres around starchy foods such as bananas, oats, rice, potatoes and beans as staples.
These foods are the cheapest foods available everywhere in the world and are incredibly healthy. They’re loaded with fibre and a wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals.
2.Shops At Low-Cost Supermarkets & Buy In Bulk
When you’re on a budget forget shopping at high-end supermarkets and health food stores and hit your local low-cost supermarket instead. Food from low-cost supermarkets such as Lidl and Aldi are much cheaper, which will save you loads of money.
Another great tip is to buy your whole grains and beans in bulk which will save you even more money. These foods can be stored for a long time and can be used to make countless delicious, filling, healthy meals.
When it comes to the fresh produce, you can also freeze and buy readily frozen fruit and vegetables and store them in the freezer so you always have them available to add to healthy meals and your green smoothies.
3.Plan Your Meals Ahead & Cook At Home
At the beginning of every week set aside a bit of time and come up with meal ideas, you want to cook that week. Jot your meal ideas on a piece of paper, and make a shopping list that works around your budget.
That way when you go and do your weekly food shopping you already know exactly what you’re buying, so you won’t be inclined to grab things that are not on your list. Having a shopping list and planning meals ahead will save you so much time and money.
Also eating out should be an occasional treat if you’re on a budget. Cooking your meals at home saves you money and it’s better for your health as you know the exact ingredients that go into your food. No sneaky preservatives, excessive amounts of vegetable oils, sodium, refined sugar and other ingredients that cause havoc to your health.
Cooking in batches and storing in the fridge is another great idea. This way you can also pack some of the food for your lunch, which brings me to the next tip…
4.Pack Your Lunch
If you’re at school or work during the week and you eat lunch away from home, pack some food and take it with you. Buying your lunch at cafes can be expensive and the money can really add up by the end of the month.
Yes, it may require a bit more prepping but it’s totally worth it. Again packed lunches tend to be healthier than foods you buy out because you know exactly what you’re putting in them. So by packing your lunch, you’re not only eating healthy home-prepared meals but you’re saving money at the same time.
5.Eliminate meat, dairy and eggs from your diet
Animal products are not only expensive but also very unhealthy. Yes, even chicken and fish. They all contain high amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol which promote weight gain and obesity and are linked to increasing your chances of developing heart disease, certain cancer and type 2 diabetes.
Eliminate all animal products from your diet and adopt a plant-based diet instead. You can get all the nutrients (such as protein, calcium etc.) your body needs, you’ll save money and most importantly you’ll lower your chances of developing diseases in the long run by switching to a plant-based diet
6.Don’t Buy Organic
Buying organic food is great but it’s not necessary to buy everything organic, especially if you’re on a budget. You can follow the Environmental Working Group’s “dirty dozen list” and just stick to buying organic the “12 dirty dozen” listed fruits and vegetables that are highly contaminated with pesticides, and the rest buy conventional.
You can find the list on the Environmental Working Group’s website. Click here to be directed there.
If you can’t afford to buy organic food at all, then just stick to non-organic produce and wash them well before you cook and eat them.You can even peel the skin of certain non-organic fruits such as apples and cucumbers before eating them.
The bottom line is eating healthy on a budget might require more planning by looking at different ways to shop and eat smarter but it’s all worth it now and in the long run. Never put a price on your health, you only have one body, take care of it and it will take care of you.
What are your thoughts? Share in the comment box.
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