It is a common misconception that eating healthy is an expensive lifestyle. Granted, there are some expensive options out there, but you don't need to spend all your money to maintain a healthy diet. You'd be pleasantly surprised by how many different ways you can eat healthy on a budget. Certain tips can be very helpful in these trying times when so many people's livelihoods have been affected. If this is your case, but you're still committed to maintaining a nutritious diet without breaking the bank, then try practicing the following tips.
Importance Of Eating Healthy
The saying goes, "You are what you eat," and this couldn't be more accurate! The nutrients you acquire in your food are responsible for how well your body is sustained. Fats and carbs are the fuel that keeps your organs going. Proteins are the building blocks for many structures in the body such as your muscles. Vitamins and minerals are involved in many chemical reactions in your metabolism. One of the benefits of eating healthy is it helps us control our weight and, as a result, prevents many chronic conditions such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes mellitus. Good nutrition helps strengthen our immune systems, which couldn't be more important in today's world since this helps us fight off infections more efficiently .
Plan Your Meals
A great way to start saving money while eating healthy is to plan your meals for the week. This will help you know exactly what you need before going to the grocery store. You should also make an inventory of your kitchen to avoid buying foods you already have. Once you get to the grocery store, try to abstain from buying things that aren't on the list; caving in and buying unnecessary snacks/junk food could increase your monthly expenses. Furthermore, make sure you use all the groceries you buy before they spoil to avoid throwing food away. In many households, a significant percentage of groceries are thrown away, which could represent a good chunk of your budget.
Preparing meals at home will help you abstain from eating out. Even though it's enjoyable and convenient, eating out (or ordering in as many of us are now becoming accustomed to) is significantly more expensive than cooking at home, and these meals tend to be very rich in sugars and fats that are not good for your body .
Buy Affordable Healthy Food
Sticking to whole foods is a fantastic way to keep your grocery shopping trips affordable. These include whole grains such as oats, brown rice, and quinoa, to name a few. Options like these are much healthier than their counterparts like commercial cereals and white rice. Also, they can be bought in bulk, which almost always ends up saving you money in the long-run.
In most healthy eating plans, people tend to increase their protein intake. As any adult who buys their own groceries knows, this can be very expensive when the source of the protein is meat. However, other more affordable foods are also rich in protein and can serve as a meat replacement. Examples of such foods include eggs, lentils, beans, peas and cheese .
Choose Your Fruits And Vegetables Wisely
Doctors always recommend increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables. But that's easier said than done when you are on a budget. Consider buying produce that is in season in your region, meaning that it does not have to be transported from distant places. Included in the price tag of fruits and vegetables is the delivery cost, so doing a bit of research on the agriculture of your local area could potentially lessen the sting at the checkout line. Do not hesitate to buy frozen vegetables and fruits, such as berries and broccoli. They may be frozen, but they are just as nutritious as buying fresh and are considerably cheaper. Buying frozen also eliminates the worry of having to use freshly bought produce quickly since they will not spoil .
Stay Away From Processed Foods
One of the reasons why people spend so much money trying to eat healthier is that they buy many processed foods such as protein bars and sugar-free snacks. While these can be delicious and help satisfy cravings, they are very expensive. Instead of buying these 'healthy' alternatives, consider looking for recipes online that you can prepare at home at a much lower price. One last piece of advice before we conclude, stick strictly to water; you can buy a gallon of water for less than a dollar, which is a lot cheaper than a 12-pack of diet sodas. Only drinking water can do wonders for the human body, especially when you consider that we are primarily made of it.
Good nutrition is possible while staying on a budget, just stick to a healthy eating regimen and plan wisely before heading to the store. Aside from all these tips, try to identify habits that make you spend more money than you should, such as buying coffee when you could have made some at home. Eating healthy requires work, but as long as you have the will, there's always a way.
 Jan Annigan. (2018). "Why Is Eating Healthy Important?" Sfgate.com, San Francisco Chronicle, 12 December 2018, https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/eating-healthy-important-7166.html.
 Adda Bjanardottir. (2017). "19 Clever Ways to Eat Healthy on a Tight Budget." Healthline.com, Healthline, 3 June 2017, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/19-ways-to-eat-healthy-on-a-budget#section3.
 Heather Levin. "How to Eat Healthy on a Budget?" Moneycrashers.com, Money Crashers, https://www.moneycrashers.com/eat-healthy-on-a-budget/.
 Kelli Foster. (2019). "10 Foods That Actually Help Me Eat Healthier on a Budget." Thekitchn.com, Kitchn, 1 January 2019, https://www.thekitchn.com/foods-that-actually-help-me-eat-healthier-on-a-budget-264933.