Eating healthy is crucial for losing weight and maintaining proper nutrition. Many people think that eating healthy is expensive. Although some specialty health foods can be pricey, nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated or costly. Cooking at home is considerably less expensive than fast food and much healthier. Follow these tips to eat healthy on a budget.
Write a grocery list
Perhaps the number one tip to staying on a budget at the grocery store is to make a list ahead of time. And stick to that list. Make a meal plan and write down only the ingredients that are needed for that week. Often, people overbuy at the grocery store. The result is food that goes bad before getting used, which adds up to wasted money.
Snack before you shop
Going to the grocery store hungry is a recipe for disaster. Often, when people shop for food on an empty stomach, the result is an overabundance of impulse buys. Additionally, when someone gets too hungry, the tendency is to crave junk foods that are both bad for health and bad for a budget.
Opt for whole foods
Processed foods are typically more expensive than whole counterparts. For example, buying a block of cheese to shred at home is cheaper than buying pre-shredded cheese. Brown rice and oats are less expensive than processed cereals or snack bars. Whole foods are often also sold in larger quantities, meaning there are more servings per dollar.
Choose generic brands
Many products will have two versions sitting side-by-side on the shelf: the brand name and the generic version. Most of the time, the generic version is the same for a lower price. All food manufacturers are required to follow specific standards. Because of this, the off-brand product is often just as good as the brand name. Just make sure to read ingredient lists to verify that the quality is still the same.
Skip the produce section
Eating 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day has proven to help stave off many diseases, including some cancers. However, the produce section can be very expensive. New flash-frozen technology makes frozen fruits and veggies a much healthier and a better choice for the budget-conscious.
Shop in season
Although frozen options are typically cheaper, pay attention to what is in season. Opting for fruits and vegetables that are in season can be quite a bargain because of oversupply. Produce that is in the off-season has been transported around the world to end up in the grocery store. These fruits and veggies are considerably more expensive and have a very short shelf life.
Convenience costs more
When considering nutrition, the bottom line is that convenience costs more. Anything pre-packaged, microwaveable, or available at a drive-up window is generally going to be more expensive. Losing weight and improving nutrition involves some lifestyle changes. One of these changes is cooking at home more regularly.
Stick to your budget and lose weight
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be pricey. The savvy shopper can still get healthy food without breaking the bank. For more tips on improving diet and losing weight, speak with a healthcare provider.