We’d all love to eat more healthily, but so many healthy options can be so expensive! But eating well not only helps us lose weight and feel good, it can make positive changes to our long-term health.
In reality, eating well can be less expensive than you might think. You don’t have to shop at specialty health food stores or buy lots of pricey, exotic foods to eat and feel better.
Here are 6 easy ways you can eat healthily on a tight budget:
1. Choose the Right Pantry Staples
Many of our healthy, whole-foods recipes still include foods like canned tomatoes, vegetable or chicken broth, and dry goods like beans and rice. These foods keep in the pantry for a long time, so you can stock up when they’re on sale.
Another way that having the right pantry staples can help you save money is in meal planning. If you plan meals that share common ingredients, you can reduce the chance that what you have will go bad before you can use it up.
2. Freeze It
Your freezer can do you a world of good when it comes to preserving food before it spoils. Leftovers, sauces, herbs and spices, fruit, vegetables, meats – even dairy products such as cheese, cream cheese, and milk – can be frozen for three to six months before spoiling.
3. Go Meatless
Buying a lot of meat can make your grocery bill go up quickly. Try incorporating some vegetarian dinners into your meal plan each week to cut back on cost. Many vegetarian dishes like our Cauliflower Stir-Fry, Crispy Chickpea Cakes with Cabbage Salad, and Old-Fashioned Vegetable Soup taste great and are packed with nutritious and low-cost ingredients you can find at any grocery store.
4. Buy Seasonal Fruits and Veggies
Produce is less expensive when it is more plentiful, so you can save money by buying fruits and veggies when they are in season. As a bonus, this is when they are healthiest, too! Check out 6 Ways to Eat Fruits and Veggies on the Cheap for more ideas on how to save on produce.
5. Eat Leftovers
Most of us don’t look forward to eating leftovers, but it is one of the best ways to make sure you get the most out of your groceries. The good news is that most leftovers will last 3 to 4 days in the fridge, so you don’t have to eat the same meal two days in a row if you don’t want to. On the bright side, eating leftovers gives you a break from putting in the time and effort to make another meal from scratch, and it keeps you away from fast food.
6. Drink Water with Your Meals
In addition to adding extra calories (or, in the case of diet drinks, chemicals) to our meals, drinks like soda, juice, tea, and coffee cost extra money, too. Try getting an inexpensive water filter and keeping a pitcher of refreshing, cold water in the fridge to drink with meals. You’ll see savings in your wallet and improvements in your health. For more information about the benefits of drinking H2O, check out 4 Reasons Why You Should Drink More Water.
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