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Married couple looking at receipt to budget for healthy eating

How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

We’re all looking for ways to save money and eat healthy on a budget so, why do these rarely coexist? The common on-the-go lifestyle calls for convenience over well-planned grocery shopping and nowadays, grocery stores are such a hassle that after a long day at work, you’d rather pick up your favorite take out and relax. With a little planning and these tips, you can eat cheap, healthy meals and save yourself a trip on your 30-minute lunch break.

In this Healthy Insight:

Mom cooking from home with family to eat healthy on a budget

Money Saving Eating Tips for Your Budget

  • Cook at home
  • Plan your meals
  • Sales + Coupons
  • Don’t overlook generic brands and different cuts of meat
  • Grow your own produce and spices
  • Self control (don’t shop when you’re hungry)
  • Replace

Cook at home rather than go out to eat

Not only is this a good way to budget but you also know exactly what is going in your body and use healthy substitutions such as olive oil instead of butter or low-sodium versions of ingredients. Another benefit to this, you can cook enough to have leftovers and repurpose your meals.

Plan your meals and consider in-season foods

In-season foods are readily available and tend to be more affordable. Check out some recipes in our recipe center here, make a grocery list, buy in bulk and meal prep for the week. You can also utilize your freezer space to keep vegetables, certain meats, fruits, sauces and more.

Sales + Coupons

If you’re buying food you eat regularly and see a sign that says 1 for $4.99 and 2 for $6, budget yourself the trip and an extra few bucks, especially if it is freezer friendly. If it’s something you cook or cook with frequently, stock up.

If you shop at a popular grocery store, chances are they have an app that allows you to look at coupons and “cut” the ones you want to use. Apps conveniently store all your coupons in one place and allow the cashier to scan one bar code instead of 12.

Don’t overlook generic brands and different cuts of meat

Generic brands are cheaper and, most of the time, are highly comparable to brand name foods and ingredients. Don’t be hesitant to pick them up and compare.

Meat is usually one of the more expensive items in your cart. Instead of going for skinless, boneless chicken breasts, look for thighs or even cuts that have skin – you can always take it off later. With red meat, people tend to gravitate to tender, more delicate cuts. However, tougher meat cooked slower, such as in a crock-pot, becomes just as tender and flavorful.

Father picking produce with kids to eat healthy on a budget

Consider growing your own produce and spices

It may take some effort but, your grocery trips will be less frequent and expensive while ensuring you maintain a tasty, balanced diet.

Don’t shop while you’re hungry and exercise self-control

Shopping while you’re hungry is a perfect way to overspend and on items you either don’t need or are unhealthy – especially when you get closer to the checkout counter where tempting junk food prices tend to skyrocket and hurt your budget.

Replace

Instead of sliding through Starbucks on your way to work, you can buy the same coffee for much less and enjoy it in the company of your own home.

Beverages such as soda and juice may taste great, but they tend to be loaded with added sugars (even if it’s diet) and make up a good chunk of your budget. Since we’re supposed to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water, opt for water. If you are looking for something with a little more flavor, add lemon – it’s a great source of vitamin C, improves the quality of your skin and aids digestion.

Affordable Healthy Foods for Budget:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Popcorn (air popped and with olive oil instead of butter)
  • Grains and legumes
  • Certain canned goods
  • Eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Quinoa and almonds
  • Protein powder
  • Avocados

Multivitamins (+ Herbal Formulas) for Missing Nutrients

If you’re looking for a one and done daily multivitamin that supports your nutrition, fills the gaps, and doesn’t break your budget, then look for these key ingredients in the formula that may not get enough from food: Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, or Iodine.

Alternatively you can search for Formulas that contain a wide variety of Vegetable, Fruit, or Green Foods that provide key nutrients but are kind of difficult to consume the right amount of in a normal day.

If you’re still having a hard time getting the vitamins and nutrients you need, try our dietary supplements. They’re a great option to boost your healthy lifestyle efforts in a convenient form.

Browse Multivitamins

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