You know it’s hard to eat healthy when it costs $1 for a burger and $6 for a salad. Though the terms ‘eating healthy’ and ‘on a budget’ aren’t often found hand-in-hand, eating better for less IS possible – it just takes a little know-how. That said, there are ways you can enjoy the advantages of eating healthy without the disadvantage of spending a fortune.
Here are a few easy tips I’ve used.
Buy in Season. Buy in Bulk
Ever noticed how cheap certain fruits like raspberries are in the summer and how expensive they are during the winter? Buying your fruit in season means it not only costs less, but it also tastes better. A lot of people suggest buying your fruit en masse and then freezing it for use throughout the year, but I think that takes an awful lot of planning. Instead, take a look at my last tip on canning foods to see how you can prolong the shelf life of certain foods.
In addition to buying your fruit and veg in season, buying certain items in bulk is another great way to save money. You’ll often find deals for non-perishable foods like rice and pasta. Stock up on these, as they have an extremely long shelf life. And remember: If you aren’t buying other necessities (like toilet paper or paper towels) in bulk, you’re doing it wrong.
Scour the Internet for Discounts, Deals and Coupons
You may think that using coupons is “passé”, but trust me; it’s not. There are literally thousands of different websites out there that offer great deals for free; you just need to know where to look.
Here are a few favorites:
Make it a habit to check these sites once a week, or sign up for their weekly newsletters for updates on deals and other offers.
Plan Your Meals at Last Two Days in Advance
Planning out your meals ahead of time is probably the biggest thing you can do to cut costs. Knowing exactly what to get, how much you need, and exactly when you need to buy more helps stave off impulsive (or worse, needless) purchases, which in turn helps you shop savvy for less.
This tip takes a little time to master, so you may want to start small and work your way up. I usually plan my meals out a whole week in advance, but if you want to take baby steps and start with two days, that’s fine too.
Save Money by Using Your Phone
Sounds crazy, right? Did you know last year Apple announced they had over 1 million apps in their app store? With such a broad range of apps, you’d be hard-pressed not to find at least one that tickles your fancy. There are apps for literally everything, including apps that can actually do all your budgeting for you.
Can Your Own Food
Much like buying in season, canning your food is another simple way to save money on expensive fruits and vegetables during the off season. Not only are canned fruits and vegetables cheaper, studies show that their nutritional value is as good as—if not better—than their fresh counterparts. Not familiar with how canning works? No problem! Take a look at this article on everything you need to know about canned food.
Whether you’re shopping for one or feeding an entire household, eating healthy on any budget IS possible if you follow the right steps. The more you plan and prepare ahead of time, the easier it is to buy the right foods at an affordable price.