In recent years it has become increasingly popular to eat healthy foods; from the growing obsessions with smoothies to acai bowls and veganism, it seems as though this trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Living a healthy lifestyle can be expensive, but there are some secrets to eating well on a budget.
1. Shop At Local Farms
The reason for societies growing need to eat healthier is probably because of constant research into what’s good and bad for our bodies. It’s no surprise that people want to live long and healthy lives. So nowadays fast food is out and vegetables are in. Some fruits and vegetables can be expensive in large supermarkets. So why not cut out the middleman and go straight to the source?
Find out where your closest farms are, not only will you be able to get your fresh produce at better prices but… who doesn’t want to spend the day strawberry picking in the summer? Save even more money with you-pick places! Take it a step further and grow your own vegetables and fruits.
2. Buy Frozen Fruits And Vegetables
Frozen foods have a bad reputation, which is undeserved. They’re actually healthy since the produce is frozen at the peak of its freshness and all the nutrients are locked in. The good news is that frozen fruit and vegetables are usually cheaper than their fresh counterparts and they last longer. Berries, in particular, spoil easily so they have to be eaten quickly, whereas frozen berries can be used throughout the week, and make great smoothies! Be careful to buy frozen foods that have no added sugars and additives though.
3. Plan Your Meals
First of all, make a plan of action, or more simply write a shopping list. People are usually under the assumption that meal planning is used for dietary regimes but what most people don’t realize is that it’s actually an easy way to save money. Plan your meals for the week, whether it’s in your diary or notepad, plan your main meals, including breakfast, lunch and dinner. You’ll see the benefits immediately. Not only will you end up wasting less food which means saving more money,which means saving more money, but you’ll also notice how you stick to a healthy diet, rather than eating whatever is in the cupboard. Oh, and you’ll generally save time, too, because you can work ahead on thawing items for the next day or doing early prep-work.
4. Cook Large Portions
Once you’ve bought all your healthy ingredients and planned out your meals, then consider making two (or more) portions every evening. You can put one portion in the fridge so you can take it to work the next day. This is a great way to eat well and save money simultaneously, as buying your lunch every day adds up. Especially if you work in a central location where there are no supermarkets, you’ll find yourself buying overpriced bland salads from a local coffee chain or restaurant. If you pack your lunch, you will end up being surprised at how much you save and the best part is, it takes no more extra time then it takes to cook your dinner.
While you’re at it, vacuum-seal a few portions for homemade “frozen dinners.” Read “5Baby Steps to Cooking Healthy Food.”
5. Your Local Supermarket At The End Of The Day
Many big supermarkets have a clearance or ‘last chance’ section, which they fill towards the end of the day. They often put a lot of fruits and vegetables that will soon expire in this section. The bad news is that these foods won’t last for long, but if you plan to eat them the same night, or next day then they will still taste fresh and will cost you a fraction of the price. This is a great way to top up your fridge without overspending.
6. Shop Online For Your Groceries
By shopping online you will be able to compare brands and products. It’s surprising how useful it is to be able to see a variety of brands on your screen, so you can pick the best product at the best price. When shopping in supermarkets you can find yourself wandering around for over an hour and you’ll more times than not, leave with twice as many things than on your shopping list. When you wasting less food which means saving more money,, the price of your basket is updated every time you add something, so you can monitor your spending and still get everything on your list. The most convenient part is that you can still get fresh produce delivered to your door.
If you were under the impression that you have to splurge in order to eat healthier, then you will be surprised at how affordable good food can be. Cutting back on processed foods is a start, then with a few tips and tricks, you’ll find your dietary habits changing without emptying your pockets.
Andrea Boffo knows about eating healthy! She is the CEO of PlusVoucherCode, a UK website that provides discount codes to save money on online purchases; I love her site and find it works for us Stateside, too!