How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

Eating the right foods can be a challenge, but it can be extra difficult when you’re already doing what you can to stretch a penny. It’s true: unhealthy junk foods are often more accessible and cheaper than their healthier alternatives.

If you’re wanting to switch over to a healthier diet and worried about it breaking the bank, fear no more. It is possible to eat healthy while on a budget, and here’s how.

Plan Meals
One easy way to save money while buying healthy foods is to plan your meals. Take time one day a week to figure out meals you can make from food already in your fridge or pantry. Decide what you’ll be eating for meals during the week and then stick to it.

If you really want to save a penny, scan through grocery ads and coupons before planning out your meals so you can save money while shopping for food you know you’re going to eat.

Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk almost always saves money, and healthy shopping is no exception. If a store has promotional sales going, stock up on healthy items which can be saved for later. Foods such as frozen fruits, vegetables, pasta and rice are easy to store and eat later. You save money while stocking up on delicious healthy foods which last a long time.

Drink Water
Drinking water is an excellent way to stay healthy while saving money at the same time. Water filters are cheap to buy and let you drink clean, better-tasting tap water for a fraction of the cost in contrast with bottled water.

Not only that, but drinking water from home helps you save money compared to more expensive drinks like soda pop or orange juice. Plus, it’s completely zero calorie and sugar-free.

Buy in Season
Food grown in season usually tastes better, is higher in nutrients and is often much cheaper than those out of season. If you’re a fruits and veggie lover, see what your local grocery store offers for seasonal promotions. If you find a good deal, consider stocking up on your favorite in-season goodies and freeze them for a later date.

Stick to the List
You’ve probably heard the saying, “Don’t shop hungry.” While this is usually just for fun, it’s also especially true for both your wallet and your waistline. If you’re looking to save money and eat healthier, stick to the grocery list you make before getting to the store.

If you realize you forgot items while you’re there, keep the list add-ons to a minimum. You can always go home and decide then if an item is really worth going back for.

Buy Local
Local farmers markets are useful places to shop if you want to eat healthy, save money and support your community. Check out local markets as often as you can for in-season produce and other food at a great price. Who knows? You may even find some steals the grocery store super-chain doesn’t even have.

Eat Leftovers
Finally, the best way to stretch your food dollar is to take advantage of leftovers. Don't let good food go to waste. Consider making a little extra for dinner and set a lunch-sized portion aside for the next day. Enjoying a meal at your favorite local eatery? Be sure to box some up and enjoy it for a second meal. When it comes to saving money and eating healthily, leftovers are a great way to go.

Healthy eating and penny-pinching don’t have to be mutually exclusive. If you’re interested in saving some money while shrinking your waistline, try out these tips for healthy eating on a budget. Get creative and stay positive. You can do it!