It's always a challenge trying to manage eating healthy on a budget.
As I look at the shopping carts around me, I was astounded at what many people survive on. It's amazing...really!
America's Abrams battle tank has an engine that will burn diesel, jet fuel, gasoline, kerosene... whatever they can find to dump into it.
Our bodies can burn ramen noodles and hot dogs for a while too. At a cost. Do it long enough, and it will cost you your health.
So what do we do, when we're on a budget, but still want to eat healthy?
Here's 5 ways to make it happen!
If you want to eat healthy, you will need to have fresh fruits and veggies in your diet. The challenge is that they can become very expensive for a family eating healthy on a budget. Fortunately this can be overcome by only eating fruit that is in season.
Fruits and veggies that have to be shipped long distance get expensive very fast. Produce grown locally (or at least in the same hemisphere), or produce grown in large quantities can be quite affordable. If you limit yourself to buying fresh, in season fruits and veggies, your grocery bill will drop quite quickly.
Naturally this means that at certain times of the year you'll be limited to apples, maybe oranges, and bananas. Carrots, onions, broccoli. Other times there will be peaches, and plums and berries.
Depending on your local market there may also be produce that is fully ripe, at a discounted price. As long as you eat it quickly, this can offer quite a savings as well. By shopping smart, you can follow the Healthy Eating Guide on a budget.
Meat can be a challenge to consume on a budget, but by selecting the right types and cuts of meat, you can make it much more affordable.
Many people actually go out an kill their own. Yes, they hunt. You need to develop a taste for wild meat (deer, moose, elk), and you have to leave the cave and go out and kill it, but it can be inexpensive.
If that's not quite your style though, then you'll be eating chicken, beef, lamb. By buying inexpensive cuts of meat, and preparing them in the right way, you can cut your meat bill as well.
There are a number of ways to prepare cheaper cuts of meat that makes them tender, and tasty. Check out our Heart Healthy Recipes page for tips, and recipes.
You can blow a bundle on snacks quite easily if you're not paying attention. If you're eating healthy on a budget, snacking is also the area where it's easy to fall off track.
There is one healthy snack, that can be quite inexpensive - fruit and veggies. Oranges, apples, bananas, carrots, celery, cucumber, cauliflower, broccoli, peppers... Easy to prepare, incredibly healthy, and relatively inexpensive (depending on the season.)
Nuts and seeds can be cheap, depending on season and availability, because you only need a few to fill in the cracks between meals. Keep an eye on the price though - these can become expensive quicky if there's a bad growing season.
Leftovers make an amazing snack and they can be put together fast. Making a little extra when you prepare supper can provide snacks, and even lunch the next day.
Okay folks. One word here... WATER. Put ice in it if you want. Anything else is really not particularly healthy. Learn to love water. Filter out the yucky taste with a Brita, or RO water system.
That being said - if you must - coffee and tea are cheap. You can make your own sun tea or iced tea quite inexpensively. If you're eating healthy on a budget, don't waste your money on juices, just eat the fruit.
The cheapest way to do desserts is to not have them. If money is an object, then put it toward your fruit/veggie/meat budget. Then have some fruit. Or a veggie. Or meat.
Dessert is just something you have after your meal, so if you're still hungry, have some more meal! Or if you need something sweet, devour a piece of sweet, juicy, fruit. (or if you really NEED dessert, you can always go to bible study, or join AA - they usually have cookies)
Combine all of these together, and voila! Eating healthy on a budget.