The first time anyone decides to eat healthy, or to change his or her eating habits the first thought usually is “how can I possibly afford this?” I will be the first to admit that eating healthy can be expensive, but it can also be done on a tight budget. Every month we budget our food. If I get to the last week of the month and there is only $75 left in the budget, then that is all I can spend. Today, I am going to share some of my tips to help you eat healthy.
Buy produce that is in season!
In Massachusetts right now corn, broccoli, cherries, spinach, summer squash, and tomatoes are all in season to name a few. You can usually get 4-6 ears of corn for $1 at local farmers markets or grocery stores. Buy double that and that will give you 1 serving of veggies a day for at least a week. If you love a particular vegetable, but it’s not in season there are a few options. The first is to buy it frozen; the second takes some forethought and freezer space, but if you buy it when it is in season you can freeze it yourself. If you make your own tomato sauce, you can buy all your tomatoes in the summer and then make and jar as much sauce as you’ll need!
Try different cuts of meat!
At my local grocery store you can buy a whole chicken and the butcher will break it down and de-bone it for you, but save that bone and you can make a great soup or bone broth! Not all stores do that, so look for cuts that are less popular. Items like chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts. Also, for cheaper proteins you can rely on items like eggs and tuna, which I wouldn’t suggest to eat for every meal, but in a pinch could be easier on the wallet and save you some time.
Buy in bulk!
I make a sweet potato hash at the beginning of the week to have every morning for breakfast, so I buy a giant bag of sweet potatoes at Costco once a month. My only caution with this is that you don’t buy so much that something goes bad! You can do the same for meat. My local grocery store usually has bigger packages of chicken for a cheaper price per pound than if you were to buy 1-2 pounds. For example chicken thighs are $6.99/lb., but if you buy more than 3 pounds it is $3.99 per pound. That is a huge discount. When you get home separate the meat into separate freezer bags, and when you need more just take out the freezer bag.
Make large meals!
If you don’t get bored with food, make something like a batch of chili. Buy a ground meat (beef, chicken, turkey, etc.. whatever your preference may be) and use frozen veggies or stuff in season to make a large batch. You can either eat it all week, or you can freeze half and then when you meal plan another week, you can add something to your list that doesn’t require you to spend any money.
I am sure there are many more tips on how to eat healthy on a budget, and like meal planning and prepping it takes time and practice.
Mom of 3, wife, business owner, ballet teacher and fitness instructor. Trying hard to raise healthy, happy and grateful children while running the studio of my dreams. Trying to stay FIT, flexible, stylish and take care of myself in the process!