Seven Tips to Eating Healthy While on a Budget
1) Use Coupons
By using coupons you can save a lot of money each time you go grocery shopping. This is especially helpful if you have a large family and purchase a large amount of groceries each month. Even, if there are only two of you, you can still save 20-30% off your grocery bill so that you can purchase healthier foods. I often find the more expensive foods, often have more coupons. It is because they know their food is more expensive and they want you to try it so that they can sell their product.
2) Shop at Farmers Markets
By shopping at farmers markets, not only are you supporting local farmers, but you are saving yourself money. It is cheaper because food does not have to get shipped, which saves money. Also, farmers take pride in their food and it is often more healthy and better quality. Ask the farmers if their products are organically grown, if they are, then you are getting affordable organic foods.
3) Don't buy packaged foods
Packaged meals, snacks, etc...tend to be more pricey because you are paying for convenience. For example, the 100 calorie packs range from $2.50 to $3. If you bought that same item and packaged it yourself (for portion control), you would get 3 times as much.
4) Buy in bulk
Costco, Sam's Club, etc...were invented to save you money. If you buy in bulk, you will save money. For example, if you bought hormone free chicken breasts, you could freeze the portion you do not use and save the rest for later.
5) Plan Ahead
It is very important to plan for the week. You can plan for grocery shopping, and prepare meals ahead of time so that you can save money and time. You can get your coupons together, grocery shop, and cook extra portions on the weekend. This way you won't be as tempted to spend extra money or buy unhealthy foods when you are in a hurry.
6) Eat in season
Have you ever noticed fresh fruit and vegetables are extremely expensive in the winter, but more affordable in the summer? By purchasing frozen fruits and vegetable when they are out of season, will save you money.
7) Buy whole foods
The more natural the foods, the healthier they are. Processed foods often are filled with high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils. There also may be ingredients listed, that you can not even pronounce. If you read these ingredients on the label, stay away. I would again, recommend that you buy whole foods at a farmers market. If they are not available in your area in the winter, try natural groceries stores. They tend to be more expensive, but by buying items only on sale, you can still save you money that you would normally be spending on processed, unhealthy foods.
Eating healthy on a budget does take preparation, but can be done. By using these strategies not only will you be on your way to losing weight, but it will not break the bank.
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