One of the things that I hear most often from people is “I would eat healthier, but it’s just SO expensive!” While I give it to you that eating well can be a bit of a drain on the budget, I am also here to tell you that you can eat very well and very nutritiously without maxing out your budget. I’m sure you’re thinking, “Yeah, right?! How do you figure?” at this point, so I also wanted to share my simplest, easiest tips for eating healthy on a budget.
I’m not saying that you’ll be able to get the largest variety of foods following this kind of plan, but you will be able to avoid processed foods, incorporate more fruits and veggies, and opt for lean proteins, which are some of the basic principles of a nutritious diet. So, here they are – my “best practices” for eating healthy on a budget.
Simple, Easy Ideas for Eating Healthy and Staying on Budget
1. Create a Meal Plan and List
Creating your meal plan and list before you go to the grocery store each week is my single best tip for sticking to your nutrition plan AND your budget. If you do this one thing alone, you’ll save calories and money! To keep it even simpler, we usually have the same breakfast each morning, swap between a couple of lunch options, and plan 2 to 3 evening meals and have leftovers on alternative nights.
2. Stick with Staples
Sticking with some staple items is another easy way I save but am still able to get quality, nutrient-dense foods for us each week. I bulk up on less-expensive but still healthy, hearty foods to make up most of our diet and then splurge on one or two items here and there. A few of our favorites are apples, spinach, sweet potatoes, chicken breast, and ground turkey – all relatively sensible options. You can also find more ideas on this list!
3. Try Different Brands
Another way we save each week is by shopping alternative brands compared to some of the “brand name” or mainstream options. I’m honestly an Aldi shopper, so we save altogether by going there and choosing some of the Aldi brand products. But, even if you’re not an Aldi person (or don’t have one close by), you can save by trying different brands. Give your store brand items a try for things like yogurt, granola, and even frozen veggies, and I’m sure you’ll be surprised that you don’t really notice a difference on taste (but you definitely will on price)!
Seems simple, right? That’s because it is! Honestly, most people (me included) tend to complicate things, especially when it comes to making healthy changes in our lives. But, eating a balanced, nutritious diet doesn’t have to be hard, and it certainly doesn’t have to be expensive. Follow my foolproof tips to eating healthy on a budget, and you’ll be well on your way to incorporating better nutrition into your daily life without overspending!