You may have noticed that healthy foods can be a bit expensive, so if you’re on a tight budget, buying and eating the best foods can be financially challenging, especially when you’re also trying to manage a busy schedule.
But there are lots of great and easy ways to eat healthy food without spending a ton of money. If you’re trying to lose weight or simply just stay fit, but you’re also watching your finances, knowing how to shop can make or break your plan for healthy eating.
Here are 10 Clever Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget and Busy Schedule.
1. Shop Sales and Discounts
Like most people, you probably have a list of your favorite food items that you always buy and can’t live without it. If this is true for you, you should always try to stock up on those items when they’re on sale.
That can be tricky because fresh foods will naturally expire, and other foods have an expiration date. You know what you can consume in a particular period, so if you find some deals buy a little extra and save a little money.
2. Don’t Buy Junk Food
Life is short, and it’s okay to indulge on occasion, so everything in moderation right? Yes, but I don’t have to tell you how little you’re getting nutrition-wise when you eat junk food, which is more expensive and is always loaded with unhealthy ingredients offering very little nutrition value if any.
If you make an effort to limit your junk food intake as much as possible, you’ll probably be shocked at how much money you can save each month. When you have a busy schedule, it’s really easy to resort to some quick and cheap fast food, but for your health and your budget, you’re always better off resisting the temptation.
3. Buy In Bulk
If you can, this is a great way to save money on food lots of foods can be purchased in larger quantities known as bulk and are almost always sold at much lower prices than normal size quantities. When you buy certain foods in bulk, you can easily save lots of money.
Grains such as oats and brown rice are healthy and can be stored in larger quantities for a long time. The same is also true for dried fruit, beans, and nuts, which are all inexpensive and can be an essential part of many healthy meals.
4. Plan Your Meals Ahead of Time
Yes, I know you have a busy schedule, and it’s hard to plan, I get it. But if you get into the habit of planning your meals a week ahead of time and making a proper grocery list, then it makes the rest of the week much easier when it comes to eating healthy on the go.
Designate one day each week for meal planning and grocery shopping, and be sure to stick to your list and only buy what you know for sure you’re going to eat for that following week.
5. Buy Frozen Fruits and Vegetables
Sometimes frozen food gets a bad reputation because of the opinion that frozen is not as good as fresh but, this idea doesn’t apply when it comes to frozen vegetables and fruits. You may be surprised to learn that these frozen produce items hold the same nutritional value as their fresh counterparts.
Frozen fruits and veggies are often sold in large bags, which can be kept frozen for long periods of time and are often cheaper and less likely to go bad and also, they’re super convenient for a snack or a smoothie.
6. Prepare enough to have Plenty of Leftovers
If you’re single or find it difficult cooking for just one person, don’t worry, you’re in luck. If you plan accordingly, you can easily turn one hour of cooking into several quick and easy meals for later in the week.
Cooking bigger meals not only saves you time and money but it allows you to enjoy your leftover meals for lunches and dinners on the go. So if you’re on a budget and short on time, leftover meals are always the smart choice.
7. Buy Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables
I always look forward to the different times of the year when certain fruits and veggies are in season. I don’t know there’s something is exciting about enjoying the food that’s not always available all year round.
The best part is that seasonal fruits and veggies are usually cheaper and more nutritious at the times of year that they’re available, and feel free to stock up on your seasonal produce because, of course, you can always freeze what you don’t eat right away.
8. Cook at Home
I love going out to eat, and most of us do but cooking your meals at home is always the cheaper and healthier alternative. Besides, this is an excellent opportunity to prepare several meals for later in the week.
If you have a busy schedule, it’s always a more efficient use of your time to use a few hours on the weekend to prepare your meals for the rest of the week, and overall for the cost of one meal in a restaurant, you can prepare several or more meals for yourself at home.
9. Don’t Shop on an Empty Stomach
How many of us are guilty of this? We go to the supermarket when we’re hungry, then we buy a bunch of food that we don’t want or need. When we shop while we’re hungry, we get cravings and buy on impulse.
Always have a light meal or healthy snack before you go shopping for food. If you go there hungry, you’re likely to buy a bunch of stuff that’s not on your list and food that’s not necessarily healthy and not in your budget.
10. Make a List and Stick to it
When you go grocery shopping, always have a list and always stick to it. That will save you both time and money and will also help keep you on track when it comes to your nutritional choices.
Not preparing a list beforehand is probably the most common mistake people make, and it can cost you a lot of time and money. With all the available apps out there, you have no excuse for not having a list, so you can get in and get out very quickly.
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