Eating Healthy On a Budget Healthy Eating Guidelines That Work
For many, the thought of eating healthy on a budget may seem daunting. While this may often be the case, there are a number of things a person can do to enjoy healthy foods while not breaking the bank at the same time. Use these healthy eating guidelines to your advantage.
- Prepare Your Own Food - Possibly one of the most important things you can do when transitioning to eating healthy on a budget is to prepare your own food. As many people know, the cost of buying prepared food is typically much higher than preparing it yourself. This is even more the case when dealing with healthy foods.
Buying raw ingredients is the cheapest way to make food because you remove the middleman or the food processor. It also allows you to create multiple meals at once, tailor each meal to your specific tastes, and leave out expensive ingredients to help lower the cost of each meal.
- Grocery Shop Sunday Through Tuesday - Most grocery stores run their biggest sales of the week starting on Sunday and typically end on Tuesday. While this technique does not only apply to healthy eating guidelines, anyone shopping at a grocery store will receive better pricing on average when frequenting on these days.
- Shop With a List - Studies show that people who shop with lists, on average, spend less money at the grocery store because they know what they are looking for and do not buy what they do not want or do not need. It also prevents people from walking up and down every aisle and making multiple impulse purchases.
Household staples, such as milk and eggs, are typically found toward the back of the store which requires people to walk through all of the higher-priced, prepared food items. By shopping with a list, a person is more likely to go straight to the item they need rather than browsing through the items they do not.
- Buy Meat in Bulk - When healthy meat items are on sale, it is best to buy in bulk and freeze any extras. If you are diligent, eating healthy on a budget could mean top sirloin, chicken breasts, and fish. These are easily stored in the freezer for a couple of months before needing to be eaten. This trick can be used for frozen vegetables as well.
If you have limited freezer space, chest freezers oftentimes be purchased at big department stores such as Sears or Wal-Mart, and even hardware stores like Home Depot for around $100. And by storing your freezer in the coolest part of the house (often the garage) you can cut down on the electricity needed to keep your food frozen.
- Buy Vegetables in Season - 50 years ago you had no other option but to buy vegetables that were in season. With modern advancements in agriculture, it is common to see the same vegetables in the grocery store all year around. In order to accomplish this, grocery stores must have fruits and vegetables shipped in from other parts of the country and/or world. The additional cost is passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices. If you stick to vegetables and fruits that are locally in season, the cost will typically be much lower resulting in helping your quest to be eating healthy on a budget.
- Check Local Farmer’s Markets - While the cost will not always be lower at a farmer’s market, you can find great deals when buying in bulk from local growers. You will also be getting the freshest and healthiest fruits and vegetables. If you frequent a farmers market on a regular basis and form a relationship with some of the growers, they will often extend to you discounts for regular orders. If you have bought from the same person multiple times and they have not offered a discount, do not be afraid to ask.
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Eric Stauffer is a personal finance writer and small business advocate. His website CardPaymentOptions.com reviews companies and assists small business owners with merchant service contract negotiations.
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