We always hear the importance of eating a well balanced diet. But these reminders are usually followed by recipes and meal plans that would blow any budget out of proportion. Many people come up with excuses about their diet and why they can’t eat healthy. Whether they don’t have the money or they don’t have the time, we are here to show you how easy it is to eat a healthy, balanced diet while sticking to a budget! You can also click here to learn more about some of the ways to help keep yourself healthy. Here are our easy to follow tips that will have you eating right in no time!
Veggies, Veggies, Veggies
Vegetables always seem to be everyone’s biggest enemy when they try to eat healthier, but adding a few extra vegetables to your day can benefit your diet immensely. Vegetables not only have many of the important vitamins and nutrients our bodies need, but they also have a lot of fiber. This extra intake of fiber will keep you feeling fuller for longer, which can help lower your budget for between-meal snacks! Overall, vegetables remain a cheap option to help enhance your daily eating habits.
With today’s big food trends, we are not at all saying you have to become vegetarian or vegan to have a healthy diet. Eating a more balanced diet includes protein as well, and while there are many great sources of plant-based proteins, it is not necessary to cut out meat. What is important is to make sure your meals have plenty of vegetables added in, whether incorporated into the main entree or as a side dish.
Look For Cheap Deals
When going to the supermarket, it’s always good to have your eyes open for the best deals. Look for items that are close to the expiration date that you will use up quickly. Many times, there are Manager’s Specials on dairy, meat, and other options that will expire within a week. If you know you will cook the package of chicken breasts, or drink a half gallon on milk within the week, you can sometimes save up to 80% off of the normal purchase price!
Also, many people nowadays search for only organic fruits and vegetables. While this can be helpful to lower the amount of pesticides in your diet, there are many non-organic fruits and vegetables that have very little pesticide residue, sometimes even less than their organic counterparts! 16 of the most common fruits and vegetables you don’t need to buy organic are:
- Sweet Peas
- Sweet Potato
Eat In More
One of the biggest expenses in the US is how much people eat out. The average American spends over $230 per month on eating out. With the average price of just one meal out, you could easily make an entire week’s worth of lunches or dinners.
There has been a recent trend of doing food prep, which can help keep your budget in check! By making a large batch of food and packaging it for the week, you can have easy to take, cheap lunches for the week! Having these prepared meals, it can help you not feel the need to go out. Allowing yourself to go out for a meal won’t necessarily kill your budget, but cutting back from the average of almost 5 meals out per week to only one or two trips to a restaurant could save your bottom line!
In addition to the savings in your budget, cutting out restaurants will also help you cut calories for a healthier diet! On average, one meal from your favorite chain restaurant contains around 1,200 calories! While there are tips for lowering the calories in these meals, the calories within the meals are not necessarily the calories your body wants or needs to stay healthy. Again, it’s not bad to treat yourself to the occasional meal with your friends, but it is important to remember just that. Restaurants and eating out should be a treat!
Overall, it is not hard to help stretch your dollar while still eating healthy. By adding more veggies to your diet, searching out deals in your local grocery store, and cutting back on the amount you eat out, you can easily eat a healthy balanced diet, while still staying on budget!