Many people struggle to consistently eat healthy because they’re on a budget. The reality is that in the US today, it costs $550 more per year to eat healthy, according to a recent study published in the British Medical Journal. This is why 55 percent of Americans feel “forced” to buy unhealthy food; they’re financially restricted.
In this post we’re going to give you 6 tips to help you eat healthy on a budget so that you can reach your health and fitness goals easily, without breaking the bank. Let’s get started!
1. Choose the grocery store carefully
According to Business Insider, shopping at Whole Foods is 30 percent more expensive than at Walmart, for the exact same products. Depending on where you live, here are some of the cheapest grocery stores in the US:
- Market basket
- Trader Joe’s
Do some research on what’s in your area, and only go to the cheapest store for your weekly grocery shop.
2. Plan meals in advance
It’s 7pm, you’re hungry, stressed and want something ASAP. Are you going to make a healthy home-cooked meal or stop at a drive-thru? Probably the second option right! That’s why it’s essential to plan your meals in advance.
The aim of planning healthy meals is two-fold: first – to ensure you stick to your calorie and nutritional targets. Secondly, to make sure your meals are low cost, rather than spending money on food while out. Check out this article by Nerd Fitness that offers an example meal prep you can follow!
3. Buy staple ingredients
The recipe you saw on Instagram might be super tasty, but buying 10 different ingredients is going to rack up the cost. Keep it simple by buying the same low-cost staple ingredients every week. Here are some of the cheapest, most nutrient-dense foods you can get:
- Broccoli – on average costing $1.64, providing nearly every nutrient you need
- Russet potatoes – on average costing $0.56 per pound, providing satiating carbohydrates and fiber
- Brown rice – on average costing $2 a pound, is a great complex carbohydrate source
- Canned fish – on average costing $2 for a 6 oz can, this is a cheap complete protein source
- Eggs – costing $2 a dozen, eggs are filled with protein and antioxidants
- Cottage cheese – costing $2 for 16 oz, providing protein and calcium
4. Buy frozen foods
Frozen foods are nearly always cheaper than refrigerated foods. You can get everything from frozen veggies to rice to chicken. Microwaving frozen foods is also a quick, easy way to meal prep if you hate cooking!
5. Buy in bulk
Buying food makes it cheaper. One study found that buying food in bulk can cost 87 percent less, which is substantial! Grocery stores like Aldi, Costco and Lidl have multiple bulk options, especially for some of the staple ingredients we mentioned in point 3.
6. Eat more plants
Plant based food items like grains, beans and legumes are extremely inexpensive, satiating and healthy. Using these to bulk out your meals can help you reach your fitness goals while also saving money on the more expensive items like meat.
We hope this has given you an insight into how you can eat healthy on a budget. Follow these 6 tips and reach your fitness goals while keeping your finances in check. Good luck!
Need some tips on budgeting? Try this