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Eating Healthy on a Budget: It’s Possible!

Written by: Therese (she/her)

2 min read | Published: October 10, 2023

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Don’t let a tight budget stop you from eating healthy. It’s easier than you think! With some smart shopping and cooking strategies, you can enjoy nutritious meals that won’t break the bank.

Plan Ahead

Like most challenges in life, planning ahead can save precious time and money. Taking time to plan your menu for the week will save you from overspending on impulse buys that we all fall prey to when grocery shopping on an empty stomach. For items that may be a staple in your meal planning, buying in bulk can also be a more affordable option. I use ground turkey in many of my favorite recipes. It can be prepared at the beginning of the week and used in a variety of meals like tacos, stuffed peppers, or a breakfast scramble.

Key Nutrients to Include

  • Get enough protein: Beans, eggs, and canned fish are great sources of affordable protein. They can be used as the main protein source in your meals.
  • Include whole grains: Whole grains like brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and quinoa are a great source of fiber and nutrients that keep you full and satisfied.
  • Stock up on lentils and potatoes: Lentils and potatoes are cheap, versatile staples that can be used in many dishes. They’re also rich in nutrients including potassium, fiber, and vitamin C.
  • Go green: Include plenty of leafy greens and colorful veggies in your meals. They’re packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Reduce Waste

Plan meals and snacks based on what you already have in your pantry and fridge. This prevents food waste and saves money. Get creative with leftovers – that chicken you made last night can be used in a fresh green salad today or a yummy stir-fry tonight. You’ll also want to make sure you’re storing food the right way to keep it fresh for longer. Try wrapping fresh greens in damp paper towels and storing them in airtight containers in the fridge so you don’t throw away so much at the end of the week.

Avoid Temptation

Soda and other sugary drinks can cost a lot — not only to your health, but also your wallet. Choose water or unsweetened tea instead. Prepackaged snacks are also often expensive and high in calories. Instead, make your own healthy snacks like roasted chickpeas or kale chips. And if you’re like me and can’t resist a sweet treat, try making some oatmeal raisin cookies at home or mixing up a colorful fruit salad for a sweet ending to your meals.

Stay Positive

It's important to remember this is a journey, not a destination. Eating healthy on a budget doesn’t happen overnight, but small changes can have a big impact on your health and your wallet. By incorporating these tips and strategies into your daily routine, you’ll be on your way to a healthier you — physically and financially — in no time!

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