We know the struggle is real. You have great intentions of eating healthy, but the convenience and price of fast food reels you in every time. And let’s face it; a greasy hamburger is a lot more satisfying than a kale salad. Positives aside, eating that McDonalds burger and fries isn’t getting you any closer to a healthier you. Price can be a big contributing factor to losing the battle against fast food, as many healthier food options are actually more expensive. To help guide you toward budget friendly, healthier eating, we have compiled a list of money saving tips.
So this is the part where convenience goes out the window (sorry). Eating healthy needs to be looked at as part of your lifestyle, which means you have to be dedicated to preparing your meals instead of racing through a drive-thru window. Planning your meals ahead of time makes budgeting a lot easier as you have more control over what you’re spending per meal. Plan to make foods like stews, casseroles, or stir-fries, which stretch more expensive items like meat into more portions.
Buy in season
Not only are the prices for fruits and vegetables cheaper when bought in season, but also fresher, adding to a better taste. An issue of concern with buying fruits and vegetables for a lot of shoppers is that the items will ruin. If you think that you won’t be using certain fruits or vegetables right away, buy ones that aren’t fully ripened yet. You can also freeze any leftover fruits and use them later for a smoothie.
Cut out the snacks
We don’t mean all snacks, just those unhealthy vending machine snacks that catch your eye between lunch and dinner. Sodas and sugar filled treats not only are extremely unhealthy for you, they also add up in cost. Instead, try making your own healthy snacks. Items like nuts and yogurt are great to hold you over till the next meal and are super cheap when buying in bulk.
It’s going to hit your bank account hard at first, but in the long run you will spend less on groceries leading to savings. Items like chicken, steak or fish, as well as large bags of potatoes and frozen vegetables will almost always be cheaper to buy in bulk. Even if you don’t think you’ll use them all in a week’s time, you can always freeze these items and use for the next week.
Start a garden
It’s a lot easier than you might think to grow your own food, and the savings are big for this one. If you’re going to eat healthy, fruits and vegetables are a must for your diet, so you can expect to spend money on these items. So let’s break it down. The average cost for a pound of organic tomatoes is $4.00. The cost to buy a potted tomato plant at Home Depot that will produce 8 pounds of tomatoes costs $4.98. Yep, that’s a lot of savings. And don’t think you need a back yard to have a garden. You can find multiple tutorials online on how to create window vegetable gardens for those living in an apartment or condo.