Eating healthy is hard, especially if you’re on a budget. This is usually the reason why people tend to opt for the simple solution, which could be grabbing a doughnut at Tim Hortons or the Big Mac meal at McDonald’s (we are all guilty of this). Although a lot of us want to kick this unhealthy habit, the truth is that it isn’t always because it’s easier to grab the unhealthy food- it’s about cost.
When your budget is tight, meal planning and grocery shopping can have a lot of challenges. And, when you have a tight budget AND you’re dedicated to eating healthy, the truth is: it’s even trickier. To start off it is important to remember is that you don’t need to go on a diet to eat healthily, and you don’t need to break the bank doing it either.
SO, here are some ways in which you can eat a healthy for less!
1. Remember that to build muscle and lose fat, you need lots of healthy foods.
- Proteins to build & maintain muscle.
- Carbs for energy.
- Fruits & veggies for vitamins, minerals, and fibre.
- Water for hydration & recovery
= Healthy fats to help fat loss.
2. Buy Whole Foods
Unprocessed foods are cheaper and more nutritious than processed foods. They also give you total control over the ingredients. Avoid anything that comes from a box 90% of the time.
- Proteins. Ground beef, frozen chicken breast, tuna cans, calves’ liver, cottage cheese, plain yogurt, eggs, milk, whey
- Carbs. Pasta, rice, oats, potatoes, beans, apples, bananas, raisins, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, …
- Fats. Olive oil, fish oil, flax seeds, real butter, mixed nuts
3. Don’t let your class or work schedule dictate your meals.
It’s not always the easiest thing to eat your breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the exact same time every day. It is very likely that you have a long class that runs through lunch, or maybe have a late workday and you’re getting off later than usual. All of these things are okay, so it is very important to pack snacks here and there and always listen to your body. Simply meaning that, when you are feeling hungry, you need to eat!
4. Buy in Bulk.
Especially when you have promos running. Foods like pasta, rice, and oats are easy to stockpile. If they’re on sale, buy as much as you can afford & store to last you until the next sale. More ideas.
5. Beans and rice are a perfectly acceptable, cheap, and nutritious meal.
Beans and rice are actually acceptable sources of fibre and protein! This makes them great and affordable foods to stock up on.
6. Get your water from the tap!
Get a Brita pitcher and filter your tap water. It’s cheaper than bottled water, soda or orange juice. One filter cleans 40 gallons water and makes it taste a lot better. And remember to bring a water bottle with you everywhere you go, that way you stay hydrated and never feel the need to spend money on a beverage.
7. Clip Coupons & Get the Customer Card
Many grocery stores hold sales for customer card holders only. Some cards save AND give you money, like gift certificates once you’ve spent a fixed amount. Signing up takes 5 mins and is free. As well as invest time in your local paper and snip those coupons out of there.
8. Prepare Your Own Food
Cook all your meals for the day on waking up or before going to bed. It takes 30-40mins, saves you stress about what you’ll be eating the rest of the day and you eat healthy while saving money.
In conclusion, it is always important to remember the first rule of switching up your diet, which is, never beat yourself up if it takes you time to get the hang of it! The good news is that there are a bunch of different ways in which you can save money and your health all in one go. It may seem like an impossible task to go from the regiment you are used to, to now following some of the steps listed above. But if you say dedicated and set yourself some solid goals, the reward will NEVER disappoint.