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Healthy Eating On a Budget: 7 Easy Ideas

1. Plan your meals
Planning your meals is a great way to make sure you are eating healthy on a budget. When planning your meals, make sure you are including all the food groups and getting the nutrients your body needs.
One way to plan your meals is to create a grocery list that includes all the healthy foods you want to eat for the week. Another way to plan your meals is to meal prep. Meal prepping means making ahead some or all of the food you will eat during the week. This can save you time and money because you can cook in bulk and have food ready to eat when you need it.

When you take the time to plan your meals, you are more likely to stick to your budget and eat healthy foods. Planning ahead can help you save money and time, and it can also help you make better choices for your health.

2. Eat seasonally
Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to eat healthy on a budget. Seasonal produce is typically cheaper than out-of-season produce. Plus, it tastes better! When fruits and vegetables are in season, they are at their peak of freshness and flavor.
Eating locally grown produce is another great way to eat healthy on a budget. Local produce is typically cheaper than imported produce. Plus, it supports local farmers and businesses.

In general, whole foods are going to be healthier for you and your wallet than processed foods. Processed foods also tend to be less nutritious. So, focus on filling your plate with healthy, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains

Besides, eating what’s in season also helps promote local farmers, which generally contributes to your local economy.

Buy perishable foods in quantities you’ll use. Always buy fresh produce you can finish within a week to avoid wastage and loss of money. If you have to purchase produce for more than a week, you better go for frozen versions.

3. Avoid wastage
One of the best ways to eat healthy on a budget is to waste less food. According to the USDA, the average family wastes about 25% of the food they buy. That means that for every $100 you spend on groceries, you’re wasting $25 worth of food.
There are a few simple ways to avoid food wastage. First, make sure you’re only buying what you need. That means making a list before you go grocery shopping and sticking to it. Second, learn how to properly store your food so it doesn’t go bad as quickly. This includes things like keeping fruits and vegetables in the fridge, freezing vegetables and fruits, and so on.

4. Cook at home
Income can be a barrier to buying and preparing healthy meals. But if you have time or can spare some, cooking at home is the most effective and healthy way to eat on a budget.

With good planning, there are things you can do to make cooking at home easier, enjoyable, and most importantly, cost-effective.
For instance, pick a day each week to plan your meals for the upcoming week. Make a list of the groceries you’ll need for each meal but first, take a look in your fridge and pantry and make use of what you already have. If you have anything at home that can substitute what you had written on your list, go for it. Using what you already have will also help prevent spoilage and food wastage.

5. Stick to your grocery list
It’s easy to get attracted to other things you didn’t include in your grocery list. But unless it’s something you genuinely forgot to write down, always stick to your list to avoid unintended purchases and expenses.

And the fact that you didn’t write it down means it’s not really important, and you can comfortably do without it.

6. Buy non-perishable items in bulk
You can get items such as dry legumes and dry fruits or whole grains from online retailers like your local store’s website or Amazon. Also check out warehouse stores and grocery stores that sell in bulk. This will help you buy what you need, and in case they have free delivery, it will save you on gas and time. However, ensure you countercheck the expiry dates and avoid anything with a short expiration date.
7. Avoid prepared foods:
Even if you feel like ready-made foods will be a quick alternative to cooking, avoid them at all costs unless you have planned to spend more on such foods. Besides, ready-made foods may not be necessary if you are in a position to prepare a healthy home-cooked meal.

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