Eating healthy is a challenge in itself. But, it can be especially challenging when junk food is so inexpensive, and it seems like buying healthy food will break the bank. If you are grocery shopping on a budget, it can be very tempting to buy previously prepared foods and other cheap junk food. But, with some planning, it is possible to stick to healthy food options and stay on your budget. To learn how to do this, read on.
Changing Your Food Mindset
Everyone falls into the trap of justifying the purchase of unhealthy food. Why spend $5 on a head of lettuce and tomato when you can get a double cheeseburger and fries at a fast food chain for the same price? Why buy one eggplant when you can buy a whole frozen dinner for the same price?
Changing these purchasing practices is about changing your mindset about what you eat. The truth of the matter is that while it might seem like paying for fresh produce and healthy cuts of meat is expensive, it is in some ways still cost effective. These foods have a much higher nutrient density than sugary or fatty fast food. Ultimately, you will feel more full from eating healthy foods than from eating foods with empty carbs, lots of fat, and lots of sugar. This means that you can eat less and still feel full, which can save you money in the long run.
Another aspect to consider is the “cost” of filling your body with unhealthy foods. While financially it might make more sense to eat foods that are unhealthy but cheap, in the long run this is not the case. Eating this way will increase your health issues as you age. Not only will this result in money spent on doctors visits and treatment, but it will also reduce your quality of life. Changing your mindset about foods and committing to healthier eating can improve your life in many ways.
How to Eat Healthy on a Budget
While eating healthy might sound great, you need practical steps that you can put into practice. Here are a few tips on how to eat healthier on a budget.
- Determine your budget and make a grocery list. Keeping track of your budget and sticking to it by making a list will help you commit to healthy options. If there is an issue with the budget, you can sort it out before you get to the store and make sure that you stay on your budget.
- Consider your fruit and vegetable options. Buying fresh produce is not unreasonably expensive, but there are cheaper options. If you are on a tight budget, consider buying frozen or canned fruits or vegetables. As long as this produce was frozen or canned without added ingredients, such as sodium, they are healthy and cheap options.
- Buy in bulk. Buying food in bulk can help you save a little bit of money. For example, buying a big package of chicken and using it in different ways throughout the week can save some money.
- Shop the sales. There are usually great sales on fresh produce and healthy cuts of meat. Plan your list for the week around these foods to save some money while eating healthy.
These are a few options for eating healthy on a budget. For more nutrition assistance, you can contact our office.