Healthy eating on a budget. That’s the big goal for most of us isn’t it? We all want to eat healthier to BE healthier all without breaking the bank. Am I right?
Well I have a secret to tell you a secret that has been hidden away for a long time. You can eat healthy on a budget. Yes, I know it’s hard to believe! We’ve all heard those people who poo poo the thought of eating healthy while saving money. But it’s possible!
If fact, I would argue that eating healthier is actually cheaper if done right. As long as you don’t go crazy with health and super foods.
I hate how people are held back from living a healthier lifestyle. Purely from the fear of how expensive it looks. You might see those health gurus on Instagram and think ‘I can’t afford to live like that!’. Well I have another secret to tell you. Neither can I!
In fact, most people don’t live like that! Most people who eat and live healthy lifestyles don’t consume spirulina powder and moon milk on the daily! That stuff just isn’t budget friendly and dare I say even very useful.
So, if you want some tips on healthy eating on a budget. Then keep reading because I’ve got eight rules for you!
And if you want more reading material on eating healthier. You should head on over to this article on Unique Ways to Eat Healthy in 2020.
Healthy Eating on a Budget Rules
Now don’t let the word rules turn you off! These rules are very flexible and bendy. Not at all a perfect science or at all restrictive.
These are just little reminders to help you better plan, prepare and shop for your healthy grocery trip. All being simple and budget friendly of course. They can be adapted to your lifestyle.
Whether you are a college student, single, a couple or if your shopping for a full family! These rules are still adaptable to you.
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1. Meal Plan
I love me a good meal plan! I don’t know how people even manage to grocery shop let alone eat without one. And if your like me and are obsessed with notebooks and planners then this meal planner is for you!
Walking into a grocery store with nothing but a mental list of things that you have run out of is a risky thing to do. Let alone a very ineffective thing to do if you want to eat healthy while staying on budget.
Meal planning allows you to pick out recipes and meals beforehand. So that you know exactly what to get and how much of it. Drastically cutting down on your grocery bill as you only buy the necessities.
Meal planning also encourages healthier eating. As you can plan to make those healthy recipes that you saved over the weekend!
If you want a detailed shopping guide for a plant-based shopping trip. You should check out Eating Plant-Based’s Beginners Plant-Based Grocery Shopping Guide!
2. Shop Your Cupboard
This is a vital rule in cutting back your grocery bill. Don’t plan your meals or go grocery shopping before you have shopped around in your cupboards to see what you already have.
There will be weeks where you can almost live entirely off of the food that you already have in your house! You know, all of that rice and pasta and canned goods. Not to mention what’s been hiding away in your freezer.
Sometimes we can be real pack rats and store up way more food than we actually need. Use that to your advantage and plan your meals according to what you already have that needs to be eaten up.
3. Decide on a Budget
You can’t shop on a budget until you’ve decided on the budget, so this step is very important if you want to avoid over spending.
Look at your past grocery trips, how much did you spend on average? How much of that food want to waste, was forgotten or ended up being added to your already full kitchen cupboards?
Figure out how much excess you usually spend and subtract that to get a realistic budget that allows you to get everything that you need. While taking away the ability to overspend on unneeded items.
There is an abundance of apps for these kinds of budget plans if you want to go that route to simplify the process.
This Simply Vegan Cookbook might be right up your alley if your trying to eat healthier plant based meals.
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4. Take Your Time Shopping
Now this can be a real game changer for the person who usually fly’s through the process of grocery shopping!
If you really want to save money and get the best deals possible you are going to have to slow down and look. Those price tags are pretty small and if you aren’t paying attention you could be passing up some great deals.
Look at what you normally buy and try a cheaper option. The worst that can happen is that you don’t like it. But if you do like it then there you go! You will continue to save money buying that item all because you stopped long enough to look at better prices.
Shopping on a budget often comes down to just picking out the cheaper option instead of flying through the isles just grabbing what you need.
5. Shop Smarter
Whether your single, married or a family of six we could all do to shop a little smarter. And by shop smarter I mean deciding when buying bigger quantities will save you money.
I know that we all hate to pay more for a bigger bag of rice or for the ten pounds of frozen vegetables over the five-pound bag. But you have to think of the end goal which is to save money. Sometimes that means spending a few dollars more on certain items.
if you know that you are going to need to buy rice next week because a smaller bag won’t last then buy the bigger bag. Usually greater quantities are cheaper in the long run and as long as it’s something that you generally need it will usually save you money.
This is another area where meal planning comes in handy. So don’t delay in treating yourself to this meal planner!
6. Follow Sales
Another important money saving ruler to keep in mind is to follow sales. Of course, I also have to mention the importance of not buying things just because they are on sale. A sale is supposed to save you money not take away.
Try to follow your grocery stores monthly and weekly sales. Look them over before you make your meal plan because you can plan according to what’s on sale if you find foods that you would normally buy.
Sales are also a good time to shop smarter A.K.A. stock up on items that you would normally buy at average price.
7. Shop for Your Lifestyle
We all know that the main goal of eating healthy is to have a balance and to eat plenty of vegetables and fruit. But that isn’t going to look the same for everyone.
If you travel a lot or work long days maybe canned goods and frozen vegetables would be the better option for you. If you have the luxury of being at home or working shorter days, then you can buy more fresh produce.
It’s all about catering to your lifestyle because eating healthy isn’t a one size fits all.
Some fruits and vegetables that I would recommend to anyone for having a long shelf life is potatoes, carrots, onions, squash and celery. For fruit you can get apples and oranges. These fresh foods have pretty long shelf lives and will usually stay good until you get the chance to eat them.
Would you be interested in this Simply Vegan Cookbook to help you better meal plan for your lifestyle? If so grab one now while they last!
8. Plan a Treat
Number one rule for sticking to a healthy food budget is to plan a treat sometime in the week. Don’t just rely on your planned-out meals pick out a treat at the grocery store or find a recipe for one.
Without something special you will end up caving in and not only eating something unhealthy but also breaking your budget. If you plan for a treat you can pick out a healthier option that fits into your budget.
Something that can curb those cravings and give you something to look forward to!
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard or difficult and definitely not expensive! After a few grocery trips using these methods I’m certain that you will be able to see the difference.
Junk food cost more money in the end and is never going to supply your body with the fuel that it needs to work properly and feel good. Processed foods are just knock offs and not satisfying like the real thing.
It only takes a little effort and you will be eating healthier and saving more money and it will leave you wondering why you didn’t start using these rules sooner!
If you are looking for some meal planning inspiration then check out Fit Mitten Kitchen’s 21 Healthy Plant-Based Meals.
You could also read this article on Why am I Always Hungry on a Plant-Based Diet for even more food related inspiration.
And be the first to grab yourself one of these meal planner to help you give your grocery shopping routine a makeover!