Healthy food―salads, no fries, high fiber diet, no fatty oils, whole grain wheat, no preservatives ... and the list could go on and on. With so much furor going up and about and so much stress placed on eating healthy and eating right, I'm guessing everyone pretty much has some idea about what healthy foods are. Which is a very, very good thing. And even if you aren't aware, we'll get to that in the following article. But that is not the problem. The problem is, what if we have a fixed budget and we need to still consume healthy food within that budget? Does it mean that we have to kiss our healthy diet plan goodbye and resort to unhealthy food choices? No! We don't have to do that. It's just that you need to become aware of the kind of healthy food choices that you can make with a limited budget, and how to plan for the same. If you could just start reading then, we'll take you through some of these tips and tricks on following a healthy food diet on a limited budget.
Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget
Understanding the Basics
It is very important to know the basics of what makes up healthy foods before planning. Basic foods are those that include something from the basic food groups―vegetables and fruits, lean meats, dairy, carbohydrates, sugars, and the like. Understand this aspect so that you do not leave out any of these food groups when planning a healthy diet on a budget.
Avoid Impulse Buys
Planning is an essential part of how to eat healthy food on a limited budget. Calculate your budget and then make a note of how much you can spend on food. For this, making a list of your requirements is important. If you can, plan for an entire week and then buy in bulk which will come out to be cheaper than buying small quantities many times over. Once you make that list, stick to it. Do not go shopping when you're hungry or bored. That way you're just going to get tempted to buy things that you don't need and cut into your budget. So plan in advance and buy accordingly.
Buy Natural Foods
It is always cheaper to buy natural foods than those that have been pre-packaged. For example, buying whole cabbage and then shredding it for your salad instead of buying a shredded and packaged cabbage pack. Similarly, making your own cereal bars instead of buying a huge pack is cheaper. That's because the cost of packaging is cut out and you save more money there.
Prepare Your Own Meals
Maybe you have the theory right and you go out to eat at all these salad places. So yes, you are eating healthy, but you are spending on eating out, aren't you? Prepare the salads yourself. All foods for that matter. Cooking your own food works out cheaper, plus they are healthier because you know exactly what you're eating.
Tap Wholesale Markets
Another important and often ignored tip is that you shop in farmer's markets or wholesale markets. Not only is the middle cost cut out and you get something for cheaper, but it is much more healthy because it is not treated with pesticides and other chemicals.
Concentrate on Seasonal Produce
Seasonal produce is less expensive because those fruits and vegetables are produced in bulk and therefore the cost is put out on less. Moreover, they are healthier to eat. For example, think about it, watermelons, muskmelons etc come out in the summer because it is nature's way of providing for more water.
Grow a Vegetable Garden
If you have the space and the facility to make it happen, grow a vegetable garden. That way you can grow a wide range of vegetables and fruits for yourself and will be ensured that they are as healthy as they can get.
Meats for Special Occasions
Even though meats might be a favorite choice for many to make, they are also some of the most expensive foods that there are. Add to that the fact that constant consumption of the same is not good for one's health. Thus limiting the intake of meats and using them on only special occasions is a great choice. And when you do, try and cook your own meals instead of ordering in.
Some Food Choices
- Eggs are a healthy food choice and are some of the least expensive items.
- Pulses and Legumes for salads is another choice to look into.
- Using pepper and other spices like Rosemary, oregano or chilly flakes is a great way of flavoring your breads and salads instead of buying the ready-made salad dressers.
- Beans is one other very cheap and very healthy food choice to make.