When you’re on a budget, healthy eating can seem like an impossible task. How can you buy enough fresh produce and whole grains when all your money is going toward rent and utilities?
- But eating well doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, there are many ways to cut costs while still enjoying nutritious food. Here are some tips for healthy eating on a budget:
- Use coupons. Check local grocery stores for coupons that match the items you need for dinner. You can also search online for coupon codes and discounts at specific brands or stores.
- Shop at discount grocery stores. Big-box retailers such as Costco, Aldi and Sam’s Club offer competitive prices on packaged foods, which makes them a great place to find deals on staples like rice and beans. They also offer bulk bins where you can get larger quantities of nuts, dried fruit, spices and other natural foods at lower prices than their prepackaged counterparts at regular grocery stores.
- Buy frozen produce instead of fresh produce when possible. Frozen fruits and vegetables cost less than fresh options because they’re processed right after harvest so they last longer without spoiling. Plus, they’re often flash-frozen right after being picked, so they retain more nutrients than prewashed or packaged produce.
- Buy in bulk. One of the easiest ways to save money is by buying in bulk, especially when it comes to meat and other protein sources. Buying meat in bulk is especially helpful if you’re trying to build muscle or if you like to eat a lot of protein-rich foods.
- Make your own meals at home instead of ordering takeout or going out for dinner. It’s often much more expensive to eat out than make food yourself, so try cooking at home whenever possible. If you do order takeout or go out for dinner every once in awhile, consider getting an appetizer instead of an entree so that you can save money without sacrificing portion size or quality ingredients.