How to Eat Healthy on an Extremely Low Budget
For some people, the words “healthy and budget” may sound like an oxymoron! I assure you it is quite possible to create and maintain healthy eating habits, when the budget is tight! I can say this with great certainty due to a personal experience with the same. As a single mother, I was informed that my daughter was borderline ADHD and the all too famous, Ritalin was highly suggested. I have never been fond of medications, and chose to review her food and beverage intake instead. I initially made the changes for her, however, soon made changes for my entire family.
First and very important your shopping begins at home. You must have a working knowledge of what you need, what you want and what are your non-negotiables. Consider every meal and snack for the week; if it helps, use an excel spread sheet to break it down. What will your family eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next 7 days? Once you have that completed, make a list of all ingredients. I strongly suggest, finding recipes that utilize most of the same ingredients.
Whether you shop at fruit markets, supermarkets or your warehouse retail stores, there is something to keep in mind when shopping. Always look at the unit price. Shoppers tend to rush through the process and see only the retail price, however, further investigation can bring awareness to the “real pricing”.
Here are 5 tips to create a healthy and budget-friendly eating plan for you and your family:
- Pay to Shop. Membership warehouse retail stores have become popular, because of the saving advantages offered. BJ’s, Costco and Sam’s are just some of the more popular stores. The overall savings received pays for the cost of the membership.
- Check out your local fruit market for your produce. Many times the pricing difference is worth the drive! If you have a specialized bread market, you may want to check them out for your breads/grains. If at all possible check out these markets towards the end of the day. Owners are more likely to sell items at a more discounted rate, rather than throw them away.
- Purchasing your fruits and veggies ONLY when they are in season. Blueberries in season may be $2.99 a carton; while the same size carton of blueberries out of season are $4.99. Ahh.. I think NOT. The blueberries taste the same. You can stock up on your in season produce and freeze them for later use.
- Plant your own produce (of course, depending on your region), go for it. It can be a family fun activity. Kids love to see the fruits of their labor. No pun intended.
- Buy more water; it’s free. You will be surprised at how much you can save when you no longer buy juices, sodas, etc. If water is not your favorite, try placing a lime, lemon, orange and other citrus wedge in the water for flavor. Great health benefits with this small change!
There are over 100 dietary options – vegan, paleo, low carbs, and high proteins are just a few. So do your due diligence in knowing what works best for you and your family.
The above 5 tips applies to whatever eating style you choose. Happy Eating!!