6 affordable and easy ways to eat healthy on a budget
If the rising cost of food has you wondering how to eat healthy without breaking your budget, we’ve got some tips that can help. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. You can incorporate healthier eating habits without having to make a major lifestyle change or significantly adding to your food bill. in fact, by making just a few small alterations in the way you eat and snack, you can actually eat healthier while lowering your food costs. Here are some tips on easy ways to eat healthy without breaking your budget:
- Substitute fish for red meat
Substituting fish for red meat at least two to three times a week tops the list of easy ways to eat healthy on a budget. Eating fish lowers your risk of heart attack and stroke, and fish tends to be much more affordable than red meat. Choose fish that are high in omega 3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel, and trout for the biggest heart-healthy boost.
- Choose whole grains instead of white or processed grains
Whole grain foods and cereals are a healthier choice than foods made from refined grains. They retain more of the natural grain and are higher in key nutrients, such as Vitamins B and E. Choose whole grain, high fiber breakfast cereals like rolled oats or bran, use brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice, and whole wheat or rye rather than white bread.
- Use herbs and spices instead of salt
The Heart Foundation recommends adults eat less than a teaspoon of salt a day. Instead of automatically reaching for the salt, use spices and herbs to flavor your foods. You’ll find your foods are actually tastier, in addition to being healthier. You can purchase pre-mixed spice combinations or mix up your own.
- Eat more fruits and veggies
Adding more fruits and vegetables into your diet is a great way to increase the nutritional value of your meals while cutting down on calories. Stock up on frozen fruits and vegetables to be sure to have them on hand for every meal – the flash-frozen varieties are often just as healthy as fresh, and you can buy in bulk to make your grocery budget stretch further.
- Plan your meals each week
Planning your meals ahead of time is the best way to eat healthy every day. Taking the time to plan healthy, low-cost meals that are easy to cook will help you beat the temptation to substitute fast food. Planning meals also helps you to avoid pre-packaged meals and convenience foods like frozen prepared dinners – they tend to be full of preservatives and fillers, and are far more expensive than cooking fresh.
- Make your own snack packs
Pre-packaged snacks tend to be full of preservatives and empty calories. Just because a snack is “only 100 calories,” does not mean it is healthy! Shop in bulk and buy large containers of raisins, dried fruit (avoid the sugared ones), and unsalted nuts, then make up your own snack packages. Restrict nut portions to an ounce a day to get all the health benefits without adding too many calories. You’ll have heart-healthy snacks that are as delicious as they are affordable.