Many people find a barrier to eating healthy is the higher cost. However, healthy eating does not always have to be expensive.
Here are 5 tips to help you eat healthy for less money:
Before you go to the grocery more, make a list of what you will need for the week. Making a list can be helpful for keeping you on track when you're at the store, so you know exactly what you need to purchase. It helps prevent the "maybe I need this" thoughts, where you're unsure of whether you have an item at home or not. It also helps to prevent impulse purchases, which can quickly add up the cost of your groceries.
Many grocery stores offer a weekly ad with sales and coupons. However, a downfall with coupons can be that they require you to buy more than you actually need, so you may end up wasting money by throwing a product out. If you make a list before you check for coupons, you ensure that you only look for coupons of items you really need. You can also check the product's manufacturer website for coupons as well!
Fresh produce, especially if it is out of season, can often be expensive. However, frozen produce is just as healthy (if not healthier) than fresh, lasts longer, and is less expensive! If you are slow with eating fruits or vegetables, frozen produce is a great option because you don't have to worry about it going bad. Frozen vegetables make a great addition to soups, pasta dishes and casseroles, or as a side dish. Frozen fruits make a great addition to smoothies, oatmeal, or just by themselves!
Foods that are conveniently pre-prepared for you, such as washed and cut lettuce and other greens, baby carrots, vegetable platters, pre-cut fruits, and instant oatmeal for example, are going to be more expensive than foods you have to prepare yourself. The reason for this is the extra cost of labor for the manufacturer or employee. However, if you feel that the un-prepared food will go to waste, it may be more beneficial cost and health wise to buy pre-prepared.
Protein is an important part of our diet to keep our muscles healthy, help our cells function, and help our body's to feel more full. Some protein may be more expensive than others, but there are many simple sources that are less expensive. Generic Greek yogurt, eggs, cow's milk, chicken breast, dried beans, and string cheese are relatively inexpensive sources of protein. The larger tubs of Greek yogurt are cheaper per pound than the smaller cups, because of the extra cost for the manufacturer. Dried beans are less expensive than canned beans, and they are simple to prepare; just let them soak overnight!
Eating healthy does not have to mean expensive, if you follow the tips above.