This is a requested article from quite a number of you asking me how is it possible to eat healthy on a really tight budget. These are my top 20 tips.
Let me tell you first of all that is very possible and I am just like most of you, I am living on a budget myself.
You might need to do a little more planning, a little bit more research. But with all this work put into it, it will be worth it and you will be able to live healthy on a low budget.
20 Tips To Eat Healthy And Cheap
I am gonna share with you my top 20 tips on how to eat healthy on a tight budget:
1. Forget About Brands
Instead, buy a generic brand or store brand. Raw food like rice, pasta, frozen vegetables tastes the same just like your branded brands out there.
But what you’re saving is a lot of money because you’re saving on the nice, fancy packaging from the branded brands that you get.
A marketer once told me the supermarket places the most profitable products within your eye level.
So if the product is targeted at you, it will be around the middle shelves and if it’s targeted towards kids it will be on the lower shelves.
Value range products, equally good quality, cheaper with less fancy packaging are placed right at the bottom.
So when you’re in the supermarket look right down. You’ll still find what you want, the same good quality, but it cost way less.
2. Buy Reduced/On Sale Items
If you are really on a low budget, most supermarkets will reduce items that are almost expiring, sometimes even at 90%.
So go to the supermarket later at night when they’re almost shutting and you will find lots of reduced items and also items on sale.
You can also check out Restaurant Meal Prices for any restaurant discounts or deals.
So be wise, be smart, do your research and see what items are on sale, which is healthy and you can have them as part of your daily meals. This leads to my 3rd tip:
3. Buy In Bulks
If you know there’s a certain product that you like and it’s on sale with its half price or whether it’s “buy one and get a free one“, why not buy them in bulks and store them up?!
Also, buy in larger quantities because they always cost less. If there’s something you know you’ll eat a lot, something like oats, buy them in a big package and you’ll save some good money.
4. Buy Frozen Vegetables And Meat
I know it’s not applicable in Asia because you don’t have frozen vegetables, but if you’re in other countries, buy frozen vegetables. They’re so cheap and they last for months.
If I would buy fresh vegetables, the trouble is that I would not be able to finish it on time and it will go off and therefore I will throw it away and I’ll waste my food.
I prefer frozen vegetables because it’s cheaper, it lasts you a long time and you are still getting all the nutrients in them. You’re not losing any nutrients.
Frozen veggies are picked and then frozen at peak ripeness. Thus, most nutritionally dense.
5. Eat Lots Of Veggies
In comparison to meat, vegetables are so much cheaper and they are large in quantity. So why not pack your meals with lots of vegetables?! They will save you money, they will trim down your waistline and that is what we want.
Choose to load your meals with lots of vegetables because they will keep you satisfied and they will help you to lose weight at the same time.
6. Buy Cheap Protein
We need protein, but the question is: do we need expensive protein? Not in my case because my favorite proteins are eggs. They are absolutely cheap and packed with proteins. Another great source of protein is fish.
Chicken fillets are much cheaper compared to red meats and they are also packed with proteins. And this is what you need in order to lose weight and to eat healthy.
So buy cheap proteins and pack your meals with them because they’re really good for your body. Treat yourself occasionally to red meats or proteins that cost more money if you really need to.
7. Buy Whole Food, Not Processed Junk!
Choose to buy whole food where you’re in control with the ingredients and you can prep the meal based on how you like it.
Processed foods are not cheap and they’re not good for your health. So why you’d waste your money on junk food if you know you can get cheaper and better quality food.
8. Forget About Organic And Go Basic
Not many people will agree with me, but when you’re living on a budget you need to forget about organic food. Just go basic!
Of course, it will be great if we all could afford organic foods because they taste much better and they’re much healthier for you. But when you’re living on a budget you gotta go basic.
For instance, you can get a pack of frozen berry mix instead of organic berries. It is way cheaper and you still get the nutrients and the benefits from it.
9. Buy Seasonal Fruits And Veggies
When you’re going to the supermarket go with an open mind. Go to the fruits and vegetable sections, see what’s in season and buy the cheapest veggies and fruits you can.
Change your meal plans, change your food intake according to what’s in season and to what cost less.
This leads to my next tip to eat healthy on a tight budget:
10. Shop In Your Local Market
Sometimes supermarkets are not always the cheapest. Go to your local markets and look at the vegetables and fruit range they have there.
It is possible that there will be fresher and cheaper in comparison to big supermarkets.
Sometimes local markets have reduced items that they sell in bulk. For example bananas.
Whenever it’s on reduce because it’s going off soon I will buy them in bulk. I will slice them up and freeze them up and use them later on.
11. Keep It Simple And Eat Like The Local
You will find that in different countries there are different types of food that cost way less.
For example in Asia tofu is extremely cheap and is very easily accessible. But milk and cheese are not so cheap there.
You don’t have to stick to my meal plan or to a particular meal plan and try to buy ingredients that are expensive or are not easily accessible in your country.
So adjust the meal plan and use the ingredients that are cheap and easily accessible in your own country.
12. Avoid Impulse Buying And Stick To Your List
You want to eat healthy, lose weight, and save money. My advice to you is to write a grocery list and stick by it. Only buy things that you need, not things that you want.
So make a list before you go shopping and when you’re in the supermarket go straight to the sections, get what you need and go straight out.
You don’t have to start looking around. Stop doing your window shopping and stop being tempted by what junk they have on sales. That will save you money and will save your waistline.
13. Cook In Bulks
This tip is very useful if you’re a student or you live alone or of course, you want to eat healthy and save money.
This method will save you money and time, it’s much more convenient and you are more likely to stick to your meal plan.
Cook in bulks, store that in the fridge or freezer and take it out and warm it up when it’s dinner time.
This is especially important when you just got back from school or work and you feel extremely tired and lazy to cook.
14. Learn To Store Your Food
Sometimes we buy in bulks because it’s cheap and we can’t finish it and it’s going off and so we need to learn how to store our food.
For example, if you can’t finish your avocado, mash it up, add a little bit of lemon and store it in the freezer. So when you feel like spreading it on your toast, you can just take it out, let it thaw, and spread it on your toast.
Like I said most food can be stored in the freezer. You can even store milk in the freezer. Do your research online and see what you can store and how you can do it.
15. Make Simple And Easy Meals
When it comes to preparing meals, saving money, and eating healthy, this is my tip: keep it simple! Simple meals are healthy meals.
Don’t make complicated meals because it takes way too long, it costs way too much, and … why the hassle?
Pick several ingredients that you like and consume them most of the week. Keep your meal simpler and that way you’ll leave healthier as well.
If you feel like experimenting with new dishes you can always do that when you have time, over the weekends, or even when you have some extra cash.
16. Cut Your Junks Completely
Think it which is cheaper, soda drinks or free water? Would you rather buy nuts instead of biscuits if they would cost the same?
I would go with the nuts because it’s healthier and this is what we wanna do: eat healthily. Start making wiser choices and it will reflect on your body.
17. Use Coupons And Discount Cards
This tip to eat healthy on a low budget is something everyone should take advantage of.
For example, with a loyalty card, every time I buy something I get points that turn into coupons, and coupons turn into money-saving.
Take advantage of these cards, apply for one if you don’t already have one. They will not cost you a single cent, instead, they will be saving you a lot of money in a year.
18. Don’t Buy Water
As crazy as it is, please don’t buy water. There are people out there who buy water and it costs money over time; especially when you have to drink so much water a day (when you’re working out daily).
If you’re one of those people who buy water, invest in a filter and start saving money.
19. Quantity Doesn’t Always Equal Quality
Sometimes when people shop for foods they want to buy large quantities but it doesn’t always equal quality.
For example, if you were to buy wholemeal bread it will cost more in comparison to white bread. But wholemeal bread will fill you up for a much longer period of time.
Therefore, what you’re getting out of it is not lots of health benefits, but you will also consume less.
White bread will leave you hungry more quickly, therefore you’ll consume more. It’s not good for your health and it will lead to weight gain and also more money being spent.
20. Mix A Cheap With An Expensive Item To Get Its Benefits
Last but not least tip to eat healthy on a tight budget is to mix white rice with brown rice. I often do this because brown rice is way more expensive but I still want to get those nutrients from it.
And this is also a good method to introduce brown rice into your diet because not many people like it.
These are my personal tips to eat healthy while still living on a budget. Apply these tips, plan a little bit ahead regarding the healthy food you need, and match that with your budget.
You will be able to live healthy, eat healthy, lose weight, feel good and look your best.
Don’t forget to share this post if you enjoy it. Stay fit and eat healthy!