Wondering how to eat healthy on a tight budget?
When you make the decision to eat healthier, it can often cause your grocery budget to increase, so we’ve come up with our favorite 7 ways to eat healthy for cheap.
How to eat healthy on a tight budget
Not only can you have some of your favorite healthy foods, but you can do so on a budget and without spending your whole paycheck at the grocery store each week. Eating quality nutritious foods is one of the best healthy habits for kids and the whole family.
Cook from Scratch
We know, we know, cooking from scratch takes time. At the same time, it can save you a fortune over eating out.
Processed foods like canned beans, canned vegetables and ready made instant granols can quickly add up. Buy the ingredients and cook from scratch using your slow cooker for great savings.
Shop Sales At Natural Foods Stores
While natural food stores like Whole Foods, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s & The Fresh Market all offer great organic and natural foods, sometimes the prices are a bit more than your budget allows. Check out this list of healthy grocery stores.
Watch their weekly sales, look for coupons in store and ask to be included on their mailing list or with their discount cards to get the best prices and deals when they occur.
Buy From Farmers Markets
In summer months hit your local farmers market for fresh local produce. Buy in bulk and can or freeze items for future use.
This can be one of the best ways to learn how to eat healthy on a tight budget, but be careful of overpriced, trendy farmers markets that charge a fortune. Look for a true, local farmers market, if your town has one.
Buy Bulk Sale Items
When your favorites go on sale at bargain bin prices, stock up.
Freeze, can or store in air tight containers as applicable for use later down the road. Fruits and vegetables are great for easy clean and prep to freeze for up to a year.
Creating and sticking to a weekly menu plan can save hundreds of dollars per year in last minute meal purchases or eating out. Sit down with your family and make lists of your favorite meals. Create a weekly plan according to sale items in store and stick to it.
You can use an affordable meal planning service like PlateJoy (see our PlateJoy review here), or, better yet, learn to meal plan on your own.
Plant a Garden
In the spring and summer you can easily grow your own vegetables for use throughout the year.
Things like carrots, broccoli, onions, peppers, corn, squash, cucumbers and tomatoes can all be grown easily in your backyard, a small container garden or even a small indoor greenhouse.
If you can borrow canning equipment, or have some of your own, then canning veggies and fruit is a fantastic option to save money. Try our homemade chunky salsa recipe for canning to get started!
If you don’t have canning gear, try freezing or dehydrating leftover veggies and fruit, or trading other gardeners.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try planting an edible flower garden with your kids.
Skip the Meat
One of the quickest ways to cut your budget is to eliminate 2-3 meals a week that include meat. Go for vegetarian options like beans, bean soups, roasted vegetables, vegetable or tofu queasadillas or curries that are hearty and satisfying without the extra meat expense.
Just be careful not to substitute expensive vegetarian options like cheese or expensive vegetarian substitutes for meat!
With the right amount of preparation, you can easily eat healthy on a budget.
Healthy foods don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Use your bargain shopping skills, create a garden or buy in bulk for future meals as you can. Pretty soon you’ll find your food budget has dropped significantly and you are within budget all while making your family healthier.
Do you have any tips for how to eat healthy on a tight budget ? Let us know!