True story: a bag of kale can easily be more expensive than a fast food burger.
That doesn’t mean that eating well has to devour your entire paycheck! Here are some of my tips for eating healthy on a budget:
Frozen produce is your friend- Frozen fruits and vegetables are less expensive their fresh alter egos, and they keep for much longer (no more wasted dollars on wilty, sad spinach). Frozen produce also tends to be higher in nutrient value because it is frozen before vitamins & minerals can degrade while sitting on a supermarket shelf.
Eat fresh- This may seem a little contradictory after my first tip, but buying local, seasonal produce can be a big money saver as well! What this means is rather than say, bringing an orange in your lunch everyday all year round- replace the orange with something that is actually in season during the colder months. Farmer’s markets are great because you save on the mark-up expenses of shipping to grocery store chains.
Read that flyer- Before you meal plan for the week, check out the sales flyers of local grocery stores. Try to accommodate items that will be on special for that week. It’s also great to stock up on sale items that keep well in the freezer (like chicken) or in the cupboard (like rice & onions) for future uses.
Beans for protein- Meat can definitely add up that grocery bill. I like to add beans to meat dishes so that I can use less meat but still have a hearty meal to serve the masses (or in my case, 1 really ‘good eater’). I like to add black beans to Mexican meals, cannellini beans to pasta, and garbanzo beans to salads. Bonus points- beans have fiber to keep you full AND keep things moving in that digestive system.
Eat at home- Even a decadent meal costs less when made at home. Save some extra cash by skipping the drive-thru iced coffee and brewing some coffee to keep in the fridge at home. Some ice, a travel cup- whala! Prepacking snacks and lunches will also cut down on trips to the vending machine during the day. I share more of my tips on meal prepping here.
Do you have any tips for eating healthy on a budget? I’m always open to saving another buck or two (and by saving I mean towards my shoe/handbag fund)!