How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

So the economy got the way you are eating down?  No surprise since a lot of us are trying to save money on all facets of our lives.  Eating healthy doesn’t have to come at a price though.  Here are 3 simple tips on how to eat healthy on a tighter budget:

1) Buy in Bulk with a friend: Usually wholesalers that you have to buy a membership from like Sam’s Club and Costco have great deals if you buy in bulk.  A 10 pound bag of tortilla chips and a 5 pound bag of  candy looks tempting in bulk but try to save this energy for purchasing things like oatmeal and nuts, where normally the price for bulk does make a difference.  Divvy up your bulk buys with a friend.   You will will get more for your money this way and less will be thrown away.

2) Buy as a whole rather than pre-cut:.  The stores charge more money for your convenience.  Save the few extra bucks by using your elbow grease to do the leg work.  Buy whole chickens and break up the pieces and cut off the fat yourself.  Whatever you don’t use package up and throw it in the freezer for future meals.  I laugh when I see pre-cut chunks of fruit like watermelon or peaches sitting right next to their whole personas in the produce section.  Not familiar with how to cut a whole watermelon or pineapple?  It’s worth the extra couple of minutes on the internet to find out out.  Grated cheese, canned beans, and instant rice, potatoes, or oatmeal all can be replaced by their healthy wholes and applied with your Do-It-Yourself fashion.  Some of these convenience foods are packaged with extra salt or sugar that your health and wallet can do without.

3) Use Coupons: Coupons are making a big comeback.  Use the coupons for the things you normally buy; for instance I find coupons for Smart Balance and yogurt all the time.  Join the frequent club card memberships at the grocery stores you go to; Sometimes shopping at the same place can rack up rewards such as half-off’s, BOGO (Buy one get one) free or half-off, and additional coupons for the next visit.  Remember it’s rough for stores now too and they are looking for you, so it will pay-off to make an effort to look for them.  Buy produce if they are in season, they are cheaper this way.  (If you are interested in what is in season where you live go to the Seasonable Table website at What is in season? )

Other tips to make note of:  Don’t go to the grocery store hungry obviously, as items that normally wouldn’t make your basket have a way of finding themselves there and everything you’ve learned has gone out the window.  Also, go to the store prepared.  Have a meal plan for the entire week.  Take an inventory of what you do have so that you can incorporate these items into the upcoming meals as well.  Points for creativity will be given here as you find interesting ways of using a can of tuna,  frozen vegetables, and that leftover pasta from the night before.

So there are ways of beating the “economy-got-you down” blues by being creative and economical.  Remember being healthy by eating healthy will save you money in the long run by saving on medical costs for things like high cholesterol, hypertension, and heart disease.  So cutting down on your soda and junk food that has been a luxury in the past may be a hidden blessing in disguise.

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