Healthy Eating on a Budget

Eating healthily can be challenging for anyone, but it is even more difficult when buying food on a small budget. Shoppers are often tempted to simply buy processed foods that are high in calories and do not provide adequate nutrients. These five tips will help you eat healthily despite the constraints of a small food budget.

One way you can reduce the cost of their groceries is by avoiding soda and other high-calorie or unhealthy beverages. Although such drinks are tasty and convenient, they are often more expensive than water. The calories from such beverages can also contribute to weight gain and obesity if an individual drinks sugary beverages each day.  Avoid buying bottled water as long as available tap water is uncontaminated. Those who like to carry bottled water could instead invest in reusable water bottles – or reuse a bottled-water bottle – and fill them with water from home.

When visiting the grocery store, shop around the perimeter of the store before buying items in the center. Healthier, unprocessed items are often placed around the edges of the store, and these foods are frequently cheaper. For example, fruits and vegetables are often located at the front of the store, and these items usually cost less than many processed foods.

Reduce your food costs by purchasing whole fruits and vegetables instead of pre-cut versions. Although slicing fruits and vegetables takes time and is less convenient, whole fruits and vegetables are cheaper. Slicing your own food gives more control over calorie consumption, since you won’t be eating out of single-serving packages that may be too large. To save time on food preparation, slice up many fruits and vegetables at one time. Eat only what you need while avoiding food waste.

Individuals who want to reduce their food costs can do so by eating local foods and shopping at farmers’ markets. By shopping at farmers’ markets, shoppers will often have access to organic, unprocessed foods that are healthier than many foods found in grocery stores. Shoppers who want to buy local foods can join programs that deliver local meat or produce, often at a reduced price. Individuals who eat local foods will enjoy a variety of nutrient-rich foods while supporting local farms and the environment.

Shoppers can further reduce their food costs by buying fewer snacks. Instead of buying multiple single-serving snack packages, shoppers should buy large containers of one or two snacks in bulk. Shoppers with families can avoid disagreements about snack selection by giving each family member a particular week to choose snacks. This will lower food costs and serve as an exciting treat for whichever family member gets to choose the snack for a particular week.

Shoppers who avoid buying expensive beverages, pre-cut fruits and vegetables, and large numbers of snacks will be able to reduce their food costs while maintaining control over calories. In addition, individuals who shop around the perimeters of grocery stores and buy local foods will have access to healthy, unprocessed foods. These tips will help any shopper select healthy, delicious foods even while eating on a small budget.