A lot of people think eating healthy is expensive but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some ways to eat healthy without breaking the bank.
Fresh, in-season produce offers delicious, tasty fruits and vegetables packed with nutrients. As a bonus, items in season are often less expensive. When items are out of season, frozen and canned options without added sugar or salt are a great alternative.
Buy in Bulk
Grains can be purchased in bulk and stored in airtight containers. Proteins can also be purchased in bulk. One of my favorite ways to save time and money is purchasing bulk chicken breast (especially when it’s on sale!) Portion the amount for a meal and freeze.
Flip Your Proteins
Meats and other animal proteins are often the most expensive food on a plate. To save money, you don’t have to give them up entirely. Consider flipping the focus of your plate by making the animal protein the accent instead of the main feature. Meals mostly based on vegetables and grains with meat as a supporting role can be healthy, enjoyable and less costly. A stir fry is a good example of this.
5 of my favorite low-cost healthy strategies
- Blended Proteins. When making burgers, meatballs or meatloaf, I like to add veggies. This sneaks in veggies while bulking up the portion size.
- Occasional Vegetarian. Depending on the dish, skipping the animal protein all together is an option. Beans, lentils, grains (such as quinoa or brown rice) are great fillings for enchiladas, squash, stews or as a sauce like Lentil Bolognese!
- Vegetable Snack. Veggies are my go-to snack all year round. Whole carrots are one of my favorites. I buy the loose carrots, which tend to be a bit cheaper, peel and keep them in water in my refrigerator for a quick and easy snack.
- Bulk Grains. As mentioned above, buying whole grains, beans and lentils in bulk and storing in air-tight sealed containers has saved time by not needing to go to the store as often as well as money! Bonus for grains, many of them double, triple or even quadruple when cooked! The 1 cup of brown rice can make 6- ½ cup portions. If you haven’t tried lentils, now’s a great time to incorporate them into your diet. The cost per serving is about $0.10 according to USA Dry Peas & Lentil Council.
- Shop with a List. The ‘easiest’ way for me to safe money and stay healthy when shopping… Make a list and stick too it! By making a list, this keeps me on track for food purchases and deters me from last minute purchases that may be more expensive.