Top 7 Tips For Healthy Eating On A Budget
(Healthcastle.com) Healthy eating can put a major drain on the wallet if you're not careful. It is the best investment you'll ever make, but that doesn't mean you can't try and keep it manageable. Check out our top 7 tips for healthy eating on a budget.
Be smart about cuts of meat
Less expensive cuts of meat like skirt and flank steaks are actually packed full of flavour and just need some thoughtful prep. Using marinades with acid or other tenderizing ingredients helps to break down the tissue making them more tender. Long, slow, moist cooking in a crockpot or dutch oven can give you melt in your mouth ribs and shanks.
Don’t be afraid of chicken thighs or buying skin on chicken pieces, they are often much more affordable than the ever popular boneless skinless breasts. They’re also higher in iron and packed with flavour.
Try this rosemary flank steak and watch out for a chicken thigh recipe coming up soon on the blog!
Often larger cuts or volumes of meat are much cheaper- you can always split a big package with a friend or family member to get the savings without dropping too much cash at once.
Get comfy with dried legumes
Dried legumes like beans, lentils and chickpeas are an incredibly cheap protein source and often overlooked! If you’re a newbie start with lentils, they don’t need soaking and are quick to cook. When used to replace the animal protein a couple days a week you’ll notice a big break on your grocery bill.
Check out lentils.ca for some great starter and more advanced recipes.
Choose in season fruits and veggies when possible
Being flexible about what produce goes in your cart means you can shop with the seasons. When a food is easiest to grow and more plentiful the price on the shelves goes down. Shop with a list but don’t be afraid to swap kale for spinach in the fall and winter, wait for corn to come in to season in late summer and fall and stock up on berries (try freezing them yourself) when they are bountiful in the summer.
Cruise by the frozen section each trip
Frozen fruits and veggies can be super convenient but are sometimes a bit pricey. The good news is they often go on sale! Stock up when the sale hits and keep an eye on the frozen section as your stores get lower so you’re not stuck paying full price because your freezer is empty.
Skip boxed cereals and packaged snacks
The cost of these really adds up over time and although convenient they offer very little nutritional bang for your buck. Eating well on a budget is about getting the most nourishment out of the least money. Planning well balanced meals often eliminates the need for a lot of snacks. Stick to fruits and veggies when you’re hungry between meals or heat up a bowl of leftovers. Investing $20 in an air popper for popcorn pays for itself after a couple months if you’re currently buying the microwave or bagged stuff.
Its free, its clean and it doesn’t cost you anything nutrition wise. Swapping water for pop, juice or other sweetened beverages not only does your body a huge favour but will give your wallet a boost too! These drinks are one of the first things I ask clients to get rid of, and if your goal is weight loss, blood sugar or even cholesterol control than ditching that liquid sugar is your best bet to some pretty easy improvements. The cost of a couple cans a day really adds up over time, so take it off your grocery list and put them money somewhere you’d enjoy it more.
Plan your week
Learning how to meal plan saves you those costly multiple or last minute trips to the store, wasted produce that never gets used, and leftovers that nobody eats. If you plan well enough you can also get leftovers for lunches to cut down on eating out- when I first moved out this was one of the biggest impacts on my budget!
How do you save money on the grocery bill? Share with us in the comments below!