It’s important for us to learn how to eat healthy on a budget. Before I started following a plant based lifestyle I was buying a lot of packaged foods and going out to eat often. This way of eating cost me a lot more and it was not sustainable. When I finally adopted a plant based lifestyle, ate less packaged foods and more produce, I began to spend less at the store.
Anytime you choose to prepare fresh meals at home you will in turn save more money. Take for example my family of four, we spend an average of $80-100 per week on groceries. Before adopting a plant based diet we were spending $120+ weekly, not including eating out!
Life is busy, I get that! But ultimately as adults we are responsible for bringing in the food that is going to feed our families. It’s hard work preparing most of your meals from home. But you do have the power to change not only your health but your families health.
Here Are 8 Ways To Eat Healthy On A Budget:
Eat Mostly Unpackaged Foods: Packaged foods are the most expensive kinds of food to buy. Not only that but the plastic is detrimental to the environment. The best way to cut cost would be to simply buy less prepackaged food and opt for fresh items. This can be difficult at first when you haven’t been eating well all along. One tip is to write down what prepared foods you enjoy and find a recipe to make it yourself. I love using Pinterest for searching recipes because I can save them for later.
Follow a Meal Plan: This is something I do weekly before grocery shopping! This month I created an entire 4 week meal plan ahead of time. This has saved me time and money. Now I don’t sit down for an hour every week and come up with recipes and a grocery list. I also save money because I know exactly what were going to eat including snacks. I use a printable meal plan to track the meals we will eat throughout the week. Find my favorite meal plan template here!
Try Meal Prepping: I admit this one took me a while to enjoy! The thought of eating the same meal over and over again did not appeal to me! So what I do now is plan whatever is for dinner to have for lunch the next day. That way there is a bit of variety in our meals throughout the week. We save more money because we don’t need extra food for lunch and the leftovers are guaranteed to be eaten! If you find yourself stuck with a ton of leftovers simply freeze them and warm them up another day.
Buy In Season: The prices of fruits and vegetables can change depending on the seasons. It’s best to stick to produce that is in season not only to save money but it’s fresher. Because I live in Wisconsin in the winter we stock up on frozen vegetables because they are often the freshest. Here is a produce calendar if you live in Wisconsin!
Buy Local: We love going to the farmers market in the summer to get deals on fresh and local food. It’s not only beneficial for us but we are paying it back to our community. Recently I learned about CSA’s (community supported agriculture) where you can pay for a portion of produce, eggs and other items from local farmers. These options are better for the environment because the food it local and the money goes right back into the community. Search for a CSA near you.
Build a Home Garden or Community Garden: Creating my own home garden has always been a dream of mine. I have my first one in the works for this year and I’m excited. It’s possible to grow a small garden even if your live in an apartment. My aunt actually built me a portable garden box from plywood. I also just learned about the huge benefits of a Tower Garden. You can grow your produce anytime and anywhere! Food is expensive, so creating your own home garden for vegetables and herbs can save you a lot of money.
Don’t Eat Out Too Much: I realize life gets busy and it’s easy to pick up some food, but it’s expensive and often not the better option health wise. Using the money you were going to spend eating out could in turn provide healthier meals for your family.
Drink Water: Cutting out soda and fruit juices is the best way to save money and improve your health. These items are so expensive and terrible for your body. Fruit juices often have health claims so good you forget to look at the label. Any concentrated fruit juice will cause your blood sugars to rise. It’s best to stick to water to quench your thirst. Some other healthier options are teas, kombucha, homemade nut milks and smoothies!
Above are 8 ways you can start to save money on your food budget and adopt a healthier lifestyle.
As adults we are responsible for what we bring into the house and if we can start to change those bad habits into good one’s our family will benefit as well.