A strong misconception is that eating flavorful and nutritious food will break the bank. That doesn’t have to be true. Below you will find a few tips that can help you savor the flavor of nutritious food, while eating healthy on a budget.
1) Planning is a very important step in eating healthy on a budget. Start planning your meals for the week on a Sunday or Monday. Check local ads for weekly promotions like buy one get one free items. Also look for coupons for your favorite pantry staples. Consider using these items to create a plan or calendar of meal ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack(s).
2) Buy fresh fruits and vegetables while they are in season or on sale. If you don’t eat them right away, freeze them. Fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables can be used in a variety of ways—the more you consume, the better! When selecting canned fruit, choose fruit that is canned in its own juice or light syrup. When choosing canned vegetables, choose vegetables that are canned with no added salt or low-sodium.
If you have the time and space, planting your own garden is a perfect way to grow fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs as well. You can do it in the front yard, back yard, or a small pot on the porch.
3)Think of variety when buying foods high in protein. Look for cheaper cuts of poultry and meat, such as a whole chicken, chicken thighs, chuck roast, as well as canned options such as chunk chicken. Trim and skim fat to reduce the amount of saturated fat in your meal.
Buying in bulk can also save you money in the long run, as bulk quantities tend to cost less per pound. Break bulk packages down into smaller quantities at home by separating into freezer bags so you only have to defrost what you plan to consume for that meal.
Keep in mind that protein doesn’t always have to be in the form of a cut of meat. Eggs are a very economical and nutrient-packed source of protein. Vegetarian sources of protein like beans, chickpeas, and lentils are budget-friendly and heart-healthy.
Keiser University Dietetic Intern