Whether you’re a college student, a mom with kids or just cooking for yourself, budgeting money for food is a big deal. Eating healthy on a budget requires time and preparation since the easiest way to maintain a healthy diet in a cost-effective way is to cook at home. A healthy lifestyle is worth the time though when you consider the benefits of eating healthy, which include an increase in metabolism, more energy and lower risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. It may seem like a huge feat to eat healthy, but your bank account will have more green in it than your salad bowl if you use some of these tips and tricks to eat healthy on a budget.
Shop around the perimeter of the grocery store where the more fresh and nutritious food is kept. Most of the food in the middle of the grocery store contains prepacked foods that aren’t as healthy (with an exception for foods such as rice, beans, etc.).
Buy generic food for food like rice, pasta, eggs and milk. Depending on what type of generic food you buy it may have a different taste, but it does cost less.
Go to a farmer’s market where you can find fresh fruit and veggies. Most of the time you can get more food for a cheaper price, plus you get to support local producers.
Stick to the grocery list to prevent yourself from buying unnecessary food items. Oh, and never grocery shop when hungry.
Plan your meals around what’s on sale. Grocery stores will usually discount meat when it’s approaching the expiration date so if you time your meals right you can cook it before the expiration or freeze it for later.
Get a customer or rewards card at your most frequented grocery stores. You can easily receive discounts and rewards for food. Coupons are another way to save a dollar or two.
Eat the leftovers. I know some meals don’t necessarily taste the best warmed up the next day, but look for ways to incorporate your leftover food into a new meal for the next day. Not wasting the food you buy is essentially saving money.
Use a water purifier instead of buying bottled water. Cutting out soft drinks from your diet will also help you save money.
Buy in bulk at stores like Sam's Club or Costco. It may be more expensive upfront, but when you buy food you eat regularly in bulk the cost usually ends up being cheaper in the long-run.