Going healthy is something that is very popular today. A lot of people are aiming for it. They are trying out all kinds of things from exercising a lot to eating a healthier diet. But it isn’t enough. There are still too many cases of lifestyle related diseases. These are the diseases that could be prevented if only people were to adapt a healthier lifestyle. This class of diseases includes heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes and other common health issues.
The truth is that there would be more people who would like to try out a healthier lifestyle particularly a healthier diet than what they are used to. They are just being held back by a common belief that most people hold. That is the belief that eating healthy would cost a lot. People are afraid that if they switch to a healthier diet they would be forced to spend more on food.
Cost of a Healthy Diet
There really is some basis to the belief that eating a healthy diet costs more than a normal diet. We all know that health foods and healthy choices are costlier than normal ones. Organic food and the ones that are preferred by many of those who are leading a healthy lifestyle are more expensive than the usual choices that we have. These food products cost more because it is more expensive to grow and make them and there is a smaller demand. But this does not mean that you have to spend a fortune in order to eat healthy.
There are ways that you can start having a healthier diet and yet stay on your budget. It is just a matter of knowing the different choices that are available to you. When you know where to buy food products that are healthier at affordable prices then you can stay within your budget.
How to Eat Healthy When on a Budget?
Eating healthy is not something that only the rich can do. You can do it as well and to help you out, here are some of the steps that you can take when you want to eat healthy while staying on a budget .
Plan Your Meals
Most people do not really plan their meals. They just cook or buy food according to their desire at the moment. But like anything unplanned, that way of satisfying your food craving can be costly and wasteful. The tendency is for you to buy the food that would satisfy your craving the most and that can cost a lot.
If you want to become healthy then you ought to plan your meals and plan it in the right way. You should create a weekly plan that would include all the meals that you would be eating for that period. Naturally, you should only include healthy choices in that meal plan of yours. It would be best of you were to consult a nutrition expert regarding that meal plan. The important thing when you create a meal is for you to use it and stick with it. A plan would be next to useless if you don’t really pay any attention to it.
Limit Your Alcohol and Junk Food Consumption
Let’s be realistic about your efforts to eat healthy. You cannot stop eating junk all of sudden after being used to it all your life. What you should aim for is to reduce the amount of junk food that you are eating. The same is true when it comes to alcohol consumption. Your aim is to gradually reduce the alcohol that you drink and the junk food that you consume.
One way that you can cut down on your alcohol and junk food intake is drinking plenty of water. More importantly, you should stay away from the situations where you tend to eat lots of junk foods and drink plenty of alcohol.
Research on Recipes
When you want to eat healthy, you need to learn how to cook most of your meals. This is especially the case if you want to stay within a budget. When you do your own cooking, not only can you be sure that the ingredients that will be used are really the healthiest choices but you can also control the cost. So if you don’t know how to cook yet, it’s time that you started learning.
This is a less daunting task than it sounds. There are many resources of information on how you can start cooking your own meals. The internet is the best place to start your research. You can look for recipes that are healthy and cheap at the same time. As you become more adept at cooking then you can start experimenting and you can use your own ideas when you cook your meals.
When you are shopping for food products, you have to smart when it comes to your choices. This is where most people get healthy eating wrong. They believe that all healthy food products cost more, but that’s not true. It’s all a matter of knowing what to buy and where to shop.
When shopping for food products you should spend more time in looking around for store brands in groceries. The stores naturally want you to buy the more expensive items so they display those more prominently. But if you just keep looking then you could see cheaper choices. Discounts and sales are great opportunities to buy your food products. Do not hesitate to buy a lot of the food products that you actually use regularly, but you should only buy what you are sure that you can use. Remember that food products will spoil.
The best place to shop for healthy food products would be a farmer’s market. Try looking for one in your area. That way you can guarantee the freshness of the produce that you are buying. It would even be better if the produce that they are selling are purely organic.
Go for Whole Foods
Whole foods are the food products that did not undergo processing. Not only are they healthier than processed foods but in most cases they are cheaper as well, because there is no added cost of processing. So make a habit of buying whole foods whenever you have the choice. Proteins, carbs, fats and almost all of your food needs would have some unprocessed options. The rule is to avoid anything that comes in a box. Going for whole foods is cheaper and healthier at the same time, but unfortunately a lot of people are unaware of it.
Frozen Fruits and Vegetables
Buying fresh fruits and vegetables is always the best option. The problem is that it can be costly. What you should know is that frozen fruits and some vegetables can last for a long while with little loss in its nutritional value. Some are even arguing that when frozen right, frozen fruits can actually contain more nutrients than fresh ones. What’s even better is that the cost of frozen fruits and vegetables is a lot lower than fresh ones. This is why you should consider buying them when you have the opportunity and stock them at home.
Aside from saving you money, buying frozen fruits and vegetables, they can also be a time saver, because they are already prewashed and pre-cut. That means after thawing them out you can go ahead and eat them already.
Eating healthy does not mean that you have to give up meat altogether. You just have to eat it in moderation and stay away from the parts that contain a great deal of fat. Many grocery stores will offer discounted meat as the expiration date approaches. You should take advantage of that because stores can offer up to 70% in discount. You should buy a lot of discounted meat and store it in your freezer.
Coupons and Customer Cards
You should invest the time to get coupons for all of the healthy food products that you want. Each coupon might represent only a small amount of savings, but put them all together and that can amount to a great deal already. Another thing to take advantage of is to get the customer cards being offered by the grocery where you shop. Those cards would allow you to save money when you are shopping all of the healthy food products that you want to buy.
Grow Your Own Food
If you are really serious about staying healthy and staying on a budget then you should try the ultimate step which is to grow your own food. The gardening work can help to exercise you and the food that you grow will actually be a lot healthier. Some might argue that the trouble you spend on gardening is going to cost more than when you buy the vegetables that you are growing, but the benefits that you can get from growing your own food go beyond the money that you can save.
These are the steps that you can take when you want to eat healthy and stay on a budget.