You may be new to eating healthy, or you may be new to trying out the whole budget thing! High fiving you all the way from Bowling Green, Kentucky! You may even be new to all the things, that’s cool too!
We all have to start somewhere, and you probs know by now that cooking healthy foods at home is one of the key pillars to a healthy lifestyle. Eating well can come with it’s own set of challenges like accessibility and affordability!
What we fuel our bodies with really does matters! That said, there are some great ways to save some precious time and money. That’s why I’m sharing 12 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget!
1. EAT IN SEASON + LOCAL
It is very cost-effective to buy what is in season. It’s also healthier and more sustainable too! Did you know, our bodies actually need different amounts of vitamins and minerals at different times and different seasons?!
2. USE THE DIRTY DOZEN + CLEAN FIFTEEN WHEN SHOPPING
If you aren’t familiar with the Environmental Working Group, click here to learn who they are and what they do! To sum it up, the EWG is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. That could be an entire blog post itself, but I will spare you!
The EWG has updates their dirty dozen and clean fifteen list every year. This list includes the top twelve conventional (not organic) fruits and veggies that have the highest amounts of pesticide residue. You will want to try (keyword, try) to always buy the items on that list organic. The Clean Fifteen however, is a list of fifteen produce items that are ok to buy conventional. It has changed a tiny bit from last year, so click here to download a pdf to either print or screen shot to save on your phone when grocery shopping!
3. BUY IN BULK
Spices, nuts, seeds, and sometimes meat! These are all items that can add up quick if you are buying them on a whim. So, if you buy spices, nuts, and seeds online in bulk, this will drastically reduce the cost over time! I always recommend, unprocessed, organic meat–if you see it on sale, buy it in bulk! It will keep in the freezer for a very long time!
4. FROZEN FRUIT + VEGGIES
Buying frozen fruit and veggies is really convenient and cost effective because they basically never go bad, so less waste! This is not ideal for all fruits and veggies, but it’s wonderful for those items that you cannot buy in season! Frozen fruit is also a staple for smoothies in our house! Some frozen items we typically always have on hand: strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, cauli rice, peas, chopped spinach or kale, mixed veggies.
5. COOK ONCE, EAT TWICE
If you’ve been around long, you know we have one rule when it comes to cooking, and that is cook once, eat twice. We are all about maximizing time over here and working smarter! So, basically what this looks like is me cooking in the kitchen only half of the week and us eating leftovers the other half! Win, win! I can hear you know, “but I don’t like leftovers, Sarah!” Ok, that’s cool, but at least cook double of your meat so all you have to do is whip up the rest of the dish! Sometimes, we will do this vs preparing the entire second meal if the stuff that goes with it is best fresh, think kale salad, or sweet potato fries!
6. USE YOUR FREEZER
Make too much soup? Have some meat that is going to expire soon? Have a large container of spinach that is almost on its last leg? Pop all of that in the freezer! This will save you a ton of money and cut down on food waste!
7. MAKE A LIST
Forever telling my 1 on 1 clients that being prepared is the key to success. This rings vvv true here too, and for most things in life, honestly. Ok, grab yourself a cutesy notebook at Target (good reason to go to target, huh?!), dedicate it to your grocery and meal lists. When you run out of something during the week that is a staple, go ahead and put it on the list! Making a list and sticking to it is huge for your time and budget, and makes eating healthy a little easier too! Basically, know before you go. If you are needing some fresh ideas, check out the What We’re Eating series here!
8. SHOP YOUR PANTRY + REFRIGERATOR + FREEZER FIRST
Take note of what you have on hand already when you are making out your list and plan for the week! This will cut down on food waste and save a little money too!
9. GROCERY DELIVERY
This may be the biggest time saver ever ever ever. My personal favs are instacart because it goes to Kroger and Aldi, and most recently I tried out Wal-Mart delivery! Both are great! You can save $10 on Instacart here and Wal-Mart here.
Again, all about maximizing and leveraging time over here.
10. USE THRIVE MARKET + AMAZON
Thrive Market is an online grocer that often times has staples or hard to find items much cheaper than the grocery store! Click here to save 25% on your first Thrive Market order.
Amazon is also great for those hard to find items! Check out my Amazon shop with kitchen and pantry favs here.
11. DON’T SHOP WHEN YOU’RE HUNGRY
For reals though, you will likely get off track and spend way more than you’d planned! The list and your budget won’t even matter if you’re hungry! ha
12. ADD A FEW MEATLESS MEALS TO YOUR LINEUP
Meat is often the most expensive food item to purchase. Add in a few meatless options in your rotation to save some money, and to give your body a rest from digesting meat!
See… eating healthy doesn’t have to break the bank! Have a tip I should add to the list?! Send it my way!