Healthy Eating on a Budget

Get tips on eating healthy on any budget!Yes, it can be done!

Eating healthy does not have to be expensive. All it takes is a little planning and you can begin to provide healthy meals for yourself and for your family, while staying within a budget. The first step is making a shopping list and sticking to it. Buy just what you need for your weekly meals and avoid all other aisles that may tempt you to make impulse purchases. To help stay on track, avoid grocery shopping when you are hungry. Adding more fruits and vegetables does not have to be expensive as long as you follow a few simple tips.

• Try buying produce in season or purchasing items at a farmers market.

• Limit waste by buying small amounts of produce that tends to spoil quickly.

• When searching for more affordable options, avoid pre-cut, pre washed, and ready to eat items. For example, pre bagged salad tends to spoil faster and is more expensive.

• The freezer is your friend! Try purchasing frozen produce in bulk when it’s on sale. Frozen fruits and vegetables are picked at peek ripeness and are flash frozen to preserve nutrients, making them a healthy choice. Limit your waste further by freezing fresh produce that’s on the verge of going bad. For example, berries are great for freezing and are perfect for creating smoothies or topping your yogurt.

• Leftover broccoli, string beans, and diced peppers among other vegetables hold up well to freezing. To retain the color, flavor and texture of your veggies, try blanching them before freezing.

• Avoid freezing vegetables with high water content such as lettuce, cabbage, celery and cucumbers.

• Be smart about leftovers! Leftover meat and vegetables can be made into soup or incorporated into a casserole for the next day’s meal.

• To avoid the urge to order takeout on hectic days, stock your freezer with portioned out leftover meals.

Still searching for additional ways to decrease your grocery bill? Look for low cost protein options. Beans provide a great source of protein and fiber. Whether you chose dried beans or low sodium canned beans, they provide a shelf stable and inexpensive alternative. If choosing canned beans, rinse and drain them in order to decrease the sodium content. Eggs can be a great choice and don’t have to be limited to breakfast. Consider buying fish, poultry, and meat in bulk, and store in the freezer. In addition, always keep an eye out for specials at the meat counter.

Happy eating!


Written by: Heather Kanastab, RD, CND

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