Healthy eating doesn’t have to break the bank.
We all have busy work schedules and lives, as well as, income that isn’t necessarily rising along with the cost of food. When we are on the go all the time we often snack, eat out, and let food at home go to waste. What if I told you that eating healthy and following a more structured diet actually saves you money?
This is possible because buying wholesome ingredients, cooking at home, and planning meals, brings awareness of what you may, or may not, have at home. In the long run this will save you time, money, and stress. By following these quick easy tips, you will not only shed body fat and lose weight, but also be stress-free throughout the week knowing that no food or money is going to waste!
1.Buy Whole Foods, Instead of Packaged and Processed Food Items
- Buying ingredients rather than pre-made meals, baking mixes, snack bars, and TV dinners can save you tons of money and keeps you on track with your diet.
- You avoid added ingredients such as sugars, salt, and preservatives.
- It’s a great opportunity to buy foods that are in season. You can save money and receive the best quality. Foods vary by region due to climate differences, so check your area and see what is in season.
Ideas of fresh wholesome ingredients:
- Proteins: lean ground turkey, lean ground beef, eggs, frozen chicken breasts, salmon, canned tuna, nonfat cottage cheese, plain Greek yogurt
- Carbohydrates: brown rice, sweet potato, oats, quinoa, beans, lentils, apples, berries, bananas, asparagus, green beans, spinach, broccoli
- Healthy Fats: Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, raw nuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds
2.Plan Ahead: “Failing to plan, is planning to fail”
- Create a grocery list of the meals you will be making for the week and buy only what you need and what you will use. This will keep you from overbuying, wasting food, and giving into emotional shopping.
- It is also best to have a snack or meal before grocery shopping. This will keep your hunger pangs at bay and will help with impulsive purchasing!
- Each week before a grocery shopping trip, check your fridge, pantry, and cupboards for all the items you need.
- Make sure you use items that will expire soon and incorporate foods you already have into your weekly meal plan.
- Freeze foods you don’t see yourself cooking in the near future to preserve freshness and prevent waste.
Use this awesome infographic that explains all you need to know about properly freezing foods and how long you can expect them to last in the freezer. How To Freeze Your Food
4. Buy In Bulk
- For some items such as; eggs, egg whites, frozen meat, frozen vegetables, seeds and nuts, it may be beneficial to buy in bulk. Stores such as Costco, Sam’s Club, Grocery Outlet, and BJ’s all sell in bulk for a value price.
- For people living on their own, buying in bulk may not be the best option for you. However, if you have a friend or partner, you can always split the products and save money!
- For foods such as; chia seeds, flax seeds, nuts, potatoes, and fruit, it is best to split these with a friend. They can take a while to finish and it’s best to eat them when they are fresh.
5. Build Your Own Garden
- You can save on produce by growing at home! You also can ensure that your produce is organic and picked at its peak freshness.
- What many people do not know is that when you buy produce from the grocery store, it has been exposed to air, water, and different environments. This causes many nutrients to break down and the quality of food to diminish.
- Try growing your own herbs, lemons, lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, and strawberries at home to start!
Here are two great resources on how to regrow your old produce, and start your own garden at home!
6. Buy Frozen
- Frozen food is no longer considered an unhealthy way to eat. Companies individually freeze each food item when it is at its peak freshness and it sometimes contains more vitamins than the fresh options on the shelves.
- When you’re buying for one it is best to buy frozen meat, veggies, and fruit. This is because you not only save food from going to waste, but you also get food that was picked and packaged at its prime.
- Freezing food does not ruin the nutrient content when frozen properly. You can maintain the quality and taste by following this guide to freeze foods you may have bought in bulk or do not have time to eat.
7. Get Creative and Make Your Own
- We all spend money on things such as; protein bars, lattes, coffee drinks, nut butters, milk alternatives etc. For many of us these few items are depleting our wallets.
- Snack and protein bars can easily be made at home and prepped for each week along with your meal prep. This will save you time, money, and you can control the ingredients and calories in each.
- Making your own nut butters and milk alternatives is really simple and a great way to use the big bags of nuts you bought in bulk. The best part is you will end up with milk that has no added preservatives, sugars, or fillers. (Be sure to buy raw nuts such as almonds and cashews)
8. Organic, Free-Range, Grass-Fed: Not Always Necessary!
- Organic, free-range, and grass-fed are all terms we see that classify the highest quality of foods. But does it really matter for everything, all the time? No!
- There are some foods that are best to buy organic as frequently as possible. Here is a list of the most contaminated and least contaminated products which should help make your shopping experience a little easier on you and your wallet. What To Buy Organic
- Grass-fed beef is essential for some people’s diets and health concerns. Such as those who are gluten intolerant or strict Paleo. But for the average consumer, grass-fed is not always accessible based on your location and its price is sometimes out of reach. If you can’t get grass-fed, don’t stress. It’s not a priority; you can still get nutrients from conventional beef!
- Write expiration dates on products before they fade or packaging is removed.
- Put your newest items in the back of the fridge while facing your older items that will expire soon towards the front.
- Use clear containers when meal prepping or packaging leftovers to see what is in each container. When you can see your food you are more likely to eat it rather than forget about it and let it spoil.
10. And Finally….Meal Prep! Probably the Most Important Tip!
- Prepare meals for yourself and your family in advance about 2-3 times per week to help everyone stay on track and on budget.
- Cooking in bulk a few times a week saves you time and money, and gives you a few stress-free evenings with no cooking involved!
- Use a crock-pot®, to cook in bulk. You can also try cooking shish kabobs on the grill for a quick way to pack in protein and veggies. Using a Wok is another great way to throw a pound of meat, veggies, and seasonings in at once!
Remember, small changes to your healthy lifestyle yield big results. Begin by incorporating a few tips into your meal prepping and grocery shopping routine to avoid getting overwhelmed! Before you know it you’ll be dropping body fat and keeping your wallet full. We hope these were helpful tips for you. If you have any tips you’d like to share with us, comment below or tag us @Body_Breakthrough.