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Eating Healthy on a Budget

By Sara Butler

You may think that living on a tight budget means you can’t afford to eat healthy all of the time. Food that seems to be more affordable also tends to be highly processed and not the healthiest for you. But, with a little advanced planning, you can stick to your tight budget and still enjoy food that is healthy and nutritious. Here are some strategies you can use to eat healthy on a budget.

Look for Sales

One of the best strategies you can employ is to plan your meals every week ahead of time. Check the sales flyers at your local stores to find deals on fresh produce, dairy, and lean proteins you can incorporate into your meals for the week. Tack on some more savings by looking for coupons for items you want to buy. You also shouldn’t be afraid to buy generic brands since they’re usually exactly the same product without the fancy name attached.

Make a List

When you’re creating your weekly meal plan you should also create a master list of groceries to buy and stick to it as you shop. You should make nutrient-dense food a priority so you can include fresh vegetables, dairy, whole grains and fruits to your list.

Try to stay away from processed and pre-packaged foods. This will increase your spending and fill your kitchen with food items that aren’t very healthy.

The Produce Section

When you’re shopping for fruits and vegetables you should try to buy seasonally. Local produce that is seasonal is more abundant, which means it’s usually less expensive. These items are also at the peak of their flavor, which will make for a tasty and budget-friendly addition to your meals. Try out your local farmer’s market to find some good deals and make connections with the food growers in your community.

If you want to incorporate produce into your meals that aren’t in season the best strategy is to buy frozen vegetables and fruits. They are still nutritious and relatively fresh, but make sure you check the nutrition labels for added salt and sugars – you don’t want to add those to your diet too!

Meat

When you’re shopping for meat the best strategy for your wallet is to buy in bulk. Quite often sales are held on meat that is sold in larger quantities, often enough for two to three meals. Buy the larger sale quantity and freeze it so you can utilize it down the line.

It’s also a good idea to incorporate eggs into your diet. They’re inexpensive and a great source of protein and other nutrients!

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