Eating Heart Healthy on a Budget
By Sara Butler
There’s a misconception that eating healthy is expensive. While it may be true some foods are expensive, if you’re on a budget but are interested in healthy eating, there is an answer. The more you plan and research the foods that are best for you, the better deals you can find and the more money you can save. Here are a few tips to help you eat heart healthy on a budget.
Which Foods to Buy
When you’re looking at ways to eat healthily you first have to know which foods you need to shop for. A diet that is healthy will emphasize fresh fruits and vegetables, and champion whole grains, lean protein, and beans.
The best way to save some money on fresh fruits and vegetables is to buy what is seasonal. You may notice when a food is out of season it is much more expensive. This is because it is likely imported from another state or even another country, and that adds to the price. The advantage of eating seasonally goes beyond just savings, because fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables will taste better too. Try going to your local farmer’s market or even growing your own veggies.
You also want to try to eliminate pre-packaged and highly processed foods. Not only are they pricey, but they’re also packed with decidedly unhealthy things, such as sugar, salt, and fat. Ultimately, they’ll cost more to both your bank account and your health.
If you’re in the market for lean protein, find a sale on chicken or turkey and stock up. Both proteins freeze really well and you’ll save money this way too! If fish is more your speed when it comes to protein, fish with healthy fats such as salmon can be very expensive, so try out tuna or sardines. These options are both budget and heart healthy.
Channel Your Inner Grandmother
Cooking things from scratch at home is a great way to save money. The preparation techniques used by your grandmother (aside from any lard use) are healthier than you may realize. Plus, preparing foods from scratch and at home can stretch your food budget to the moon. If you make everything from your snacks to your sauces to your entrees, the savings might just blow your mind.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard on your wallet. It just takes some ingenuity and planning to eat healthy and budget-friendly!