Top 10 Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget (#5 is Amazing!)

Top 10 Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget (#5 is Amazing!)

Let’s face facts: everyone wants to eat healthy food. Still, there is no denying that organic produce and free-range meats are expensive!

There are a great many ways to cut costs, however, and with surprisingly little effort.

How to Save Money and Eat Healthy?

We want to share our top 10 tips that can help you save some money and still eat healthy, wholesome meals.

#1: Make Weekly Meal Plans

Planning is perhaps one of the best tools at your disposal for saving money. Look for store coupons, check online ads to see what is on sale, and incorporate those foods into your weekly meal plan. Eat more foods that are in season and don’t forget to buy in bulk. You can freeze many foods that are on sale now and eat them later.

#2: Cook at Home

Cooking meals at home is not only healthier but far, far cheaper than eating out. In most cases, you can feed an entire family of 4, with leftovers for the next day, for the same money as feeding one or two people in a restaurant. Also, keep in mind that when you cook from home, you know that the food and dishes are clean, as well as knowing exactly what went into your food.

#3: Think Meatless

Some people have adopted the Meatless Monday’s campaign, or choose another day of the week. Others prefer to go meatless completely. But regardless of how you want to manage it, you can save big bucks by going without meat one or more days per week. You can also save money by using meat as a part of the meal, rather than the main course. For example, you can eat spaghetti with some meatballs for dinner, as opposed to steak and potatoes.

#4: Think Double

You can easily save both time and money by doubling your recipes and either freezing the leftovers for another day or taking the leftovers for lunch. Leftovers are terrific ways to enjoy burritos, sandwiches, stews, salads or stir-fries.

#5: Stop Buying Junk Foods and Drinks

Your body has no need for potato chips, candy, donuts, or sodas. Add up the money that you would normally spend on these items and you will be shocked at how much of your food budget these empty calories consume.

#6: Buy Generic or Store Brand

Almost all grocery stores offer their own “house brand” or generic food products, such as cereal or rice. Since all food manufacturers must follow the same standards to ensure the food is safe to eat means that you are simply paying for a pretty label in most cases.

#7: Buy Cheaper Cuts of Meat

Make your crock pot your new best friend! By slow cooking cheaper cuts of meats, you will make them softer. Combine that softness with the rich flavors of spices, sauces, and vegetables, chances are excellent that you won’t notice the difference.

#8: Buy Frozen

You will save a bundle by buying frozen fruits and vegetables. With today’s modern flash freezing methods, you can get your produce at prices that are generally half of what it would cost you to buy fresh.

#9: Grow Your Own

Fruit and vegetables we mean! While you might not have enough land to grow enough produce to feed everyone in your family, how much money would you save if you grew enough to feed your family all summer long? Many vegetables grow very well in pots, such as tomatoes and potatoes.

#10: Pack Your Lunch

Eating out, even if you only eat off the dollar menu at fast food restaurants, can get pretty darn expensive! Pack leftovers from last night’s casserole or make sandwiches out of the leftover chicken, take a piece of fruit, a few crackers, and a bottle of water and you will have a nutritious lunch that costs you next to nothing!

The True Cost of a Fast Food Diet

We mentioned #5 from our list above as an amazing way to save some money while eating healthy. Is it really so? Junk-food restaurants are famous for their cheap prices, what’s wrong with it?

While everyone has their own favorite drive-through restaurant or junk foods, the truth is that eating these kinds of nutrient-poor foods comes with a hefty price tag in the way of your health.

Yes, you’ve heard this before, but we want to spell it out to you so that you hopefully hear more than “carrot good, hamburger bad”.

Most countries who eat the Standard American Diet are overfed but terribly undernourished. People also say that they don’t feel as well or have any energy left by the end of the workday.

Not all calories are equal. You can eat a great many calories, while your body is screaming for REAL FOOD.

The Real Price of Fast Food

What price do you pay for the taste and convenience of hitting up your local hamburger joint? Let’s take a closer look.

  1. Obesity or Overweight. This is perhaps the first visual sign of what a fast food diet does to your body. The CDC says that more than 35 percent of all American adults are obese. Not just overweight, but obese! Obesity leads to more serious health problems as you age, including sleep apnea, liver disease, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes.
  2. Fatigue and Lack of Energy. A lack of exercise and a poor diet often leads to a severe lack of energy. Your body needs certain vitamins, minerals, protein, and fatty acids to make it operate well and still give you the energy you want to get through your day. If you are exhausted by 3PM or find that you can’t stay awake past 7PM, even with a nap, you need to recheck your diet.
  3. Premature Death. This isn’t a scare tactic, but a fact. Studies have found that moderate exercise and a healthy diet reduce your risk of dying from any reason by as much as 30 percent! Is that super sized hamburger and fries worth dying early for?
  4. Lower Levels of Concentration and Poor Memory. Having difficulty remembering simple things? Or do you find yourself unable to concentrate well for even short periods of time? This is another heavy price to pay for a poor diet.  Junk foods are digested by the body quickly and are used as immediate energy, but they don’t last long in the blood. This means that within an hour or two, your brain will experience a crash due to lack of “fuel”. Your concentration and memory will suffer during the crash.
  5. Cancer. The NIH (National Institutes of Health) shows studies that link sugar and risk of cancer. A diet high in sugar, hydrogenated oils, unhealthy fats, processed meats, and nitrates can all lead to an increased risk of certain types of cancer, including breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and bladder cancer, to name a few.

If you value your life and your health, this might be a good time to return to healthy eating or rededicate your efforts to eating a more natural, healthy diet.