“But it’s too expensive to eat healthy!”
...said every person with an excuse not to eat healthy. But don’t worry, we’ve got the answer to your excuses – three tips to on how to eat healthy on a budget. In honor of National Nutrition Month, we have put together our team’s recommendations for healthy eating on a budget!
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
Meal planning is an important part of eating healthy and saving money. It is convenient to stop and pick up food, but it adds up, especially when you are trying to eat something other than a 4 for $4 meal. Below we detailed out our ideas for a meal planning checklist for a simple and easy way to tackle healthy eating during the work week. We all know how weekends can be; if you are a superstar meal planner and tackle 7 days a week, send us your ideas so we can add them to our list!
*All the above meals are ideas to get you started on thinking about meal planning. Do not rely solely on this chart for nutritional needs. Your nutritional needs will vary, this chart is meant to be used as an organizational tool and not a nutrition guide. Our team is super talented, but remember we are not nutritionists. 😊
It doesn’t have to be overly elaborate or complicated – just healthy and affordable!
Don’t be afraid to mix up your tried and true recipes. If your family loves tacos and you always make them using beef, try supplementing that with ground turkey to make it more nutritional! You can also spice up your meals by adding in different sauces and spices. Seasoning things differently allows you to create a whole new meal! Just check the nutrition label, some of our beloved sauces first ingredient is sugar!
The best part about meal planning is that you can make large batches of staples such as rice and protein to make putting together lunches simple! When planning out your meals for the week think about ingredients that could be used in multiple dishes. This will allow you to cut down on cost and waste. When it comes to choosing the right foods to pack, the old saying still holds true: eat the rainbow!
Make A Grocery List
Now that you have your meal plan in place for the week, make a grocery list. Having a list will save you time and money by knowing exactly what you are shopping for!
Below is a sample cost (based on Wal-Mart prices) for your weekday meal plan.
Whole Eggs, 12 per carton | $1.23
Frozen veggies (2 pounds) | $4.66
Greek yogurt (32 oz) | $3.47
Protein shakes (12-pack) | $23.47
Granola (13 oz) | $2.78
Brown rice (2 pounds) | $3.37
Protein (price based on 5 pounds chicken) | $9.76
Whole wheat bread (one loaf) | $1.48
Whole wheat pasta (5 pack) | $4.78
Pasta sauce (67 oz) | $4.37
Pizza dough (per crust) | $1.48
Frozen fruit (48 oz) | $8.47
Keep in mind that many of these staples (such as the protein shakes) will not be used up in one week’s time. Please note as well that this list is only a sample and is not a nutritional guideline, just in case we had to remind you again that we are in fact not nutritionists but therapists.
Say No to Eating Out
We all know what it’s like in the office, on the operating floor, in the teachers lounge, etc. When one person says they are ordering out, suddenly your mind wanders and three months later you have the GrubHub guy on speed dial. In order to avoid this happening, make your lunches fun and exciting! Talk to your co-workers and see if they have any new recipes that you could try. Get out of your comfort zone and don’t be afraid to try new things! Instead of eating your typical rice, mix it up by adding in quinoa or make a homemade salad dressing that is healthier instead of buying a pre-made one. For some new recipes and food inspiration follow these Instagram accounts that post delectable healthy meals: