You CAN afford to eat healthy; 3 tips to budget for healthy eating
I've heard this excuse a handful of times, and I'm sure you've said it before: “I can't eat healthy because it's too expensive.” It's a serious roadblock for people and I just want to tell you can do it! You can budget for healthy eating!
It takes a little bit of planning and strategizing, but it's 100% possible to eat healthy and stick to a budget. I have three tips that will help you stay on budget and get the good nutritious food your body is craving!
If you want to stick to a food budget, then you have to know what you’re going to spend your money on. There are various ways to meal plan, but I suggest basing it around your grocery shopping schedule. If that means you plan a week at a time or a month at a time, it doesn’t matter. The most important tool that meal planning provides when you’re budgeting for healthy eating is knowing what you need when you get to the grocery store.
I prefer to plan out my meals before I set a budget. That way I know what I want to eat and can make the budget fit the food. However; if you are living on a strict budget already, then make your meals fit that budget.
Another reason I love meal planning is because I can budget my macros for the day. Meaning, if I know that I'm eating out for dinner, then I budget more macros for that meal and I try to keep my lunch lower in carbs or fats, depending on what I'm going to be eating at dinner.
Overall, meal planning can make so many aspects of your life easier! You won't waste time debating what you're going to have for dinner each night. You won't waste money on uneaten food. You won't waste macros on meals that aren't worth it! It's a win-win-win!
Spend Money on REAL foods
I'm sure you know by now that the aisles of grocery stores are where they keep processed, canned and, honestly, fake foods. The outside rim of the grocery store is where you're going to get real food. And by real food, I mean natural, fresh and the whole foods that your body is craving.
If you're watching what you're spending your money on, then you might as well buy what's going to best for you. Shop for fresh fruits and vegetables and protein-packed meats first. Then after you've gotten the items that are going to be best for you body, you can quickly pass through the aisles for any canned goods you might need.
Not only is this option going to help you save money and help you to eat healthier, it's going to save you time! I can't tell you how long it takes to grocery shop when you're winding in and out of each aisle. If you pick and choose the isles you need to go down and stick to your list, then you'll be out of the store so much faster. As a mom, my game plan is to always get in and out of the grocery store as fast as possible, so I love this method!
If you are really going to embrace a budget for healthy eating, you have to learn to shop smart! I love Trader Joe’s as much as the next person, but it does cost a little bit more to shop there. If you're looking to stay within your budget, you're going to have to implement a few money-saving techniques.
First, you're going to have to pass on name-brand items. Shopping generic is going to save you money. Just make sure you compare the name-brand and the off-brand products to make sure they hold up nutritionally.
Normally, when you're purchasing healthy foods they will have the same benefits. But watch out for added ingredients, like sugar. Sometimes off-brand foods will add more sugars in to make them taste better. However, if you’re buying whole foods, you don’t have to worry about any additives!
Coupon clipping can be a time-consuming task. Instead of doing that, I just keep an eye out for sales on items that I use frequently. A lot of stores will do sales on meat, which makes it a great time to stock up. Most meats including chicken, beef, pork, turkey and even steaks can be frozen so you can buy them when they're on sale and store them until you're ready to use them.
Also, look for canned food sales. You can stock up on tons of beans, veggies, fruits and pantry staples during canned food sales.
Buy frozen or canned foods
Buying frozen or canned fruits and vegetables are a great way to get nutritious foods that won’t go bad in a week! Frozen and canned foods are harvested at their peak ripeness so they are just as nutritious as fresh produce.
Not only are frozen and canned foods great for your budget, they are great for last minute meals! If you have frozen veggies in the freezer, it makes it so much easier to pull out when you need them.
Plus, these items don’t go bad for a very long time, which means you won’t be tossing food in the trash just because you didn’t get to it in time.
Are you ready to start budgeting for a healthier lifestyle? Schedule a free discovery session with me and I can help you with more tips and tricks for grocery shopping!