The Challenge of Eating Healthy
It’s good to eat healthily. In fact, we’re told that we must do it to lose weight, be fit and live longer. Yet sometimes it can be difficult; healthy food can often be more expensive than unhealthy food, and buying a TV dinner or some takeout rather than cooking a well-balanced meal can often seem more appealing when it comes to the cost, time and effort involved.
The good news is that there are many ways to eat healthily and still stick to a budget. It might take a little time to get organized and could be a change to your current lifestyle, but with consistent daily action, you’ll be able to eat healthier, feel better and save some money too.
Here’s 3 tips to help you eat healthy on a budget!
Tip #1: Make Cooking An Event
Did you know that the average American household spends over $3,000 per year eating out?
Not only can cooking at home help save you money, compared with eating out, it can also help you have more nutrient dense meals, improving your overall wellbeing. When you cook for yourself, you also know exactly what is in your food and you can cook everything to you liking.
If you find cooking boring or you don’t want to think about what to cook, there are some great meal plans available in cookbooks (I have one!) and that makes it easier to cook at home too. Look for meals with lots of flavor and variety to help stave off boredom.
The next step is to turn cooking dinner into more of an event. Have family help out, or make it a competition to see who can create the best dish. This is such a fun way to bond with your family too! Try new ideas and don’t stick to recipes you know but experiment with different ones like a great stir fry recipe. Cooking will soon become much more fun than you thought it would be, and you’ll be happier to stay home and eat in.
Tip #2: Cook Large Portions
Cooking large portions of your favorite healthy foods is a fantastic way to save time, money and take the decision making out of your day.
Think about using your crockpot or instant pot to help cook large portions and barely spend any extra energy doing so. This Crockpot No Chop Chili is a family favorite and this Chicken and Lentil Curry comes together in minutes!
To help with portion control, take individual servings and store in reusable containers. Keep them in the fridge or freezer for quick and easy meals during the week. Be sure to plan to defrost any foods in your freezer ahead of time.
Plus, knowing you have food at home, can help you stay money conscious, since you’ll be less likely to spend money on takeout when you have some yummy meals waiting for you at home!
Tip #3: Shop After Eating
If you wait until you have just had a meal, or even a light snack, before you do your grocery shopping, you will be less likely to be tempted by junk food or other snacks than if you went shopping when you were hungry. (Believe me, I know this from experience!)
Being hungry means that the body will often crave foods that are bad for you in general. Your body is simply looking for sustenance and energy to keep it going – that’s why these cravings pop up. These cravings can be crushed or ignored most of the time, but if you are surrounded by things that your body is telling you it wants while at the grocery store, this can be much more difficult. You will be more susceptible to impulse buying, and not only will you buy food that is not the best for you, you’ll spend more than you should as well.
To combat this, try eating a meal or snack before grocery shopping and stick to a grocery list based upon the foods you’re planning to cook that week.
I hope these 3 tips help you eat healthy on a budget! Share with me what your favorite tip was and what you’ll be trying this week.
For more healthy, delicious, budget friendly meals, make sure to check out these recipes:
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