If you are trying to eat healthy, you may find buying healthy food can be expensive. This can make it difficult to eat well when you’re on a budget. Fortunately, there are many ways to save money and stick to a healthy, well-balanced diet. Here are a few tips to do just that.
Plan your meals
Planning your meals is key when you are trying to save money at the grocery store. Take one day to plan your meals for the week, create a list of needed items and then stick to it. Planning a weekly menu helps reduce waste because you only buy the items you need. Before you go, make sure to take a look at what you already have on hand, preventing you from buying items you don’t need.
Eat at home
When you cook at home, you almost always save money. Meal planning can help make cooking at home a habit, too. Some people like to do all the cooking for the week on the weekend, so evening meals are a quick warm up and you are ready to eat. Another benefit to cooking for yourself is that you know exactly what ingredients are in your food, helping you stick to your healthy eating plan.
This does not mean eat more, but to cook in large portions, which can save you both time and money. Leftovers can be used for lunch the next day, in other recipes or frozen to be enjoyed on another day. Leftovers can also make great stews, stir-fries and burritos, which can all be great budget savers.
Purchase whole foods
Many foods can be inexpensive and healthier in a
less-processed form. For example, a block of cheese costs less than a bag of shredded cheese. Also, whole grains such as brown rice and oats are less expensive than most cereals, most of which are processed, making whole grains more affordable and healthier than many cereals.
Look for sales
If you have favorite products or staples, stock up on them when you see them on sale at the grocery store. This will save you money on items you will definitely use. Make sure to check the expiration date on these items; if you are unable to use the items before they expire, you end up wasting money. Another way to save is by purchasing in-season produce. When fruits and vegetables are in season, there is a surplus of product, which helps drive the price down.
There are many ways to eat healthy, even on a budget, including planning your meals, cooking at home and making smart choices at the grocery store. Keep in mind that junk food costs you a lot; poor health comes with medical costs, medications and even reduced work capacity. Even if eating healthy was more expensive (which it doesn’t have to be), then it would still be worth it to invest in your current and future well-being. You really can’t put a price on good health.
If you need assistance with budget planning, Michigan State University Federal Credit Union can help. We offer many free financial education sessions in the Greater Lansing community, and have knowledgeable and helpful employees ready to assist you online and in our branches. Visit msufcu.org/events to find an upcoming seminar near you.