Q: Why is eating healthy so expensive?
A: It’s not.
Yes, healthy food can be pretty expensive, especially if you buy into the Instagrammable eats version of #healthyliving. But eating well doesn’t have to break the bank. Eating healthy on a budget is totally doable. In fact, if you play it smart, eating healthy could even save you some money!
How to eat cheap but healthy?
Here are some easy ways you can cut down on costs and eat healthier.
1. Don’t overspend at the grocery
You have to start from the very beginning: the store. The less you spend in the grocery, the better. This entails choosing local seasonal produce over imported goods, fresh food over pre-prepared foods, and more. Read this article for more tips on saving money at the grocery.
2. Cook your own food
Yes, this takes more effort, but do the math. If you buy a $5 lunch every day, that adds up. By bringing a packed lunch to work, you could save $100 every month! Plus, preparing your own meals also gives you more control over your nutrition, which can feel pretty empowering.
3. Plan your meals
Don’t have the time to cook every day? Here’s an easy solution: cook large portions once a week, and divide the food into 7 portions for you to eat throughout the week. You might get sick of eating the same thing every day, so mix it up by cooking a different recipe every week.
4. Buy leafy greens
Eating local, leafy greens is an easy way to get all that good vitamins and minerals that your body just loves. Find a way to add veggies into every meal—from your breakfast smoothies to your desserts.
5. Go as natural as possible
Try to stay away from foods that have been injected with a bunch of ingredients you can barely pronounce. When possible, go for whole foods. The less artificial ingredients you consume, the better.
6. Buy whole grains
Whole grains like brown rice and oats aren’t just healthy, they’re also pretty inexpensive. They’re quite versatile as well—you won’t need the creative genius of a master chef to add some to each meal.
7. Start your own herb garden
Adding herbs to each meal is an easy way to make things tastier. By growing your own herbs, you’ll be saving yourself trips to the grocery while getting the satisfaction of harvesting something you grew in your own backyard / balcony / windowsill / etc.
8. Instead of grabbing a sugary dessert, eat fruit
Added sugars have no essential nutrients, and are bad for your liver, teeth, metabolism, heart, and more. It has even been linked to cancer! So if you’re craving for something sweet, do yourself a favour and grab a piece of fruit instead.
9. Find alternative sources of protein
Meat can get pretty expensive, which is why you should buy cheaper cuts when possible. But you can do even more than that and opt for more inexpensive sources of protein, like tofu, eggs, or canned tuna.
10. Just stop buying junk food
Yes, we understand your cravings for french fries and Coke—we all get them! But junk foods really live up to their name; not only do they not have much nutritional value, they’re actually really bad for you! Stop wasting your money and start treating your body better. Eating healthy on a budget is not that difficult!