5 Ways To Eat Healthy On A Budget
If you want to shed some pounds before beach season or are just trying to change your eating habits for the better, the entire task can become daunting. First off, there’s the question of what actually constitutes as healthy. There’s a lot of back and forth on what makes something healthy and we can help you weed through that information. But then there’s the problem with cost. It’s true that a bag of apples costs more than a bag of Cheetos but there are ways to shop healthy on a budget. Here’s a couple that we’ve found to help you meander your way through the supermarket like a pro.
First Off, What Is Actually Healthy?
Butter or vegetable oil? Is garlic good or bad for your heart? Are sugar substitutes more harmful than regular sugar? There’s a lot of back and forth on what actually constitutes as healthy. Some scientific studies point one way while the other will find something completely different. Will all the questions, there are actually some slightly more concrete answers.
1. Fresh is best. Any way you put it, eating natural products is the best way to approach a healthier diet. Think fresh fruit and veggies and salads. They’re filled with tons of vitamins and nutrients, aid in digestion and promote immune health. Everyone should incorporate fruits and/ or vegetables into their diets on a daily basis.
2. Stay away from sugar, real or not. More and more studies are finding that sugar contributes to health problems like obesity and heart disease. The best ways to avoid sugar is to replace soda with water, minimize processed foods (this will come up a couple of times) and decrease the amount of carbohydrates you eat.
3. Eating a balanced diet is key. Too much of anything will leave you with gaps in the nutrients you take in. When you do your grocery shopping and prepare your meals, think of this. Make sure you have your vegetables, grains and proteins so nothing gets left out.
4. You don’t have to be good at cooking to eat healthy. Some of the simplest meals are made in the simplest ways!
5. Immediately minimize the amount of processed foods you eat. Foods filled with high fructose corn syrup, monosodium glutamate and hydrogenated oils have got to go. There’s healthier alternative to “junk food” out there so if you feel like snacking, you can have a little bit of a cheat. They might cost slightly more but the health benefits are more than worth it.
The center aisles of grocery stores are filled with those wonderful temptations like crackers, cookies, chips, pop, candy and all the other processed foods we have come to know and love. But you’ll find that the more and more you stock up on those items, the higher up your grocery bill goes. If you want to eat healthy and get the most out of your money while doing it, stick to the fresh and frozen foods aisles.
Eat in season
We can’t talk about the benefits of eating in season enough. The produce is cheaper and even if you can’t eat it all fresh, you can always freeze it to eat all year round. Fresh frozen fruit is amazing for smoothies and sauces and frozen vegetables can be used for any meal. Plus, when you freeze it yourself the foods won’t have added sugar, salt or other ingredients.
Learn to Love Leftovers
What can we say, leftovers aren’t for everyone. But by making a little more the first time around, you can be set up for a couple of days worth of meals that can free up precious time and energy. Stir frys, chili and crockpot creations all make amazing leftovers that are both healthy and cost effective.
Mexican, Indian, Thai, Cuban and many other countries have cuisine that’s centered around inexpensive, healthy ingredients. It can help broaden your horizon and keep things fresh and new as you try out new recipes. As food lovers over here at Escoffier Online, we love it when we find new and amazing recipes!
Plan Your Meals In Advance
If you plan out what you’re doing to make in advance, it’ll help save a lot of the confusion and temptations later on in the week. Plus, if you do your grocery shopping all at once, then you’ll already have all the ingredients at home. We know how much of a drag going to the store can be at the end of a hectic day. Minimize those frustrations be being prepared!