Being on a tight budget and eating healthy can be intricate. With food prices soaring, eating healthy requires good planning, dedication and creativity so that you don’t find yourself in grocery debt. In addition, human body needs a balanced diet, rich in nutrients that can offer you a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.
The following are tips for eating healthy when the money is tight.
Buy seasoned produce on sale
Seasoned produce is expensive, but you can find nice bargains on sale. Human body craves for certain foods that contain certain nutritional value. So, make sure to buy seasoned fruits and vegetables at least once or twice a week to get all the nutritional benefits, while stretching your dollar value. Besides, many grocery stores offer fresh fruits and vegetables for half the regular price, so make sure to check in your local grocery store.
Buy frozen vegetables
You can find big bags of frozen vegetables for $1 at bargain and cook great meals with high nutritional value. The main advantage of frozen veggies is that you can keep them in the freezer for longer time and make practical additions to your meals before the veggies lose their vitamins from being exposed to oxygen, heat, and light.
Eat lots of salads
Salads have great nutritional value. Being rich in vitamins A, C and E, beta carotene, folic acid and lycopene, salads fight cancer, prevent constipation and lower cholesterol levels. Besides, preparing a salad every day is pretty simple and quite pleasant. Make sure to mix all kinds of different vegetables that appeal to your taste to get a highly nutritional and colorful plate with the red of tomatoes, the green of broccoli, the yellow of corn, the orange of carrots and so on.
Eat soups and snacks
Canned and packed soups are very rich in vitamins and have high nutritional value. You can add any type of meat, vegetable, spice or herb and fix a delicious, healthy meal in no time and at a very low cost. In addition, you can eat low calorie snacks during the day, including home-made cookies, smoothies, sugar free puddings, granola bars, pretzels, sunflower seeds and olives.
Eat dry beans and canned fish
Dry beans are high in iron, fiber and proteins and low in calories, thus making a great meat substitute. If you eat dry beans twice a week you can considerably lower you cholesterol levels, have a better digestion and reduce the risk of heart diseases or cancer. Moreover, dry beans can be cooked with rice, soups, quesadillas, burritos and stews or be served independently as a side dish. In addition, try to eat canned tuna. It contains great quantities of Omega 3 and you get the same nutritional value as if you’re eating fresh tuna, salmon, herring and mackerel fish or nuts and flaxseed.
Eat brown rice and pasta
Brown rice is an affordable and extremely healthy solution for healthy eating on a budget. You can instantly create delicious meals with brown rice, soup, stew, beans, vegetables and all kinds of salads. Brown rice stabilizes blood pressure, controls your weight and can help you against cancer and heart diseases. In addition, you can use whole-wheat pasta for quick and healthy meals that can be matched with meat, vegetables and salad.
Avoid convenience foods
Convenience foods can save you great time on cooking and are pretty affordable, but they are also rich in preservatives. Although you may think that you stretch your dollar value by buying on-the-go eatables, keep in mind that they are rich in salt, fats and sodium and can raise your blood pressure levels.
Buy in bulk
Buying large quantities of non-perishable food items can save you a lot of money. Spices, dried herbs, curry powder, vinegars, marinades, soy sauce, brown rice, tomato, ketchup, and whole wheat flour can be stored in your kitchen cabinet and be used in a variety of healthy meals.
Plan ahead for leftovers
Make sure to cook more food than the scheduled meals. For instance, if you are a family of four, cook three meals per person so that you eat one and you keep the two in the freezer. Make sure to use vegetable trimmings to have your own vegetable stock, which you can use for soups, casseroles, and Crockpot cooking.
Stick to your shopping list
Make sure you make a shopping list with all the necessary items and stick to it. If you go to the grocery store without a shopping list you are very likely to lose control of your budget. Do your shopping once or twice a week and use coupons to save more money.
Eating healthy when the money is tight may sound like science fiction, but healthy eating is more than a must do; it’s a way of life. Make sure to change your dietary habits, control your emotions and eat healthier food that can protect both your health and your savings.