One of the most difficult things about eating healthy is doing so on a budget. And although I am a college student shopping for healthy groceries on a budget, I really believe that this post can apply to everyone. Whether you’re single, married, a parent, a student, or even if you’re retired. I’m pretty sure anyone of any age would gladly be willing to save some money on their grocery bill. With that, eating wholesome, nutrient-dense foods does not have to be expensive. As long as you’re mindful each time you plan out your meals and each time you walk into a grocery store, you’ll be surprised how quickly you can cut down your food bill by just following these simple tips. With that, here are 6 easy ways to eat healthy on a budget!
1. Shop and eat in season
Not only is in-season produce tastier and fresher, but the abundance of the crop generally brings down the price making it much more affordable. Season produce will vary region to region, however, all you have to do is a little bit of research to find out what’s in season in your area and begin to plan your meals correspondingly.
Additionally, if you want to really expand the abundance of in-season produce, don’t be afraid to cook and meal-prep large portions and utilize leftovers!
2. Carry a reusable water bottle
This one is simple, however, it’s highly worth mentioning! Instead of spending your money each week on plastic water bottles that end up destroying our planet, switch to a reusable water bottle that you can fill up and carry around every day! Plus, using a water bottle is not only beneficial for the environment, but it’ll help to drink more water and save you from buying bottles when you’re out and about!
3. Meal mapping
I love this idea that I originally saw on RealFoodWholeLife.com and I had to share it with you! Meal mapping is similar to meal planning since it helps us to not wander around the grocery store or feel the need to buy items we don’t need and might later throw out or waste. Plus, meal mapping allows us to be more flexible about what we buy, which is in contrast to a meal plan since meal planning can feel a little more rigid or strict.
Essentially, meal mapping is choosing a meal type for each day of the week, as opposed to writing out a different recipe for each day. This saves you time, money, and stress when trying to make decisions. For example, when creating your meal map try to think about mapping a few meal types instead of individual meals. These broader meal types can be anything from tacos bowls, stir-frys, salads, soups, chilis, pasta, etc.
From there, think about any easy sides by selecting a protein or veggie, and the seasoning or sauces that can be used on multiple recipes! Give this method a try and let me know what you think! It’s definitely changed the way that I shop and plan out my weekly meals, as well as save me tons of money throughout the week!
4. Opt for loose leaf tea and a reusable Keurig-cup
If you are an avid tea drinker, one way to save a ton of money each month is by opting for loose-leaf tea instead of the variety packs. Plus, loose-leaf tea is typically less expensive than buying individual packets, therefore, it’s definitely more cost-efficient to purchase tea this way! Not to mention, there are tons of different tea options, most with lots of benefits.
Personally, green tea is one of my favorites! This is because it boosts your energy, it’s full of antioxidants, which helps with digestion (especially right after you eat), and it has a small amount of useful caffeine.
On the other hand, if you’re more of a coffee drinker (like me) and you utilize a Keriug maker daily, I recommend buying a reusable Keruig cup instead of buying disposable K-cups each week. Not only are you saving tons of money, but using a reusable K-cup is more eco-friendly! They are easy to clean, and you can switch up the type of coffee each day if you want to by adding any kind of ground coffee that you please!
5. Skip the powders
Okay, I know I rave about my collagen protein allllll the time, and you’re probably thinking: “how could you recommend skipping the trendy powders??” Well, as much as I love (and recommend) collagen, if you’re trying to eat healthy on a budget, then the trendy powders such as collagen or whey protein don’t need to be on your grocery list. Unless you can fit them in occasionally on your budget!
So, instead of buying the fancy powders, focus on getting as much “real” food in as possible. Although collagen is very nutritional, it can be expensive. Plus, you can get collagen and protein from other sources. If you’re mindful of it, you can often get all of those nutrients from raw fruits and veggies, healthy grains, and protein like beans and lean meat. For example, my two main protein sources that are always on my grocery list are lean chicken and 99% lean ground turkey breast. You’d be surprised how many meals you can make throughout the week with just those two staple ingredients! With that, leave a comment if you would like to see a meal prepping post! 🤗
6. Simplify your meals
This is when my crockpot or instant pot comes in handy! And if I’m being totally honest, I use my crockpot every single week. Mostly for soups, chilis, or shredding chicken to make bigger meals to spread out during the week. Plus, you end up saving a lot of money each week by simplifying your meals and cooking your meals at home instead of getting take-out! With that, if you are looking for some healthy, budget-friendly crockpot meals, definitely check out this post I found by Robyn at RealFoodWholeLife.com! She has tons of easy, delicious, and healthy recipes to try out!
All in all, eating healthy on a budget is possible! Even as a college student or someone in their 20’s trying to figure everything out (me) haha! You just have to be intentional, plan ahead, and stay strong—with your budget and your body. You got this!
Do you have any tips for eating healthy on a budget?
Let me know in the comments!