Eating healthy can cost a lot, but how do you make sure you are always on a cheap healthy diet?
It actually seems difficult to eat very nutritious meals while spending less but it is achievable if you have the tips and tricks on your sleeves. If the fear of spending a lot is the factor preventing you from eating good healthy foods, then you are on the right track to cheap healthy diet, so keep reading.
You can reduce the cost of meals by eating more homemade foods and by making sure you include some of the healthiest foods from your supermarket foods like whole grains, vegetables, and beans.
Here are the top 17 cheap healthy diet tips we are dishing out for you
Plan Your Meals
To save money at the grocery store, planning is key. Pick one day every week to plan your meals for the coming week. Then, make a list of what you need for grocery shopping. Also, check your fridge and cabinets to see what you already have in stock. There are usually a lot of foods hidden in the back that can be used.
Draw up a weekly meal plan using up ingredients you already have and make a shopping list of any missing items. Try not to grocery shop when you are hungry. People who shop when hungry tend to spend more, most especially on less healthy foods, such as high-fat and sugary snacks.
Don’t go shopping hungry
Try not to grocery shop when you are hungry. People who shop when hungry tend to spend more, most especially on less healthy foods, such as high-fat and sugary snacks.
Shop during the ‘happy hour’
Most supermarkets discount fresh items towards the end of the day. However, with longer opening hours it’s a case of finding out just the right time to grab those bargains. If you time it right and the “reduced to clear shelves” can save you big money. Always check use-by dates.
Do not waste food
The average family with children throws away almost £60 of good food every month. Be strict about buying only what you’ll actually eat. Plan your meals so that all ingredients on your list get used. Freeze any unused food. Food storage bags and boxes will come in handy.
Cook at home
Cheap healthy diet attainment also involves cooking at home, because it is far cheaper than eating outside. Develop a habit of cooking at home, rather than eating out all the time. Statistically proven, you can feed an entire family of 4 for the same price as buying food for one or two people at a restaurant. By cooking for yourself, you stand to know what exactly is in your food.
Buy in bulk and divide into portions
This tip is mostly a way to cut down on cost. But buying in bulk anything from vegetables to meat, to grains, can also cut down on shopping time, so there’s more time left to prepare healthy meals.
Cook large portions of food and don’t waste leftovers
Cooking large meals can save time and money. Leftovers can be used for lunches, in other recipes or frozen in single-portion sizes to be enjoyed later on. Leftovers usually make very good stews, stir-fries, salads, and burritos. These types of food are especially great for people on a budget.
Leftovers can be frozen for another day. Eventually, your freezer will be full of homemade ready meals for you to jump on.
Frozen fruit and vegetables are very underrated. They come pre-chopped and ready to use, they are just as good for you. You should also avoidfrozen foods with added salt, sugar or fat. Frozen vegetables are picked at the peak of freshness and then frozen to seal in their nutrients. Get tips on how to defrost and freeze.
Start your own herb garden
Highly fresh herbs are a great way of seasoning food without excess salt, butter, or cheese. Growing your own personal herb garden is not only good for your health but it’s also an easy way to pretty up any space! All that’s necessary for a DIY herb garden is a few small planters and an empty windowsill.
Healthy breakfast is important!
Starting your day with a healthy breakfast can make your day healthy. So what makes the best breakfast? One study found consuming protein for breakfast can help prevent overeating later in the day, but another found that eating a large breakfast with dessert could help keep off excess pounds. Choose what goes for you.
More Generic Brands
Most stores offer generic brands for nearly any product. All food manufacturers have to follow standards to provide safe food. The generic brands may be the same quality as other national brands, just less expensive. While buying generic brands, read the ingredients lists to be sure that you’re not getting a product of lower quality than you’re used to.
Choose whole grains
When grains are processed, for example, “to become white flour used in crackers, cookies, or white bread — two essential parts of the grain (the bran and germ) are removed“. The problem is these parts hold the most health benefits and nutrients, including vitamin E, major B vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Look for the “Whole Grain Stamp” on the packaging or just opt for ingredients like whole grain, brown rice, and oats.
Vegetables! Vegetables!! Vegetables!!!
Meat and fish are typically the most expensive food ingredients on a shopping list. How about adding vegetables to meat dishes such as casseroles to make your meals go further? Or try a few vegetarian meals during the week to keep costs down. Fresh fruits, berries, and vegetables are usually in season only a few months per year and are sometimes rather expensive.
You can join thousands of people who regularly take part in meat-free Monday.
Related: All You Need To Know About kale
Say a “BIG NO” to sweetened drinks
Added sugar is a “NO”. Not only does it pack on calories, but eating foods with added sugar causes cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and weight gain. Why not replace sweetened beverages with water and fresh fruit, or 100 percent fruit juices diluted with water.
Healthiest food should be in front of the fridge
On opening the fridge, make sure you see the healthiest edibles first. If the leftover chocolate cake is placed at the back corner, there are chances that the eye will stick to the fresh piece of pineapple right up front first. Bonus points for storing healthy options in transparent containers and unhealthy stuff in opaque ones so you see the healthy stuff before the stomach really starts grumbling.
Grow Your Own Produce
If possible, having your own small farm is a fantastic idea. Seeds are very cheap to buy, and, with some time and effort, you can grow your own sprouts, tomatoes, onions, and many more delicious crops.
Having a continuous supply at home saves you money at the store. Home-grown produce may also taste a lot better than the store-bought varieties and you are also sure that they are ripe on consumption.
Eat smaller portions
When restaurants pile plates bigger than a human head, it’s easy to overeat. Limit those portions to fewer sizes so you can eat a little healthier. Not sure where to start? Try portion-size plates or learn how to estimate serving sizes for certain foods. To avoid eating more than planned, ask the server to wrap up half the dish for you to take home.
Bonus tips: Replace desserts with fruit, consume more proteins and shop online for more healthy food offers
You don’t have to spend all your money just to eat healthily. The fact is that there are lots of ways to eat healthy even on a low budget. Planning your meals, home cooking, and making wise choices while grocery shopping. Always remember that you spend a lot more on junk foods and bad health comes with medical costs, drugs and even reduced work capacity. So eat healthily and stay wealthy.