You may be surprised to learn that eating healthy foods can be good for your waistline and your budget! Here are some of our favorite tips for eating healthy without spending a lot of money:
- Drink Water — Kick the soda habit. Not only is soda loaded with sugar and calories, it is also not friendly to your wallet. If you do not already have a Brita Filter at home, consider purchasing one and using it on a regular basis. If you must have something carbonated to drink, try flavored seltzer water with a slice of lemon or lime.
- Avoid Pre-packaged Foods — Purchasing convenience foods means you are paying for all the packaging, and marketing that goes into those products. Fresh ingredients are often better for you, and are usually much cheaper.
- Buy Meat in Bulk — Sometimes super markets offer loss-leader specials on meats. If you have a large freezer, stock up. You will be purchasing meat at its lowest possible price, and avoid going to the store (so you will save money on gas too).
- Farmers Market — Your local farmers market may have great deals on fresh vegetables and fruit, particularly at the end of the day. If you get a good deal on tomatoes, for instance, you could make your own sauce or salsa.
- Bake Your Own Bread — Often, store bought bread can be expensive, and it usually contains high fructose corn syrup. If you do not already have a bread maker, search at thrift shops or yard sales. I frequently see nearly-new bread machines there for only a few dollars. Baking your own bread can save a lot of money, and you have the satisfaction of being able to pronounce all the ingredients.
- Grow Your Own — This spring we plan to start gardening with vegetables that are easy to grow such as: green beans, tomatoes, and green bell peppers. Not only will this save money, the food you grow yourself contains more nutrients since it does not have to travel to reach your dinner table.
- Buy Only What You Need — Before you visit the store, make a grocery list and stick to it. If you find yourself picking up impulse purchases, place those in the front basket of the cart. When you are ready to check out, keep just one of those items in the front basket and put the others back on the shelf.
- Never Waste Food — Find creative ways to use leftovers. Soups, casseroles, and even fajitas can be made using leftovers and taste great. Don’t forget about re-heating last night’s dinner for today’s lunch.