Cheap (But Good) Eats: Healthy on a Budget
If you’re looking to eat healthy but have to do it on a tight budget, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are some tips to create a plan to help you spend less, shop smart, and still eat good food.
Make a plan
Meal planning will not only help you save money, but will help you reduce waste as well. Before you start your menu for the week, take stock of what you already have in your fridge, freezer, and pantry. Then, build your meals around what you already have on hand. Once you have the first part of the week figured out, you can plot out a plan to use leftovers, whether it is a bunch of cooked beans or half a pan of lasagna. Ready to dive in to meal planning? Check out these tips to learn how to plan your weekly meals.
Pre-packaged food often appeals to our thriftiness because it lasts so much longer than fresh. Why buy a bunch of fresh veggies that are going to go bad before you use them, when you can buy a veggie rice dinner in a box that will last for months? But the thing is, that boxed dinner will end up costing way more per serving than the same dish made from scratch. So, once you’ve planned your meals, it is time to shop smart! Check out this aisle by aisle guide to choosing and storing fresh foods. Once you know which fresh foods to choose, it’s time to incorporate ways to save money. Here are tips to help you save more at the store.
Cook from scratch
You’ll save so much money simply by cooking from scratch. It takes a bit of time, but cooking can also be a great way to make memories with friends and family. Cooking from scratch allows you to have more control over your ingredients and it is generally less expensive per serving than the equivalent packaged product. Need a bit of inspiration? Check out the USDA Mixing Bowl, an interactive meal planning tool that includes lots of low-cost, healthy recipes.
Buy in bulk
Bulk products cost up to 87% less than the packaged counterparts. But buying in bulk doesn’t just mean you just load up a few reusable bags. If you still want your favorite packaged products, you can save by purchasing them in bulk too! The Co-op offers a discount to owners on special orders of cases. Want to try buying from the bulk bins and never done it before? Here’s how to buy food in bulk and save money.