The pandemic era has completely revolutionized the way we function. People are trying to be more and more health-conscious with every passing day. One of the most googled questions is “How to eat healthy on a frugal budget?” If you’ve been wondering the same, you’ve come to the perfect place.
Here are some proven tips to help you live a healthy life without burning a hole in your pocket.
Track your grocery spending, meal patterns, and food wastage: Before planning, you must analyze your lifestyle. Look at your strengths and weaknesses. It’ll give you a better idea of what areas need to be worked on.
Survey your kitchen cabinets and the fridge shelves often: It is always good to keep a tab of ingredients closer to expiration. You can plan your meals accordingly and use them well in time.
Chalk down your weekly meal plans: Meal planning saves you time, money, energy, and extra trips to the grocery store. Once you have a rough meal plan in mind, you can prep better, shop for the right ingredients, and avoid last-minute fiascos.
Now, meal planning can get overwhelming if you’re just starting out. To begin with, pick out some easy and simple recipes. You can gradually start including fancy dishes.
Enter the store with a grocery list and stick to it: Once you start meal planning, you’ll have a clear idea of what ingredients you need. Visit only the aisles that you need to. That way, you won’t see extra stuff, and you won’t buy extra stuff.
Stop relying on takeaway meals: Eating out comes with a hefty price tag and is generally less nutritious than homemade food. When you cook at home, you have complete portion control. You can choose to add more veggies, replace unhealthy ingredients with healthier alternatives, add more lean proteins, and so much more.
Opt for local and seasonal foods: Seasonal produce is always fresher, nutrition-laden, and naturally contains lesser preservatives.
The local plants get optimum weather for their growth and bear tastier fruits and vegetables. The local produce can easily reach from the farm to your doorstep, making them environmentally friendly. Besides, less shipping costs, so there will be some savings too!
Don’t get carried away during sales: The word ‘sale’ profoundly affects the buyer’s mind. That is when the most determined people slip and buy random stuff.
Sometimes the slashed prices are worth it, sometimes, not so much. Before grabbing the sale goodies, make sure you know a few recipes that will accommodate the ingredient. Also, check its manufacturing and the expiration dates. You don’t want to end up with something which is just about to expire.
Buy in bulk, but do not overstock: Since we’re talking about being healthy on a tight budget, how can we overlook the benefits of bulk shopping? Oh, the Costco deals!!
Bulk shopping can work really well if implemented correctly. However, a few things to consider before bulk buying are: “Do I need so much? If not, can I share half of it with a friend or a neighbor? Can I store this ingredient for long, or will it perish?” After this mini questionnaire, if it still makes sense to buy that big box, get it and save yourself some money!!
Maintain a food journal: Journaling is one of my favorite ways to track my meals and exercise schedules. Writing down your dietary habits will help you understand your eating patterns and provide additional information on the areas that need attention. And guess what, it’s completely free!
Opt for generic brands: Some brands are more expensive than others. Sometimes these brands offer better products. They could be organic or fresher than the rest. But sometimes, the generic products are equally good and easy on the pocket. So, compare the items, try small quantities of both, and then decide it yourself.
Repurpose the leftovers: We can only try to cook with minimum leftovers. And yet, there will be days when there’ll be a significant quantity of leftover food. Think of this food as a ready ingredient to be used for the next meal. The key here is to store this food smartly.
Refrigerate it if required. Place it on eye-level shelves. You could store it in glass containers. The glass containers serve multiple purposes. They are reusable and sustainable. They do not leach out harmful chemicals, and the transparency helps with food visibility.
You can actually take this opportunity to get creative and explore some kitchen sink recipes.
Be accountable: Setting long-term health goals can be challenging for some people. If you can’t follow through with the plan on your own, you can involve friends and family. You could also consider speaking to a wellness coach who can guide you through the process and help you achieve the desired results.
Well, these were some tips from our side. If you have some interesting ones to share, we would love to include them. You could put them down in the comments section or email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org