This post may contain affiliate links.
Eating Healthy on a Budget, It is Possible!
Here are 10 Ways
A friend, on a budget, recently asked why eating healthy has to be so expensive. She's right, if you go to the brands that advertise as being healthy. Going the easiest routes for eating healthy is also more expensive. It's because It takes more work to figure out how to make healthy desirable. That's in my opinion of course. The healthier ingredient's themselves are not all that rare or expensive. In fact whole grains and lobsters used to be fed to prisoners. It takes less energy to have whole grain because you don't have to refine it. It's about supply and demand baby.
How What You Eat Can Decrease How Much You Eat
1. Eating more satiating food ?
My wife, Mod, always reminds me that it is more expensive when I don't eat the rice. I don't like white rice and it's unhealthy. Some people think carbs are too many calories too. I tend to feel like that if I am not running all day in a clinic and then working out afterwards. There are a lot of calories in those guys and if you have a sit down job, chances are you aren't a calorie furnace.
There are easier ways to feel satisfied with less calories though. I do intermittent fasting so I know which ones make me feel satisfied. Soups are proven to fill you up with less calories. My microbiology instructor told us that chicken broth has all the essential amino acids and everything we need. I guess our body somehow senses that and it requires less calories to get there. Less money too! Check out this article on how people who eat soup tend to eat less.
2. Healthy Doesn't Have To Be Boring
I have tried maybe 1/100th of the main healthy Thai recipes. That is only one of the genres of cultural food. With the increasing prevalence of food blogs and ways to buy unusual ingredients the boring ? excuse is going away.
3. Intermittent Fasting
I have been taking a thing of low sodium chicken broth to work and it is both fast and cheap. It is only a few dollars too for my intermittent fasting day. I was turned on to intermittent fasting when I watched Alan Alda review some of the research on fasting. Fasting itself is proving to help people live longer. Check it out in this Scientific American Video, I Love Alan Alda!! ? Imagine the money you save, including future medical bills, if this turns out to be right. ??
Here is how I have been doing fasting.
I have had more trouble though. Swanson stopped making the ultra portable low sodium chicken broth. I still do it with chicken broth but less frequently. More commonly, I do miso soup at Mod's restaurant or Starbucks with soy milk now. Both are satisfying.
I know the argument that not eating slows the metabolism. I don't think I have wrecked my metabolism though. I'm somewhat buff on this diet and a lot of other people are too. Google, intermittent fasting and see what happens. It's somewhat controversial I know, I tried small meals often. I needed something different. ? Feel free to comment below.
Other Ways Being Frugal and Healthy Co-exist
According to the book The Cheapskate Next Door, cheapskates have ½ the divorce rate of big spenders. People who are married, especially men live longer. Ergo, Being budget minded is healthy. It also helps you put money in your emergency fund which you can use for medical bills. That's probably good for your health too.
Dave Ramsey says that statistically people who do a monthly written budget tend to save more. He also says statistically those who are able to save an emergency fund have less emergencies. See how this all goes together for having a happier and healthier future?! ?? I'm actually guessing you do because you care about your budget enough to do the work of reading this. If you are not on top of your budget, We got a lot out of financial peace university. I recommend it, we did it and did better after.
You can find a local financial peace university here. They are often free with churches trying to reach out to the community. You might just tell them you're on a tight budget and heard they might help. They didn't proselytize either, we were not of the same faith and it didn't matter.
Some Other Little Tricks That Help
5. Buy fresh meats and vegetables when their on sale and in season and freeze them
We often go straight to the clearance section in the meat department and buy several things at once and freeze them. The same applies for fruits and vegetables. You end up getting a lot of variety this way too because you are not locked into your dogmatic tendencies. When go with whats on sale you end up looking up what to do with it which leads to adventure. ???
6. Organizing and Planning
If you have every watched the show, Extreme Cheapskates you know this strategy. Buying in bulk is not always best but it can be. You can do double and triple coupons and actually leave with a load of groceries and get money back too. I have never pulled this off but have studied it a little. It helps to have extra storage room. You can go through our blog and print the printable recipes and have a list made for you. Just check of the ingredients as you go. Plan 10 recipes at a time and get yourself a bit of piece of mind too. Being organized you also waste less by misplacing items and forgetting about them.
7. Shop Asian and Farmer's Markets
Just Google, Asian market or store near me. The prices are often much cheaper. Try several and you'll find one you like better than the others. I like the smaller ones in the nicer part of town. They tend to smell less like fish.
8. Repurpose Leftovers
My wife just made a huge pot of massaman curry. I reused it with some whole grain dipping chips and made some healthier nachos. The flavors actually rested in the fridge also marinating the ingredients better. I love massaman so I have repurposed it in other ways. Here is where I used it as a topping for salmon. This was pre-made curry sauce but you could use leftover massaman just as easily.
9. When Possible, Buy Cheaper Cuts of Meat
A lot of the time the more expensive cuts are the healthier ones but not always. Go for bone in meat. A lot of the time there is a recipe that works fine with the bone in.
10. Find Budget Recipes Using Our Budget Tag
Tonight I am creating a new tag for our tag cloud for recipes that can feed you for relatively inexpensively. I'm including chicken recipes because you can get chicken so cheap at discount stores. If meat is too much for your situation you may substitute eggs in any recipe.
I am including most soups and salads because you eat less when you eat them due their filling effect. Some of the more exotic things like our fiddle head fern salad are not so cheap so there are obvious exceptions. You can find the tag at the bottom of the page. You can also just type the word budget in the search bar and it will filter for less expensive recipes.
Or you can just click the link to the budget archives. Bear in mind, some of the items used to be expensive are in the budget section because they are available at discount stores for really reasonable prices.
Here's my summary ->>
As always, If you have more ideas please let me know and I will add them into the post!
If you like this post you might also like one of the following.