It’s January, which means that we (like most everyone else on the planet) are trying hard to eat better… or at least improve our repertoire of go-to meals… The problem is that we’ve also declared January to be a low-spend month…so we need to be as frugal as possible when it comes to groceries. Which got me thinking…we cannot be the only family trying to tighten the belt when it comes to groceries. I want to share how to be eating healthy on a budget!
How To Effectively Be Eating Healthy on a Budget
Food isn’t cheap – especially if you prefer a diet that leans toward the healthier side of the spectrum as we do. Don’t even get me started on organic prices at Whole Paycheck.
Eating healthy and staying on budget can be tough, but it can certainly be done. Which means that regardless of whether you’ve declared a low spend month or money is a struggle right now (hello, government shut down and all my Coastie friends), you can totally make it work.
Eating Healthy on A Budget Tips
Buy in Bulk
Protein is often the most expensive component of any meal. Fortunately, many grocers understand this and offer meat for bulk purchase. You can also brave Costco or Sam’s Club and take advantage of their large packs of meat (just make sure that you stick to your list).
You can also leverage the bulk bins at your favorite grocery to purchase any other dried staples that you may need, such as grains, seasonings, and even olive oil.
Introduce Meatless Mondays
I mentioned it before, but it bears repeating: meat and seafood are often the most expensive components in any meal.
If you haven’t tried swapping one dinner a week for a vegetarian option, now is a great time.
We’ve been doing Meatless Mondays for while now, and adding this into your meal rotation is a great way to save on proteins.
From easy options like pizza and a veggie-filled pasta to more creative ethnic cuisines, you’ll find plenty of easy and affordable ways to feed your family without using meat.
Some of our favorite vegetarian recipes are:
When you don’t have a ton of money to spend on food, it can be tempting to default to quick, easy, and not-so-nutritious recipes…
…or the drive-through.
Don’t do it, friend.
Instead, search for some budget-friendly recipes your family can enjoy together (there are tons on this site alone!).
You can also make a quick stop at your local library (yes, they still exist!) and grab a new cookbook to try.
From online resources to physical books in your local library, there are lots of places to go for inspiration in the kitchen.
Meal prepping may sound like “plan ahead” stated again, but it’s not! If you set aside a time to cook once or twice per week, you will always have grab and go food available to eat, which does help with the “plan ahead” tip. The other piece, though, is that it helps avoid waste. It’s a shame to throw away perfectly good food because you got too busy to cook it, or didn’t plan out your groceries sufficiently to use everything up.
Shop The Ads
Keep your eyes peeled for deals at your local grocery stores.
My local store price matches its competitors, so it’s worth checking out all of the options.
Grocery store are in constant competition with one another to offer lower prices and better discounts, so use it to your advantage!
And, if you haven’t already, be sure to join your local grocery membership club. Most of them are free and offer additional savings on certain items. If you plan ahead, you can save quite a bit (I’ve saved over $20.00 in one trip just using the store’s app!).
There’s an app for just about anything now – and healthy eating is no exception. There are a few apps I’d recommend if you don’t have a ton of cash to spend on food, including:
- Ibotta and similar cash-back reward programs, which offer discounts for making specific purchases at different stores.
- MyFitnessPal or a similar calorie-tracking app to ensure you’re getting the right macronutrients. If you’re eating really affordable, it can be a struggle to find balance in your diet, but tracking the things you eat will give you that knowledge and keep you conscious of where you’re at.
It’s so super easy to spend lots of money on expensive, unhealthy snacks at the grocery store.
But, without much to spend on overly processed stuff, you’ll be surprised to find there are lots of great, healthy snacks that are super cheap.
Popcorn can be purchased and made at home for virtually nothing (and you can find it in most bulk sections at your local grocery!), and apples, bananas, and other fruit are an easy way to refuel.
You can also shop for nuts and seeds in the bulk section, and if you watch for sales, you can get them very inexpensively.
While shopping for groceries isn’t the most fun activity in the world when you’re watching your wallet, you’ve got to keep your family fed.
These tips will help you do so while still maintaining a focus on your family’s health.
When you learn how to eat healthy when you’re broke, you can feel good about the food you serve. These are the ways I eat healthy on a budget without breaking my bank.
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