I’ve gone from poor student to broke young adult, and while eating healthy is definitely a priority for me, it can sometimes be tough when you’re on a budget. Here are 7 tips to help keep you healthy without breaking the bank:
- Plan your meals
Easily cut out extra costs from last minute grocery runs, or non-essential meals out. Also, if you have a food budget written out, you’ll be far more likely to stick to it than a vague, “I should be saving money” plan.
- Shop smart
Never grocery shop when you’re hungry, this tip will definitely cut down on impulse buys. Also be sure to pay attention to coupons you can use, any on sale products. Avoid aisles that don’t have anything on your list – I never browse the pop or chip aisle anymore, expensive and unhealthy, it’s just a double whammy I don’t need.
- Splurge on eating in, not out
Rather than spending money on eating out, spend the extra money on high quality grocery items. My favorite splurge is avocados.
- Use your leftovers
Keep a list of the leftovers in your fridge, or make them visible so that you’re sure to use them, rather than letting them go to waste. Try incorporating them into an entirely new dish. If you really don’t think you’ll get around to eating a certain leftover that week, be sure to freeze it to use again later.
- Farmers Market/Bountiful Baskets
Not only is the produce going to be local, and most likely organic, it’s also going to be cheaper. Especially if you show up near the end of the farmers market, as they’re trying to sell as much of the leftover produce as possible.
- Buy In Bulk
A lot of pantry staples can be bought cheaply in bulk, like pasta, rice, or beans. If you’re buying perishables in bulk, don’t forget to freeze it, so they don’t end up going to waste. Buying in bulk doesn’t necessarily mean buying a lot of one product to cut cost though, say I have a recipe that I want to make which calls for ¼ cup of cranberries – rather than buy a giant bag of cranberries that I will most likely not use, I can buy the exact amount that I need.