For those of you who are either beginning your healthy lifestyle journey or have been living a healthy lifestyle for years, you KNOW how expensive eating healthy can be. There’s no denying it (as much as I wish it weren’t true), eating healthy can cost an arm and a leg. However, there are ways around emptying your wallet for the sake of healthy food. You can eat healthy on a budget AND have money leftover to put towards the things you WANT to spend your money on.
Here’s the deal:
I’m going to tell you how to eat healthy on a budget with just 15 simple proven tips. Get your pen and paper because you’re about to be 15 tips smarter when it comes to eating healthy for dirt cheap.
Eat Healthy On A Budget Tip #1 -Stick To What’s On Your Grocery List
A surefire way to overspend at the grocery store is by throwing things into your cart on impulse that aren’t on your grocery list. Unless it’s something you truly NEED that you forgot to include on your grocery list, STICK TO THE LIST.
Eat Healthy On A Budget Tip #2 – Don’t Shop When You’re Hungry
Have you ever been to the market on an empty stomach and EVERYTHING looks delicious?! Your cart fills up twice as fast with three times as much food as you intended on buying. When you eat prior to going to the grocery store, you’ll be less inclined to crave all the food you don’t actually need.
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Eat Healthy On A Budget Tip #3 -Stock Up On Sales
Sales are a budgeters best friend! Whenever I see a great sale on something imperishable like protein bars or something I can freeze like meat, I stock up. Not only will that healthy food now last me a long time, but it will also save a good chunk of money over time.
Eat Healthy On A Budget Tip #4 – Use Ibotta For Cashback On Groceries
Just this last week, I got $4.00 cash back through Ibotta for purchasing apples, egg whites, and greek yogurt. These are purchases I make every week, but got rewarded through Ibotta just for buying my normal groceries. It’s truly silly not to use Ibotta. Some shopping trips I only make $1.00-$2.00 dollars, but it’s better than nothing! Money is money and the more mindful you are of saving, the more it will add up in the long run. You can also earn your first $10 using my link right here. To earn your $10 after signing up for the free app, simply purchase a qualifying item (“any brand, any item” excluded) from any of the stores in the app within 14 days of signing up and you’ll earn $10. YAY free money! You can pick an item that you already needed on your grocery list, and you’ll also get cash back for that item you purchase, so win-win!
Eat Healthy On A Budget Tip #5 – Sign Up For The Rewards Card At Your Grocery Store
I save money each time I shop at Fred Meyer by using my rewards card. If you do shop at a normal (non discount) grocery store, then getting the rewards card will most likely be beneficial for saving money. Some cash back is better than no cash back!
Eat Healthy On A Budget Tip #6 – Buy Bulk Ingredients That Will Serve As A “Filler” In Meals
Buying “fillers” such as oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potato, etc are great for bulking up a healthy meal on a budget. Eating healthy on a budget becomes not so budget friendly when every ingredient in your meal is expensive. Even out the cost by investing in more affordable healthy options and usually those cheaper healthy “fillers” such as brown rice will keep you full as well.
Eat Healthy On A Budget Tip #7 – Buy Frozen Fruits And Veggies
Frozen fruits and veggies are much cheaper than fresh. Frozen veggies are great to bulk up a lunch or dinner plate and frozen fruits are great for smoothies, acai bowls, oatmeal bowls, and more.
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Eat Healthy On A Budget Tip #8 – Buy Dark Chocolate
You read that right. This is me giving you full permission to buy (and eat.. YAY!) dark chocolate. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, depriving yourself completely of sweets will hinder your healthy lifestyle. You’ll do a “good job” eating healthy for awhile, but then go crazy wanting to buy and eat ALL the junk food when you’ve had enough of your spinach salad and salmon. I’ve learned that a piece of 75-80% dark chocolate keeps my sweet tooth at bay and satisfies my cravings for sweets without going overboard.
Eat Healthy On A Budget Tip #9 – Stop Eating Out
Eating out is the most expensive mistake you could make when it comes to eating healthy on a budget. Now that I’m married and constantly making grocery lists for my husband and I, I’ve come to know exactly how much food we need each week and a general budget to stick to. It blows my mind that for the cost of one night out at a restaurant for Luke and I, I could half a week’s worth of groceries.
Eat Healthy On A Budget Tip #10 – Cook Large Portions And Freeze Your Leftovers
A huge time saver when it comes to cooking healthy is to make large portions of your dinners and then refrigerate or freeze the leftovers for future lunches and dinners. When you have healthy meals on hand, you’ll be much less likely to go out to eat when you’re too tired to cook.
Eat Healthy On A Budget Tip #11 -Shop Generic
I almost always buy the generic brand of lactose free milk or almond milk, greek yogurt, eggs, and more. The generic brand tastes just as good 95% of the time and is a fraction of the cost.
Eat Healthy On A Budget Tip #12 – Avoid Buying Processed Food
A huge tip I learned awhile back that has saved me loads of money and has kept my healthy eating on track is to shop the outer border of the grocery store rather than the inner aisles. The inner aisles are not only where the unhealthy, processed foods are, but they also tend to be more expensive. In addition, unprocessed, whole foods tend to keep you full longer, whereas processed foods are usually empty calories that will only make you hungrier and crave more junk. The hungrier you are, the more food you consume, and the more money you spend.
Eat Healthy On A Budget Tip #13 – Buy Meat In Bulk
I like to buy my meat in bulk at stores such as Costco. I know you can buy it probably even cheaper elsewhere, so do your research and find out what works best for you. Buying meat in bulk will almost always save you a lot of money in the long run. Simply freeze whatever you aren’t using that week.
Eat Healthy On A Budget Tip #14 -Find A Discount Grocery Store Near You
There’s never a week where I don’t shop at Grocery Outlet FIRST to knock off anything on my list I can purchase for a major discount. Then, I’ll finish up my shopping at Costco for bulk items and Walmart or Fred Meyer for whatever is left. Some weeks, I’m able to purchase everything at Grocery Outlet and walk out of the store with a week’s worth of groceries in hand for $50 or less. Grocery Outlet hands has hands down saved Luke and I the BIGGEST chunk of money each week on groceries.
Tip: Purchase protein bars and/or protein powder at Grocery Outlet. I’m able to buy thinkThin bars, Aloha bars, Cellucor bars and protein powder, Kind bars, and many more name brand protein bars for boxes of 15-20 for $7.99. (Each week the brand(s) of bars vary). At a normal grocery store, a box with that number of protein bars would be upwards of $30.
Eat Healthy On A Budget Tip #15 – Buy In Season
Search for the healthy fruits and veggies that are in season at your local market. For example, I will never buy berries in the winter and I don’t buy clementines in the summer. Learn what foods are in season and invest in in-season fruits and veggies to save money on your grocery bill.
And That’s A Wrap!
All you have to do now is apply these 15 proven tips to eat healthy on a budget and you’ll be shocked at just how easy it is to shrink your grocery bill! Learning how to shop on a budget can take time, so don’t give up! Just like everything in life, it takes practice. Before you know it, you’ll be saving money while eating healthy on a budget like a champ.
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