Eating Healthy on a Budget

Below are some of my tips for eating healthy while staying on somewhat of a budget. Many people think that eating healthy is expensive. AND it can get out of hand real quick if you don’t watch what is going into your cart.

Let me start with I am not a big coupon person. Most of the coupons I find are not for ‘real food’. It is a lot of processed crap. If you have found a site that has coupons for real food – please share ☺

Let’s jump straight to the tips.

1.  Drinks.

Stay away from juice and sparkling water.  Although some can be tasty, they can also drain the wallet real quick if you are on a budget. The healthiest and cheapest option is water.  If you need flavor, add in some herbs or fruit. Even a drop of lemon essential oil is great.

2.  Food.

Bulk bins: Sprouts and Whole foods have a huge array of bulk bins with everything from flour to nuts and seeds. You can even find dried fruit. Many recipes I cook with call for small amounts of flours that I don’t want to buy a lot of. Most likely I would end up throwing any extras that go bad in a year. If your recipe called for ¼ cup arrowroot powder, head straight to the bulk bins and eye ball that ¼ of a cup. It is cheaper and less waste.

Stay away from prepackaged fruits and veggies. It is ALWAYS cheaper to buy something whole and cut it your self.  Stop being lazy- you can prepare it.

Canned beans are not necessarily cheaper. You can buy a bag of beans for around $1 and that will provide you with several servings. I like to cook them and then place about 2 cups worth in the freezer. I can usually get 3-4 meals out of one bag of beans. I follow the directions on the bag and add in my own seasonings. You can also check out this post from thekitchn for a quick how to.

Talking about beans… we eat a lot of chili. It makes a lot and freezes well. You can get a lot of food for your money. Here are some of our favorites:

Crockpot Sweet Potato & Black Bean Quinoa Chili 

Slow Cooker Gluten-Free White Chicken Chili Recipe

The Best Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

3.  Organic Vs. Nonorganic.

We all know that organically grown food is more expensive. However, I am a big believer that eating organic can help your health in the future. Brandon and I believe it is an investment in our future health. Therefore, when choosing organic produce on a budget, we tend to stick to the Dirty dozen list because it is proven that the nonorganic versions of these are more exposed to pesticides and toxic chemicals so this is where we put are money first.  Then we know we are still staying in budget but are still focusing on the healthiest option.

4.  Have a green thumb?

Ok, even if you don’t, I suggest figuring out how to grow at least your own herbs or tomatoes. It can save you money over time.

5.  Eat in season.

Fruits and veggies in season will always cost less. Not sure what is in season – this list will help you.

I know that there are several other tips that I am missing.   What would you add to this list?