With a family of five like mine, it can seem expensive to eat healthy. However, with a few strategies, we’ve been able to cut costs while still eating the nutritious foods that are important to us. Here are my top 7 tips for eating well on a budget:
1) Eat more plant based foods. Meat can be expensive. Foods like legumes, beans, rice, and veggies are not.
2) “Spend more, eat less.” This is one of my favorite quotes from Michael Pollan. The logic behind it is this, if you buy real, unprocessed foods, you may pay a bit more up front but these foods may better satisfy your body’s nutritional needs and leave you more full with less cravings.
3) Buy in bulk when possible. This is a bit of a no-brainer, but be careful not to overdo it and create waste. For example, rice stays good for a LONG time, avocados do not.
4) Eat more fiber and less refined sugar. Refined sugars can increase our appetite and lead to increased eating and spending on food. Foods like fruits, veggies, and nuts have fiber which can fill us up and decrease our eating and spending on food.
5) Cook your own meals and make your own coffee. Going out to eat is convenient but very expensive. Pack your own lunch, make your own coffee drinks, etc.
6) Carry a full water bottle everywhere. This can help prevent you from buying water, soda, juice, etc.
7) Order menu-smart. When you want to eat out, order off the appetizer menu. Portions are usually big enough and much cheaper. Or split a meal and drink water instead of soda or juice.