Are You Struggling to Eat Healthy Foods on a Budget?

Pumpkins

For some reason, most people I know think that in order to eat healthy foods, they have to spend way more money on their groceries. When I work with my clients, I take a look at their receipts and see where they can make some improvements when they are shopping, so that they can buy foods that are good for them, but not spend a fortune in the process. Here’s what I’ve noticed: most people spend a lot of money on packaged goods that are marketed as being healthy. When you are trying to save money, the best foods are whole and natural. Below is a list of foods that you should stock up on and some that you should avoid.

1. Beans, Lentils, Rice, Oats, and Whole Grains

These foods will be your best friend. Things like canned beans are inexpensive and when you purchase dried beans in bulk, they’re even more inexpensive. Stock up on lentils, oats, and a variety of rice (try brown rice, brown Jasmine rice, etc.). Not only are these foods affordable, they are also packed with protein, fiber, and lots of vitamins. These foods will keep you full and are a great addition to every meal you make. Try having oatmeal for breakfast, adding beans and rice to your lunch, and enjoying a lentil soup for dinner – yum! Consider becoming a member of Thrive Market’s community, where you’ll be able to purchase healthy foods at wholesale prices. Here you’ll find beans, rice, pasta, lentils, and much more. Thrive Market believes in bringing healthy, affordable food to everyone. In fact, for every person who purchases a membership, a low-income family will also receive a membership. For more information, please contact Thrive Market’s team.

2. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

The easiest way to save on produce is to buy as much food that does not need to be organic as possible. Broccoli, cauliflower, onion, garlic, bok choy, cabbage, and mushrooms are all powerhouse foods that are packed with nutrients and they don’t need to be organic! Eggplants, sweet potatoes, sweet peas, and asparagus are all also really good for you and don’t need to be organic. There are several fruits that are affordable and healthy, too: pineapple, kiwi, persimmon, and pumpkin don’t need to be organic. Apples, imported grapes, and berries should be organic so splurge on these when you can. From my experience, shopping at farmers’ markets is much more affordable than most other places. And farmers’ markets are great because you know that what you are purchasing is local and in season! I often buy organic kale from the farmers’ market for just $1.00 – it doesn’t get much better than that! Use lots of delicious vegetables to make a yummy stir fry. Enjoy it with a salad, rice, and soup and you’ll have plenty of healthy food to keep you happy and satisfied.

3. Eat What’s in Season

If you’re looking for berries in winter and persimmon in the summer, you’re making things harder on yourself! Find out what foods are in season, and eat those ones. This will help you be in harmony with nature and believe it or not, it will also keep your grocery bill down. Foods that are in season are abundant and often go on sale, so keep a list of what’s in season handy and go from there.

4. Frozen Fruits and Vegetables

These are not my ideal choices, but they’re actually really helpful when you’re trying to save money and time. Stock up on frozen vegetables such as sweet peas, okra, and even broccoli. I like to buy frozen, organic berries and keep them handy for when I’m making smoothies.

5. Skip the Alcohol, Sweet Drinks, and Starbucks

Things like beer, wine, soda, lemonade, and your morning latte will cost you a pretty penny in the long run. They’re not friendly on your wallet or your waistline, so do yourself a favor and easily transition out of drinking these unnecessary calories. Try swapping your morning latte for a homemade smoothie, or if you must have coffee, make it at home. Why spend your hard earned money at Starbucks and Coffee Bean when you can make the same drink at home? Plan in advance and watch those savings increase.

6. Limit or Avoid Processed and Packaged Foods

Even though many food companies are working hard to make you believe that their packaged foods are healthy, don’t believe them! Just because a box of cereal has the words, “natural” and “healthy” on it, it usually doesn’t mean anything. Chips, cereal, and other processed foods are often expensive, especially when they’re trying to be promoted as being good for you. Kale chips in particular are way too expensive, especially when you can buy kale, season it, put it in the oven, and make chips yourself. Stick to whole foods, and leave your favorite packaged goods for a time when you can splurge. And when you’re ready to splurge, buy your favorite items from Thrive Market at a reduced price! Enjoy free shipping on orders of $49 or more and be sure to search their vegan products for delicious treats to enjoy.

7. Limit Dairy, Meat, and Sugar

I don’t purchase dairy and meat, and I’ve limited sugar intake, so I feel that these are great places where I save money. I also don’t buy eggs, so that keeps my grocery bills down a bit, too. By the way, if you do eat these foods, this is not a place to skimp on quality. Processed cheese and ground beef are not the way to go when you are trying to save money and eat healthy foods! Think of all the chemicals, additives, and preservatives you’re eating and hop right over to the produce section of your store instead. If you’re looking to replace meat, try organic tofu and tempeh instead. I buy tempeh from Trader Joe’s and it’s only $1.99 a block! Tempeh is filling and I enjoy making things like tempeh tacos and even tempeh sandwiches – yum!

8. Cook at Home

Eating out gets expensive, fast. Try to plan your meals in advance so that you have food at home. I like to make a huge batch of lentil soup on Sunday, so that I have it for the rest of the week. I also make brown Jasmine rice and keep it in the fridge for a few days, so that I don’t have to make a new pot every day. Make sandwiches, wraps, and salads and fill up on things like beans, broccoli, and oats. Splurge on a meal at your favorite healthy restaurant every once in a while, instead of eating out every day for lunch because you forgot to prep in advance.

In conclusion: load up on beans, oats, lentils, legumes, whole grains, and drink water. Purchase as many fruits and vegetables as you can that don’t need to be organic and try as much as you can to cook at home and not eat out. I hope this helps!

If you’re struggling to eat healthier and lose weight, a Health Coach is an amazing resource to have. Learn how to eat foods that are good for you, without spending a fortune. Get the time and attention you deserve to talk about your health and wellness goals with someone who will listen and help you live the life of your dreams and get the body you deserve. Contact me for your free initial consultation and we’ll get you started on looking and feeling your best, now!

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