Tips Healthy Eating on a Budget

Eating healthy is a priority for many families. However, if your budget is a concern, you may be worried that preparing healthy meals might be more expensive than preparing less healthy meals. You want your family to enjoy nutritious meals, but you want to keep your grocery bills as low as you can.

Don’t worry, though. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, you can actually save money on some parts of your diet by choosing healthy alternatives. Check out these five tips to help you provide your family with the best food possible.

Skip junk food

Junk food is expensive and unhealthy. Decreasing the amount you buy, or even eliminating it from your family’s diet altogether, will help you save money and ensure that the food your family is getting the nutrients that they need. If your kids complain that they miss sweet treats, you can always bake a batch of cookies for them.

There are plenty of healthy & cheap snack foods that children can enjoy.

Popcorn is a healthy, fun snack. Skip the expensive microwave popcorn that is full of salt and butter. Use a cheap air popper instead. You can find one for about $15 at Walmart.

Using an air popper and bags of popcorn kernels, you can make healthy popcorn at a super low price. Best of all, it pops in the same amount of time as microwave popcorn!

Raisin bread toast makes a great snack food. You get a great snack food crunch combined with a little bit of sweetness from the raisins. You can buy a loaf quite cheaply at Aldi’s or at a local bakery outlet.

Pudding is a delicious snack. Don’t buy those expensive little plastic snack packs. Instead, use instant pudding mixes. It takes only minutes to create pudding from instant pudding mixes and milk.

Incorporate plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables into your meal plans. You can purchase produce that is in the season to help control their costs. Local farmers’ markets are also great sources of fresh produce. Vegetables should be a part of every meal, and a piece of fruit makes a great afternoon snack.

Drink water

Water is great for your health and costs next to nothing. Have your family drink plenty of water in place of expensive soft drinks. On the occasions when your family doesn’t drink water, you should encourage them to drink water.

Shop in bulk

Buying large quantities of healthy foods makes them more affordable than buying just enough products for you to use today. Just make sure you know how to store the things you buy so that they last long enough for you to use them.

Prepare your own food

Eating out is sure to introduce more unhealthy foods into your family’s diet. If you make your own meals, though, you can control what goes into them. Cooking at home is always cheaper than eating out, too.

 I always thought that purchasing higher quality foods meant I would spend more money, but when you cut out all the junk food that isn’t food at all, it’s a huge chunk of change that’s saved. One doctor told me that you’re essentially paying for the fancy packaging when you buy all that junk. Who wants to pay for a box or a bag you’re just going to throw away?

I’ve also read that purchasing organics doesn’t have to be very expensive either. When you cut out the convenience purchases and eat out less, the organic purchases are about equal to what you would’ve paid before, and it’s definitely worth looking into.

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About Maki Hojo

Maki Hojo is a student at the University of Michigan. A foodie since birth, she enjoys cooking, eating, photographing, reading about, and playing with any and all types of food. Her idolization of culinary delights is complemented by her active spirit - she enjoys running, swimming, barre classes, and even spontaneous bursts of interpretative dance if the mood strikes her.

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