The older I get, the more I’ve tried to make my health a priority. The problem is, it takes a lot more work than I had anticipated! It takes preparation, mindfulness…and money. As someone who struggles with planning ahead, it’s simply a lot easier (and usually faster) to grab cheaper, unhealthy foods. But if you’re dedicated to making healthy decisions, you certainly can find ways to eat well without spending a ton. Here are 7 budget-friendly ways to be healthy:
1. Buy produce on sale
Local and ethnic grocery markets usually have a ‘sale bin’ somewhere in the produce section. This bin contains produce that’ll expire soon, but it’s perfect for making a healthy meal that day. Plus, this will give you the chance to try new fruits and veggies that you might not have otherwise.
2. Break the Bottomless Brunch spell
It might seem like a great idea at the time—and a good deal, but no one needs 8 mimosas by 2 p.m. All that sugar and house alcohol will equate to a major hangover and likely more bad food decisions, plus it’ll spike your blood sugar. Instead, treat yourself to eggs, whole wheat bread, fruit, coffee…and maybe one mimosa!
3. Utilize bulk bins
Most grocery stores have bins full of ingredients—from nuts to seasonings—and you can buy as much or little as you need. Purchasing small amounts of healthy ingredients will reduce waste when it comes to throwing away your food and money.
4. Skip trendy powders
Focus on getting as much “real” food in as possible. Trendy protein powders and things like collagen can be extremely nutritional, but also expensive. If you’re mindful of it, you can often get all of those nutrients from raw fruits and veggies, healthy grains, and protein like beans.
5. Buy loose leaf tea
Loose tea is usually less expensive than prepacked varieties, so like the bulk bins, it’s cost-efficient to buy tea this way. There are tons of different tea options, most with lots of benefits. Green tea is one of my personal favorites; it’s full of antioxidants, helps with digestion (especially right after you eat), and it has a small amount of useful caffeine.
6. Carry a reusable water bottle
Using a water bottle is not only good for the environment, but it’ll help to drink more water and save you from buying bottles when you’re out and about.
7. Make soup!
I love to use a crock pot to make big batches of healthy soups. You can add a lot of nutrient-dense ingredients like beans and grains and can usually make a handful of servings at once. This slow-cooker quinoa chicken soup is my go-to, and it freezes really well!
What’s your favorite budget-friendly way to stay healthy?
Written by contributor Chelsea Becker.