Eating Healthy on a Budget
Sure, a fast food burger is a convenient and sometimes even a cheaper option than the meal you prepare at home, but going on a budget doesn’t necessarily suggest that you have to compromise on your health. Nonetheless, your unhealthy eating habits are most likely to cost you later in the form of exorbitant medical fee that you will inevitably have to spare for problems like hypertension, cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes.
Although it seems like a hard fact to digest but if you are smart enough, you really can save a fortune and still eat healthy. Some handy solutions below will tell you how you can be a healthy eater without breaking your bank.
- Know Your Options – Talk to your family and friends, or surf online with specific cheap ingredients to find their recipes, if needed. Several food items when made with little creativity can serve as your healthy, scrumptious and cheaper meal for the day. Oven roasted sweet potatoes are a popular choice among health-conscious budgeters. Try preparing tuna with pickle juice, pepper, and mustard, and wrap them in lettuce leaves. Black bean burgers and eggs are some other nutritious yet pocket friendly alternatives you have. The choices are really not as limited as you think.
- Shop at Bargain Stores – Branded bargain store chains, like Save-A-Lot, Aldi’s, and Tesco’s offer great money saving deals while providing you with same healthy stuff available at other grocery stores. Shopping after 5 or 6 in the evening can help you take advantage of end-of-the-day specials at these stores. This food is usually near to its sell by date, but this is a good opportunity to pick a lot of fresh veggies and fruits at the quarter of its original price.
- Have Your Own Garden Beds – What better than having fresh grown vegetables and fruits from your own backyard? True, backyard is not an option for all. But container garden over your patio can also serve the purpose for you. Fond of fresh herbs? Grow some of them in those small pots near your kitchen window and snip them whenever you want.
- Spend Wisely – M.J. Smith, writer of 60 Days of Low-Fat, Low-Cost Meals in Minutes, observed during her nutritional practice that most mothers are happy splurging on expensive can-sodas and name-brand cereals and are usually left with no grocery money when it comes to paying for healthy foods, like salmon fillets or fresh pineapple. Similarly, having to pay $13 for a lean pork of 3 pounds also seems too expensive to her because she also considers $13 and ignores the fact that this will actually be sufficient to serve a family of four for three dinners. So, it is important that you determine per unit nutritional value that you are getting for your purchase, she insists.
- Stack Your Freezer – Unless you are a freshness freak or do not like the fuss of rotating food, stacking up your freezer during the sales can save you a hell lot of money. Turkey, lean ground beef, and chuck roast are some of the healthy meats that can stay fresh in your freezer for six months.
Like everything worthwhile, staying healthy on a tight budget also has great rewards – all you need is some creativity, work, and planning. Agreed, many times you will fall back on these processed foods and fast food burgers but you will also have days when you will be pleased and extremely satisfied with your own self for accomplishing sound health of your family in limited resources.
About the author: Eru is a health freak and a foodie who loves sharing healthy eating tips and recipes through her articles. Her articles can be found on the health care information website.