Everyone always has the same excuse for not eating healthier -“It’s too expensive.” This point holds relevance for a lot of “broke” college students. Luckily, after doing some research, I may have found the answers to your excuses. The following tips will help you eat healthy while on a budget:
Buy Fresh Produce: Fresh produce is always great, but the price can really add up, especially when what you’re buying isn’t in season. Try buying fresh produce when it’s in season, stocking up on it, and freezing it. Another way to save money on produce is by hitting the farmers market at the end of the day. Depending on the store, you may be able to save money by going later.
Search for Sales: Don’t be afraid to be an “extreme couponer”. Your friends may laugh at you, but at least you won’t be broke. If your local grocery stores offer saving cards, be sure to sign up. Instead of shopping for what you plan to eat that week, plan to eat what is on sale.
Buy Frozen Vegetables: Don’t be afraid to buy frozen vegetables. They may not be as fresh as produce, but they are still healthy, and super affordable. According to a WebMD Expert Columnist, “Frozen vegetables come in 12-ounce to 24-ounce bags that cost anywhere from $1.75 to $2.25 and contain 6-8 cups, depending on the vegetable and the size of the bag.”
Buy Less Expensive Meat: You can still eat meat even when you’re on a tight budget, by looking for less expensive cuts of meat like chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts. Stores like Acme even do BOGO sales on meat. It also helps to buy the meat that is on sale in bulk and freeze it for future use.
Embrace whole grains and beans: Beans and whole grains are a cheap and healthy way to bulk up your meals, and they can even be a meal in themselves.
Prep Meals: If you have the time, planning and prepping your meals, no matter what the food is, is always a step in the right direction towards eating healthy. Plus, it’s a good way to make sure you’re eating what you already have in the fridge, instead of just stopping for snacks.
Stay Organized: If you keep an organized fridge and pantry, you’ll know exactly what you have to plan your meals and what you need to buy. Doing this also helps you to repurpose your leftovers, so they don’t get lost in the back of the fridge, and you can incorporate them into a new and delicious meal before they go bad.
Grow Your Own Food: Try gardening! Even if you don’t have a lot of yard space, it is still possible to grow a little bit of your own food.
Don’t Buy Drinks: If you’re trying to eat healthier in the first place, there’s no point in wasting money on a bunch of sugary drinks like soda and juice.
If you follow these tips on how to eat healthy on a budget, chances are you will save money in one more important area, because eating healthy will of course boost your immunity to illnesses – doctor’s bills!