Eating Healthy on a Budget
This is post three of four with guest expert and registered dietitian and licensed nutritionist Julie Lanford from CancerDietian here sharing her expertise on how to eat healthy and stay nourished during cancer treatment.
Isn’t organic and fresh food expensive? What are 3 tips for eating healthy on a budget?
First of all, organic does not mean healthy! There’s very little evidence proving that eating organic food produces better health outcomes. However, there’s LOTS of evidence proving that consuming plenty of fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds does produce good health and well-being. What’s most important is choosing to eat plenty of plants! Whether you choose organic or not isn’t that important.
Now that we cleared that up, here are my 3 tips for eating healthy on a budget!
- Cook at home! Preparing your meals at home is the best way to eat healthy on a budget. The price per meal is much cheaper than eating out, and you can control the quality of the ingredients you use. You also have the opportunity to get an adequate amount of the nutritious foods your body needs. Fill ½ your plate with fruits/veggies; ¼ of your plate with whole grain and ¼ of your plate with protein.
- Be a savvy shopper! Choosing foods based on price is a common practice, and makes good budget sense. I recommend that if money is tight, you choose the cheapest version of the food that you need. Choose the most affordable, convenient grocery store. Shop at farmer’s markets, produce stands and utilize food pantry’s, if needed. Choose store brands rather than name brands. Find the sale items and plan your meals around that.
- Plan your menu! You will waste less food, and therefore waste less money, when you plan ahead of time. Look at what you already have in your cupboard and fridge. Use one of these sites for recipe ideas based on what you have:
Find recipes by ingredients | Foodcombo
Check out these 10 Cheap + Healthy Foods for meal planning inspiration.
- Canned beans
- Canned fish
- Dried cranberries
- Whole wheat pasta
- Brown rice
Healthy eating can be affordable, when you’re able and willing to put the time into the planning and the preparation. Your body and your taste buds will appreciate it!