How to Eat Healthy on a Budget?

Michael Lefler
by Michael Lefler
Published: April 4, 2020

Many people think that eating healthy is expensive, while it is more than achievable, even on a budget. Just think about it, how great it would be if you knew how to eat delicious, organic meals, without spending too much.

If you are suffering from obesity or eating junk food for the moment and you are looking for a solution, I would advise you to keep reading. In this article, we will reveal how you can eat cheap and healthy.

Reasons for Eating Healthy

Choice between fast food and fruits

Did you know that a typical American diet exceeds the recommended intake levels? The number of fast-food restaurants has doubled ever since the 1970s, while around 90% of Americans eat more sodium than it is recommended.

Eating healthy has a lot of benefits. It can help you to maintain ideal body weight, while you are calm enough, knowing that your inner body is healthy and you don’t have any diseases.

But with what statistics show, Americans don’t really eat healthily. A little more than half of Americans include vegetables in their diets, while over 90 million people in this country are currently obese.

Young kids who are currently overweight, have a 70% chance of becoming an obese adult. People need to get more educated about eating healthy, and it’s main benefits.

First of all, you get to eat at home, where everything is under your control, unlike some fast foods that cook the fries with the same oil for three days.

Second of all, it is cheaper than eating junk food, which doesn’t even put an end to your appetite.

Third of all, eating healthy is going to give you a healthy body. You won’t be overweight, and you will less likely have health issues.

Ways to Save Money and Eat Healthy at Home

Cooking healthy meals at home

Cooking at home helps you to have a healthy diet. But you need a base plan before you start putting this new lifestyle into practice. While most people think that eating healthy is expensive and it is only a luxury for wealthy people, but trust me, it is not. Healthy meals are quite affordable and you will easily make it to your next paycheck without any bad credit payday loans.

Eating healthy has nothing to do with the money, and everything to do with the way that you choose to spend your money. As I mentioned earlier, you need a plan in order to start eating healthy, and now I would ask for your full attention because I will explain to you the cheapest way to eat healthily.

Plan Before You Shop

Make a detailed plan of what you are going to get before you are at the grocery store. Make a list of all the things that you plan to cook and what ingredients are needed for them.

Sales are perfect if you are looking on how to eat cheap. Make sure to be ready for a big sale on the way. When a holiday is near, or something like a big event is around the corner, that is the time when sales start to spring, and you can take some advantage to do grocery shopping on a budget.

Count your budget well and think twice of everything that you will put on that list. Then once you are done with the plan, review it a second time to see if there is anything that maybe you can cut out, or if you have accidentally included unhealthy foods.

Purchase Groceries the Smart Way

Get out of the way anything that is pre-packaged, frozen, sweet, artificial, fabricated, basically any junk food. Don’t go anyway near the isles that have junk food. Make sure to focus on buying only organic food and things such as fresh meat and seafood, dairy, vegetables, and fruits.

Plant things yourself. You could use some of your free time to plant some of the things that you like to have at your table yourself. Research the vegetables and fruits that are in the season and get to work.

Buying a lot at once might be a good way to healthy eating on a budget. Bulk sections on grocery stores can give you really great deals.

Be smart, and try to use common sense. Instead of spending your dollars on a pack of cartoon juice, you better get some fruits and eat them. Focus on buying things that are healthy, organic, and fill your appetites such as beans, peas, rice, grains, and others.

Prepare Healthy Meals on a Budget

Try to eliminate oil while cooking. Stick to vegetables and use fruits as snacks. If you include meat for your meals, the grill would be a very good option. You don’t have to use oil, and the taste will be delicious.

You can even go for a delicious meat-free meal. Prepare a hot vegetable soup and accompany it with dairy. You can choose to eat a salad for dinner or a couple of fruits as a snack.

Organic meat, vegetables, and fruits are not as expensive as you would think. The only difference in the price of the restaurant meals and home meals is cooking it yourself. Cooking on a budget is not really that difficult.

Frugal Foods List

Let’s start with vegetables. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to get organic vegetables on your table. Buying fresh and healthy vegetables at the farmers market is way cheaper than buying pre-cut and bagged salads.

Organic fruits and vegetables at farmers market

The same rule applies to fruits. You would be amazed at how cheap it is to eat fresh and organic fruits, in comparison to drinking juice from the box. Not to even mention smoothies that can be very expensive if you order them at a bar. You will feel a lot healthier once you start including fresh fruits and vegetables in your food list.

Next is the meat. Don’t even think about saving money if you are considering to eat pre-packaged meat, salami, ham, sausages, or other types of fabricated meat products. The only way you can eat healthily and save money is if you buy fresh meat. Chicken breast, beef, lamb, fish, and fresh sea products can help you prepare delicious, healthy meals if you decide to cook them yourself.

Whole grains are also a healthy and cheap way for you to prepare a meal. Raw grains are inexpensive and a perfect way to save you money.

Tips for Making Healthier Restaurant Choices

You might think that eating at a restaurant might be an expensive option if you are on a budget. However, this is not always the case. If you are smart enough, you can get passed some restaurants and not spend as much as you think.

A family eating healthy at a restaurant

It is all about planning and spending your money wisely. Here are some tips to eating healthy on a budget at restaurants:

1. Study your restaurant options. Don’t just go to the first restaurant that you find in the area. Do your online research and even call the restaurants if you must, to ask about low-fat meals options. Search for restaurants that like to cook organic and healthy meals.

2. Smaller portions on the menu always work the best if you are looking to eat healthily and save some money. Most restaurants offer big meals at the start of the menu but put the smaller portions on the last pages. Make sure to flip the menu and find the best options that you know will save you money while also eating healthy.

3. Going to an individual, family-owned restaurant. They tend to make bigger and healthier portions while also having really low prices. They also use fresh ingredients and are known for delicious, healthy meals in the local area.

4. As someone who comes from a Mediterranean country, I will tell you that Mediterranean restaurants can be very awesome if you are looking to eat some cheap and healthy meals. From the Greek salads to the pitas and kebabs, you can spend only a few bucks and eat as much as your stomach can hold. Thus you can allow yourself to spend the short term loan money to something more significant than a dinner.

Bottom Line

Eating healthy is something that many people want to choose as an option. After all, eating healthy can be one of the main reasons for one to live a longer and happier life. Many people think that eating healthy is some kind of luxury, reserved only for the high class, but we have just explained that it is not true.

Everyone who has some kind of budget has the possibility of eating healthy. It is all a matter of choices and habits. We all tend to have the temptation to eat junk food from time to time. But we must understand how dangerous is the long term consumption of the addictive, artificial sugar that the food businesses put into the pre-packed, fabricated food. It can cause obesity and bad cholesterol, and the latter is one of the main reasons why people suffer from heart conditions.

By eating healthy, we are making a choice to do a favor to our bodies and change our lifestyles for good. Remember that with a healthy body, also comes a healthy mind.

References and Sources
  1. “CDC: 90% of Americans consume too much salt” – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/304833.php

  2. “Adult Obesity Facts” – https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html

  3. “Adolescent Obesity” – https://asmbs.org/resources/adolescent-obesity

  4. “11 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget” – https://www.capitalone.com/learn-grow/money-management/eating-healthy-on-a-budget

Mike Lefler shares his interest in a wide range of different subjects, including his love for finance-related writing. The passion for writing, related exceptional skills and his years of study, along with a Master’s Degree at Southwest Minnesota State University led him to become one of the brilliant authors in the massive finance arena and in the area of Financial Planning and Lending Industry.

At the same time, his ability to identify the main points of various aspects and intention to significantly contribute makes him a great team member and a valuable part of 1FirstCashAdvance.

You may also like

Kerry Vetter
by Kerry Vetter
Published: May 29, 2019
Michael Lefler
by Michael Lefler
Published: March 6, 2020
Michael Lefler
by Michael Lefler
Updated: May 25, 2020