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How to Eat Healthy When on a Budget

Organic food is more expensive than a bucket of KFC. This is part of the reason why so many people are unhealthy. Becoming a paragon of health seems so difficult whereas sitting down and ordering in seems easy. It’s even harder if you’re on a budget as you simply can’t afford a lot of healthy food. This is no excuse to continue paying homage to McDonald’s though!

You can eat healthy on a budget. Here are some of the ways you can eat healthy without spending a lot of money.

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Whole Foods
Whole foods are foods which haven’t been processed. They’ve been harvested and thrown in a box, essentially. These are cheaper as they don’t go through the usual processes to add more flavorings and preservatives. As someone who is aiming to eat healthier, it’s better for you because you have full control over the ingredients. You don’t have to worry about anything which has been added to the recipe.

Whole foods apply to any type of food, such as proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

Choose Cheap Proteins
Getting your daily intake of protein is the biggest expense as proteins are commonly associated with meats. Steaks are expensive and will leave a hole in your wallet. For day-to-day use, get your protein through cheaper alternatives like eggs and whey. It might not be as tasty but it’s much cheaper.

You should consider buying a variety of cheap proteins to take care of your daily intake. You need at least 1g of protein for every pound of bodyweight to maintain muscle. If you’re trying to gain muscle you’ll need slightly more.

Buy Frozen
A lot of healthy eaters never consider frozen foods. We’re often told these are bad because they’re less nutritious. Part of the reason for this belief is because we often criticize frozen food like fish sticks. It isn’t the freezing process causing the problems. It’s the fact the food was never healthy in the first place.

Frozen foods have a number of advantages to them. Firstly, they’re always prepared before being frozen. You don’t have to waste time cutting them and removing anything before they’re ready for cooking. They also have a longer shelf life so you can buy them in bulk. Frozen food is roughly half the price of fresh food. Buy frozen food in bulk from independent stores to take advantage of bulk discounts.

What a lot of people don’t know is frozen food locks nutrients in. The nutrient richness of fresh food declines over time, from the moment it’s harvested. Frozen items lock the nutrients in, so you can actually get more nutrients from frozen foods.

Buy Own Brand
Store brand items are not lower in quality. The only real difference between store brand and big brand is a lack of advertising. Once you get used to the taste of store brand you’ll wonder why you were paying so much for well-known brands before. The nutrient content is often exactly the same as their star-speckled counterparts.

Switch to Supplements
Supplements like fish oil can help you fulfill your need for vitamin B12 and other obscure minerals, but you shouldn’t rely on them. Yes, they’re cheap, but they don’t have any calories. You should only use these if you’re meeting your need for calories yet failing to meet your need for specific minerals.

Use the Seasons
Fruit and veg have different seasons. If you buy some strawberries in the winter it will cost a lot more than in the summer. Grocery stores need to import the strawberries from other countries when they can’t be grown in the US. This adds on to the overall price you pay. If you eat the same thing all year, you could be unwittingly throwing money away.

Work out the seasons for each of your favorite foods. Only buy these foods once they’re in season. It won’t seem like much. A few cents here and a few cents there. Over the course of a year, it would equal a few hundred dollars.

Calorie Dense
Buy calorie dense foods like potatoes and pasta. They aren’t necessarily going to fulfill your needs for vitamins and minerals, but they’ll fill your belly quickly. This method is ideal for smaller people who want to gain weight and bulk up. They’re full of carbohydrates the body can break down.

The problem with eating healthily is we all have the stereotypical image of eating lots of greens. Most green vegetables don’t have a lot of calories in them. They’re packed full of nutrients, but they won’t fill your belly. It’s why you would need to spend a lot of money to sustain a diet eating fruit and veg exclusively.

If you want to find out more about cutting the cost of your food bill, check out this post for more healthy food ideas.

Victoria Heckstall is a freelance writer who loves sharing her expertise through her articles.

5 Comments

  1. Austin

    November 2, 2015 at 3:09 am

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  2. IMADETHISDISH

    April 17, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Thank you for a very helpful article!
    Frozen food is super handy! We have make fresh pot of oatmeal every morning and top it with frozen berries (defrosted in the fridge overnight). YUM!
    It’s way cheaper than buying fresh fruits.

  3. wfnclinic.com

    January 4, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Very helpful article, Now I can realize that I can take a balanced healthy food for my family with a little budget and Fresh vegetable, fruits is very essential for our active life.

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  4. Manas SEO

    September 2, 2014 at 4:29 am

    Its a true fact to make a balanced diet so that you stay away from disease .Thank You for sharing.
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  5. Indraja

    August 30, 2013 at 12:03 am

    Nice Article. I will try to eat as you said. Thank you…

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