Healthy Eating on a Budget

Have you reached the decision to live a healthier lifestyle?  The first step to decreasing weight related health issues is to restructure your diet.

A common assumption is that eating healthy is not only difficult to manage throughout the busyness of the day, but also while maintaining a strict budget.  If you are considering taking the plunge and entering the world of healthy eating, here are some tips to get you started and ease your mind.

There’s no need to budget any extra money to eat healthier meals.  Although this might come as a surprise, eating healthy comes in many forms.  From keeping an eye on portion control to examining the ingredients used and choosing good fats and low sodium meals, you can keep your body healthy and enjoy each meal without breaking the bank.

The most important tip to eating healthy tends to veer people away from healthy living.  Cook at home and avoid dining out.  For the social butterflies, the drive-thru junkies, and those looking for a quick fix, eating at home feels like a punishment.  You want to not only enjoy your food, but enjoy a social environment.  Fear not.  There are remedies.  Invite friends over for dinner.  Create themed meals.  Decorate for the evening.  While you might not get waited on, eating at home can be a fun process.  With a positive mindset, cooking can be a time of learning, for you and your family.

Remember this, eating well on a budget is not only doable, it’s effective.  Take control over what you eat from the beginning of the eating process.  This means from the thoughts of eating through purchasing and preparing, make a conscious effort to choose wisely.  Never head to the grocery store without a game plan.  This might seem drastic, but when your health is on the line, making good eating choices is a serious matter.

Once you’ve made it to the store, you will be tempted.  Eating healthy is a lifestyle change.  You know how much your favorite foods cost, and thus your budget is accustomed to certain foods.  By changing your diet, you enter into uncharted territory, but don’t fear the unknown.

Compare prices of prepackaged goods to homemade foods.  For example, salad in a bag is convenient, but it’s also pricey.  Look for fresh lettuce and other veggies you can put in your salad.  Make a custom salad to fit the needs of your family.  Romaine, red leaf, and radicchio are all healthy and cheap.

While you don’t want prepackaged foods, you do want to buy in bulk.  With wisdom, determine which foods are appropriate to purchase in bulk.  Spices are a great example.  Spices are necessary for your health and for taste.  With more spices, you need less fat.

Look for staple items that you need and purchase them when they’re on sale.  Olive oil, pasta, and nuts are great examples.  Eat healthy without going over budget by strategically purchasing food products.