5 Ways to Have a Healthy Diet While Keeping a Healthy BudgetFilling up your grocery buggy means emptying the checking account for most Americans these days. Food prices have been on the rise for the past few years, and trends suggest that will continue. This doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot to maintain a healthy diet for you and your loved ones, though. Many healthy options are still affordable, as long as you look carefully for them.
1. Try a Vegan Diet Meat is expensive in dollars, calories, and often in future health bills. Taking meat and dairy out of your diet will make meals cheaper, easier to prepare, and healthier for you and your family. This will save money on grocery bills and medical costs as it’s estimated that the average family saves $4,000 a year buying vegetables instead of meat. Diets laden with meat and dairy are also full of animal fat, and are linked to cardiovascular disease: the number one killer in the nation. Nutritionists advise that the healthiest source of protein is vegetables, as diets that are higher in vegetable proteins are much lower in fat and calories. These diets result in a lower likelihood of weight-related disorders like heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
2. Cook with Seasonal Produce Fruits and vegetables ripen at different times of the year, depending on where you live. Buy them only when they are at the peak of their freshness, which also tends to be when they are at their cheapest price. Plan a menu using seasonal produce, and you’re sure to have flavorful food at a fraction of the cost. If you’re not sure which produce items are in season, just look at the prices and quantities. If there’s an overabundance of something and it’s on sale, odds are it’s in season. Try to use small amounts of seasonal seafood in a dish to add a tasty contrast in the appearance, flavor, and texture. The bulk of your meal should be made up of healthy, whole grains and vegetables. Some great examples include stir Chinese foods that use brown rice, Italian whole grain pasta, pizzas with whole-wheat crust, and of course the go-to healthy dish-- salads.
3. Buy in Bulk When dried, canned, and freezer goods go on sale, that’s the time to stock up on them in bulk. Shop once a month at a warehouse store like Sam’s Club or CostCo where bulk prices are low. They sell frozen fruits and vegetables, which are picked at the peak of freshness and have no sugar, salt or preservatives added.
4. Take a Homemade Lunch to Work You may not be surprised about the money this will save, but it might surprise you how much this will improve your health, attitude, and general productivity at work. Pack leftovers from the night before with a fresh piece of fruit.
5. Drink Tap Water This one is obvious, yet rarely practiced. If you don’t like the taste of your water, or aren’t satisfied with it’s purity, don’t cave in and buy bottled water! Instead, get a cheap water filter or purifier. This will save lots of money and help you avoid empty calories that don’t fill you up.
I hope these tips have helped you out and made you rethink eating healthy!