Top tips on a budget

You are amazing for reading ALL these posts on nutrition. Now you are all revved up to make healthful choices that will fuel your body for maximum results. Go you! You head to the supermarket with your list and quickly discover that your $10 a week budget for snack food does not go very far when you have to buy healthful foods. Here are a few tips for healthier eating on a budget before we share our Top 7 Tips overall. 

  1. Encourage your school or parent to plant a garden. Or join a community garden. Not everyone is interested in gardening and has access, but if you are, this is a fun way to grow your own nutritious snacks. 
  2. Go visit a farmers market on a Saturday afternoon to see all the nutritious alternatives. They are also usually much less expensive. 
  3. Buy produce that is in season. When out of season the price soars! For example, peaches are expensive in January, but not so much in August. Eat berries in June and apples in September. 
  4. If  you live in a community that can do this, consider getting some chickens or have your school start a project raising chickens. Share chickens with neighbors. Fresh and free range, hormone-free eggs are delicious. 
  5. Cook in bulk—make a simple pot of soup or chili or a rice and black bean medley. Reheat throughout the week to save time and money. Bring leftovers to school for lunches. 
  6. Wait for foods to go on sale and freeze them (if they are the freezing kind!). And buy beans. Beans are plant-based protein and fiber and are so good for you and are quite affordable. 
  7. Cook from scratch, that way you know all the ingredients. Some people we know spend a few hours on the weekend to prepare their meals for the week. Loads of recipes are found online. Cooking can be quite therapeutic when you get the hang of it. Double bonus!
  8. Reconsider where you shop. Cruise online for some fabulous food deals. Of course, this takes a savvy shopper, but when you read reviews and spend some time, you may find a wonderful source for high quality, but cost effective healthful foods you love. Join a food club like Costco that has high quality fruits and veggies. Go in on the membership with a friend or another family to share the expense. Also, Trader Joe’s has healthy pre-packaged meals and snacks to bring to school or work.
  9. Rethink your finances when it comes to food spending. Not many people really study how they are spending money! Keep track of what foods you buy over the course of the week. Which ones are healthy? Which not so much? So take a look at your budgeting and see if you can place more priority on healthier foods. 
  10. Here are some inexpensive and healthy foods to keep in mind: lentils, beans, chickpeas, peanut butter, eggs, oatmeal, frozen veggies, bananas, sardines, sweet potatoes. So mix these in with the more expensive purchases (like fresh berries).
  11. Eating at home is always cheaper than eating out—no matter where you shop for groceries. A health smoothie costs a couple dollars to make while a bacon, egg and cheese and coffee at the deli is at least five times the price and far less nutritious.
(Some of the above tips were inspired by:

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