As you’re driving down the street trying to find the right place to satisfy your growling stomach, you will probably only run into fast food restaurants with one or two healthy options to choose from on their menu. You want to eat better but then you think, “I could get three cheeseburgers that would fill me up all day. A salad is the same price but isn't as filling. Plus the burgers will taste better. Let’s go with the cheaper and more filling option.”
This is the thought process is pretty common, but don't forget... SOME FOODS ARE CHEAPER FOR A REASON!
Quality food does cost more, but it is well worth the investment for your overall health and longevity.
If eating healthy is coming at the cost of your pockets, you have to dedicate yourself to some planning. You should not settle for less than what your body deserves. If this seems difficult, we've included a few tips to help you eat healthy on a limited budget.
Include a fixed amount you can spend on groceries
It's always helpful to set up guardrails. If you budget a certain amount for groceries every month, that may keep you from purchasing that delicious bag of Bubba's or the latest Simple Mills cracker. There are many helpful tips and tricks to set a budget. Dave Ramsey's cash only method is a great one, and there are online tools like You Need a Budget that can help you stay on track as well.
Meal plan and prep
If you plan what your meals before the week, it's more likely that you will not purchase groceries that are more expensive. It's also helpful to dedicate a day of the week to meal prep. By batching your meal prep and cooking, it helps keep you from that impulse trip to fast food on the way home because you don't feel like cooking.
Always cook... so no prepackaged meals!
It’s so easy to go to the supermarket and purchase delicious frozen and pre-made healthy meals to buy. They are certainly convenient, but if you try cook these meals every night, it will end up breaking your budget! Treat yourself to a few of these items if you'd like but avoid relying on them for every meal.
Look for discounts
When shopping, look for items you can use for the week that are on sale, and you may even find great stuff on sale that isn’t on your list. It also helps to shop at more affordable grocery stores with healthier options like Trader Joes or Aldo. That's not to say you can't find a good deal at Whole Foods, but it is certainly helpful to put yourself in the best position to find a good deal.
Buy in bulk
Buying in bulk is one of the best ways to save money on your grocery bill. If you're planning to have a lot of chicken during the month, head on over to Costco or Sam's Club and pick up 10 pounds of chicken that's usually cheaper than your local supermarket.
The convenience of shopping online is obvious, but knowing exactly how much you owe at checkout makes it easier to stay in a budget. No more surprises at checkout! You MAY get surprised with shipping costs, but Amazon has almost forced all online grocery stores to offer delivery for free.
Shopping online also opens up the world of Subscribe and Save savings. Stores like Amazon and even here at Bubba's, offer 5 to 15% off groceries that are sent to your house every month. Need coffee every month? Add it to your subscribe and save. Need Bubba's delicious snacks? Add that too :)
Don't always buy on brand
It’s great to purchase from well known health food brands you trust, but often you can still find the nutrients you're looking for in "off brands." You'll want to sharpen up your label reading skills, but quality health food products are lingering next to your most recognizable brands that you probably never gave a chance. Read the labels and don’t be afraid to try them out!
You never know until you try!
Eating healthy can sometimes seem impossible when you have a busy schedule and low income. If you are wanting better for yourself foods, we hope you can give some of these tips a try.
Is there anything we missed? Let us know in the comments!