One of the most common rebuttals I hear from people trying to transition into a healthy lifestyle is that it’s too expensive and too time-consuming… but it doesn’t have to be. If you are strategic, not only can you keep it affordable you can be super-efficient, too!
As a mom, I’m not just preparing healthy food for myself but for my family too so I’ve become a ninja at keeping it cost effective and also feasible to keep up with while managing our busy lives.
Below are my top 8 tips on how to eat healthy on a budget…and not just money but a time budget, too!
- Ok, first things first…. Get in the mindset that we are eating for nutrition and fuel, not just enjoyment.
Now, that doesn’t mean the food has to taste like sh!t lol but it means we don’t need a fancy 3-course meal every time we eat. It also means that it’s ok to eat the same thing two meals in a row. For example- I always make enough food for 2-3 days to portion out and when that’s finished I switch it up and make something different. Since protein and carbs require cooking you can just make them ahead and mix up your veggies or eat a salad with your prepped meal (the protein and carb) and sometimes add a good fat such as olive oil or avocado. Or if you choose to eat meat higher in fat content i.e.: 85/15 ground beef you can use that towards your fat count as well. Doing this helps SO much and avoids the problem of food going bad because you made too many different things.
2. Stick with the “ dirty dozen” list when you shop for produce which means the foods that are important to buy organic and save money by buying the rest conventional.
3. Use protein powder in shakes and smoothies as a meal.
This is a huge time and money saver and one of my absolute favorite hacks! The average container of protein costs $49.99 and has 30 servings. That’s $1.66 per serving! When you add in some fruit or veggie you’re looking at under $3.30 per meal for a healthy nutritious and convenient option.. which is cheaper than a Wendy’s hamburger! My favorite Is the 1st Phorm Phormula-1 Vanilla because it tastes great and is stevia sweetened but if you have some already or choose another product make sure it’s good quality.
4. Buy in Bulk.
Get a membership at a Costco or Sam’s club and save money by buying frozen fruit, meats, paper goods and even some of the sturdier veggies in bulk like Brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, and cauliflower. (frozen fruit is great because it actually freezes some of the phytonutrients in but frozen veggies are shown to have way less nutrition so stick with fresh if possible)
5. Buy slabs of meat and cut yourself.
Whether from a butcher or a store like Costco you can buy slabs of meat and cut up and portion yourself. It takes a few extra minutes but can save you some serious cash.
6. Stick with sturdier fruits and veggies and store correctly to keep fresh longer.
We have all been there, you buy a cart full of fruits and veggies only to throw half away on Sunday when you’re cleaning out your fridge. Stop the insanity!! Lol, If you stick with sturdier options they will last much longer and also make sure to wrap any herbs or lettuce greens in a paper towel to absorb the moisture and keep them fresh longer. If you buy the pre-cut and washed salad just throw a paper towel inside the bag to make it last longer.. it works!
7. Don’t buy pre-cut and washed.
Sure it’s convenient but if you’re trying to save money opt for the options you can quickly wash and cut yourself.
8. Stop drinking crap and drink water.
Sure, not that exciting lol but if you get rid of the juice and artificially sweetened drinks you shouldn’t be drinking anyway you can save money and improve your health (and waistline!) .. this also goes for the 3 pump venti mocha at Starbucks, too ☺
Still need some ideas? I’ve created a free sample meal plan to help you get started. Click the link below to open and download
P.S. – This meal plan doesn’t contain portion sizes because that’s individual to each person and their needs. If you need help, make sure to subscribe to my blog and keep an eye out for my next post on ‘Counting Macros for Beginners” or check out my 90-day transformation program here.
Theresa Depasquale xoxo