Eating clean can be a pricey endeavor. Healthy, organic produce and high-quality proteins can easily make a large dent in your wallet. But don’t fret – eating a nutritious diet doesn’t have to break the bank. Eating clean on a budget is possible – and with the right groceries, coming in under budget is within reach. Read on to discover 10 affordable and nutritious foods that can be included in your shopping list. Bon appetit!
1. Live the Healthy Life – On a Budget
Managing a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to mean taking out a second mortgage. There are plenty of simple, cost-effective ways to improve your health — without breaking the bank.
- Eat in-season produce. As well as being firmly in-the-now delicious, you’ll find that these health-boosting fruits and vegetables are far cheaper than those out-of-season items – grown, shipped and stored for months on end.
- Shop local for meat and fish. Find a farmer’s market and plenty of organic, free-range and hormone-free options for your proteins and seafood. Plus, you’ll get to have a chat with someone who can tell you exactly how it’s been farmed.
- Hit the discount stores. Surprising though it may seem, dropping in to budget supermarkets like Aldi or Lidl for discounted organic staples such as nuts and seeds proves to be a much more cost-efficient way of stocking your cupboards with the everyday goodness you need.
- Bulk buy spices. Rather than buy the tiny jars of cumin and cinnamon, opt for the bulk buy option – it’s a great way to save money, as these pungent ingredients will last months.
Get creative in the kitchen. There’s no shortage of delicious, healthy meals that can be made from the same ingredients. For example, cook up a big batch of rice and add it to a head of roasted cauliflower today, and then tomorrow you can add chickpeas and veg to make a sauté. Be creative and watch your ingredients multiply.
Get smart with supplements. Some nutrients – for example, Vitamin D or Vitamin B12 – can be hard to find in our diet, and so opting to take a supplement to fill in the nutrient gaps is a wise way to go. The trick is to look for products that come from trusted, quality-focused brands – not the incredibly cheap options that could leave you short on results and also fill your body with dodgy additives in the process.
2. Affordable, Nutritious Foods to Feed the Whole Family
Making a nutritious meal on a budget can be a challenge. With a bit of creative planning, it is possible to make healthy meals that won’t break the bank. Here are some great ideas for feeding your family on the cheap:
- Crunchy Salads: Salad greens are very budget friendly, so you can create a hearty and colorful salad with lots of crunchy vegetables for a fraction of the cost of store-bought items. To make a filling salad that your family will love, try adding beans, nuts, and lean proteins like leftover chicken.
- One Pot Dishes: Make dinner a breeze with one-pot meals like soups and stews. With only one pot to clean, you can save time and money. Plus, you can pack in plenty of nutritious ingredients like whole grains, greens, and protein.
- Flavorful Spices: Bulk up your meals without breaking the bank with flavorful seasonings. herbs, and spices. Chili flakes, ginger, smoked paprika, and cinnamon are just a few of the spices you can use to turn any simple meal into something special without spending too much.
When it comes to feeding your family healthy food, the key is to get creative. With some smart shopping and a few kitchen hacks, you can make affordable meals without sacrificing nutrition. And you don’t even need to skimp on taste!
Finally, don’t forget leftovers! If you find yourself cooking more than you expected or buying ingredients in bulk, portion out the extras so that you can use them for your next meal.
3. 10 Foods for a Balanced and Healthy Diet
No matter what your dietary goals are, everyone benefits from eating balanced, nutritious meals. Just like with any physical activity, healthy eating is important for sustaining energy and your well-being. Here are 10 essential food items that should form the basis for your healthy eating plan.
Fruits and Vegetables: Fresh fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber, as well as antioxidants that help the body fight disease. Vary your daily intake with different colors and textures. Try to include some in every meal.
Grains: Whole grains such as oats and quinoa are a great source of carbohydrates, which provide your body with energy. They also contain important vitamins and minerals. Choose unprocessed products such as brown rice and whole wheat pasta whenever possible.
Beans: Beans contain plant-based proteins that are great for building muscle. They are also packed with complex carbohydrates and fiber, making them a great addition to any meal. Soybeans, split peas, and black beans are all excellent choices.
Nuts and Seeds: Nuts and seeds are loaded with healthy fats, proteins, and antioxidants. They make an excellent snack all on their own, or can be added to salads, trail mix, or cereals. Try adding roasted almonds, walnuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds to up your nutrient intake.
Fatty Fish: Fatty fish such as salmon, herring, and sardines are packed with protein and are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. These are essential fatty acids that your body cannot produce on its own, and are important for brain health. Aim for two servings of fatty fish per week.
Eggs: Eggs are an excellent source of high-quality protein and contain important vitamins and minerals. They are also relatively low-calorie, and very versatile for cooking. Enjoy them hard-boiled, scrambled, or poached.
Yogurt: Yogurt provides protein, calcium, and other essential vitamins and minerals. Opt for plain yogurt and add your own fresh fruit for a healthy snack. Greek yogurt is an especially great option, and can be substituted into some savory recipes as well.
Leafy Greens: Leafy greens contain important vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber and antioxidants. Incorporate spinach, kale, or arugula into salads, sandwiches, omelettes and many other dishes.
Low-fat Dairy: Dairy is essential for calcium intake and building strong bones. Choose a low-fat or fat-free milk to cut down on fat and calories. Low-fat cheese, cottage cheese, and Greek yogurt are all great for adding to meals.
Lean Meats: Lean meat is an excellent source of protein, iron, and B vitamins. Opt for leaner cuts such as flank steak, or trim off visible fat from poultry skin. Avoid processed meats as much as possible.
4. Shop Smart – Cut Costs on the Grocery Bill!
Shopping smart doesn’t have to be difficult. To help you cut costs on your grocery bill without sacrificing the quality or quantity of food you need, here are some simple tips and tricks:
- Pre-Planning: map out a plan of action before you go to the store by making a list of what you need and sticking to it.
- Price Comparison: compare prices between different stores before you buy. Look for sales or other in-store discounts.
- Seasonal Shopping: shop for items in-season to get the best deals. Fresh vegetables and fruits are mealy cheaper when they are in peak season.
Couponing is a great way to save money on your grocery bill. Utilize coupon websites or apps for great deals. And don’t forget to check if the store has their own app. Quite often, it has exclusive offers that will help you save even more.
Eating healthily and within budget can be a challenge. Many grocery stores have their own generic brand, and often they are just as good as their pricier alternatives. Take a little time to compare the ingredients on the back so that you know you’re getting your money’s worth.
The goal is to spend smartly while still getting quality food on the table. Take advantage of the tips listed above to help you cut costs when it comes to your grocery bill.
Eating clean and healthy doesn’t have to cost a fortune. With a bit of planning, you can eat well while limiting your budget. Try adding a few of these affordable, nutritious foods to your shopping list today and watch how it improves your health and overall well-being. Bon appetit!