The words “healthy foods” and “balanced diet” have taken over the forefront of people’s minds in this day and age. Processed foods are on the way out, as more and more people realize that eating healthy and keeping an active, balanced lifestyle is imperative to overall health, losing weight and developing a lifestyle that is good on the body. Healthy food comes at a price, however, and organic food often costs more than its alternatives. For the budget conscious, especially moms who are trying to feed a family, eating healthy can really put a strain on your wallet. Here are some tips to healthy eating while staying on a comfortable budget.
1) Plan before Purchasing
Avoid one of the most infamous of grocery store scams by planning out your meals and your grocery lists prior to stepping foot inside the grocery store. With so many tempting products laid out right in your line of site, it’s easy for the unprepared to grab handfuls of things that they don’t really need for the week ahead. By having a list and sticking with it, staying on a budget is much more likely, and you can avoid surprises in the checkout line.
2) Batch Cooking
While it may seem counter-intuitive to shopping on a budget, cooking in large batches saves a ton of money, time and effort in the long run. If you’re making soup, spaghetti sauce, lasagna or other family-friendly meals, double the recipe. Then you can either freeze the leftovers, which saves you the time of making it again in a week or two, or you can take them for lunch during the week.
3) Limit Dining Out
While dining out is a convenience that is hard to resist, it is also hard to afford. With meals out costing a hefty sum for a whole family, dining in is not only cheaper, but likely healthier as well. Limit dining out experiences to special occasions, or once every other week. The money you save can be turned around to go into groceries, which can purchase more high-quality foods for less than you would have paid at a restaurant anyway.
4) Go for Generics
The store-brand generic is usually hidden below or around name-brand products, out of eye-line. Stores do this for a reason. People often grab what’s right in front of them without looking for an alternative. Generic brands are typically exactly like their name-brand counterpart, and they come at a fraction of the cost. Buying generic brands can reduce your grocery cost by 1/3 each and every time you shop.
Eating healthy is vital to staying in shape, maintaining your weight, or participating in a weight loss plan. Healthy cooking does not have to cost a fortune, or put your budget over the edge. There are many ways to reduce costs in the grocery store that can provide healthy, tasty and nutritious meals without over-spending or skimping on things you really want. Following these steps and others can provide the tools needed to stay healthy while remaining budget-friendly and cost-conscious.
The author is a self-help fanatic who loves motivational speakers and healthy eating. She lost 25 pounds using ideas from this motivational speaker’s blog: http://www.mindcapital.com/blog/