Tips for Eating Healthfully on a Budget
It can be a daunting task to eat a healthful diet with a limited income.
Here are some tips to help you maintain a nutritious diet on a budget:
Cook more and eat out less- A cup of coffee with a doughnut here and a quick burger meal there adds up. It is important to treat yourself once in a while but try to keep in mind that making your own meals not only helps save you money, but a home cooked meal is usually a more nutritious choice.
Plan before you shop- Check local magazines, grocery store circulars, and newspapers for coupons or sales. There are some smart phone apps that can also be a source for coupons. Buying products that you enjoy in bulk when they are on sale is also a great way to save.
Don’t go shopping on an empty stomach- Grocery shopping when you are hungry will tempt you to purchase items that you really don’t need or want. Your hunger makes them more appealing.
Make a shopping list- Not having a plan may lead us to invest in foods that we may not normally purchase. Making a list and sticking to it is a great way to stay on budget.
Fresh and Local is the way to go- Fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season are cheaper than those that are out of season. Buying watermelon in the winter is more expensive than it is in the summer. Expand your palate and try foods that are in season to get the most bang for your buck! Farmer’s markets are an excellent source of fresh locally grown produce with reasonable prices.
Frozen and Canned- When your favorite fruits and veggies are out of season, try frozen options. Produce is usually frozen at the peak of ripeness and is a more affordable way to enjoy out of season fruits and vegetables.
· If you are choosing canned fruit, choose products canned in water or 100% fruit juice.
· When shopping for canned vegetables, look for “low sodium” or “no salt added” on the label.
· Another way to cut some of the salt is to pour your canned vegetables into a strainer and rinse them thoroughly before cooking.
Focus on nutritious, low-cost foods- Certain foods tend to be less expensive year round. Try adding these ingredients to recipes to increase the amount of protein and fiber in your diet without increasing your grocery bill.
Make your own snacks- Try making your own trail mix with a variety of nuts, dried fruit, and any add-ins you may enjoy.
Created by Julia DeLissio, Keene State Dietetic Intern and Kristi Fonrouge, RD, LD. 2019