Monday, August 15, 2016

7 Tips for Healthy Eating on a Budget

Eating healthy is a priority. Sticking to your budget is a necessity. So, how do you balance the two? You get healthy eating tips from a Registered Dietitian (RD) that allow you to stay on a budget. Here are my RD tips for eating healthy on a budget.

Set a budget.
It's important to have a goal budget to meet or stay under. Figure out how much you want to spend on eating and how that works into your overall budget.

Make a meal plan.
Decide what you will be eating for the week. Make a grocery list for your breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks for the week. Have a list and stick to it. Then, you will be more likely to stick to your budget. Extra items add cost to your budget.

Buy seasonally.
A great way to eat healthy and stay on budget is to eat seasonally. When you choose to eat fresh fruits and vegetable that are in season, they are cheaper. 

Buy shelf-stable and frozen items in bulk.
Examples - grains, canned veggies or fruit, and frozen vegetables and fruit.  Choose no added salt canned vegetables to limit added salt. Choose fruit packed in its own juice to limit added sugar. When comparing prices, look at the unit price. 
image via Amazon

The unit price compares price per ounce or unit. This gives you a better idea if the larger size or the smaller size is a better deals

Try store brands.
Many stores have their own store brand. Wal-mart has "Great Value" brand. Kroger has their "Private Selections" brand. Target has "Archer Farms"  and "Market Pantry" brands. Many times the stores make a comparable product with a lower price. Compare the unit price of the store brand and brand name product. Try them; you may like them and save some money.

Freeze leftovers.

This tip saves time and money. Buy food in bulk; buy enough for 2 meals. Cook once. Eat one meal. Freeze the other meal. And you have two delicious, healthy meals that took about half the time to prepare! 

Shop the sale.
Look for your favorite foods on sale. Avoid buying things just because they are on sale. But if you see one of you or your family's favorite foods on sale, buy a little extra at the cheaper price.

Healthy eating is an investment in your health. Healthy eating is an investment in your future. It is also an investment in your child's health and your family's health. We know that healthy eating affects brain development, school performance, and can decrease the risk of developing diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke. For more on the consequences of obesity, check out the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

How can you afford not to eat healthy?

If you have any tips for healthy eating on a budget, share them below in the comments.

August is Kids Eat Right Month™, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Academy Foundation's chance to highlight the fight for our children's healthy future. Find out how you can get involved!

Stay tuned all this month for more on healthy eating and Kids Eat Right Month. For more recipes, encouragement, and tips for healthy eating, follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

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