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3 Tips for Eating Healthily on a Budget

There’s a common misconception that to eat healthily you need to spend big bucks. That’s a big enough reason for some to give up on the idea of a healthy life, and to ‘compromise’ with delicious fatty, fried food. I have to be honest – there’s nothing I love more than a McDonalds burger with fries. But too much of anything is never a good thing. Not only is fried food bad for our waistlines, it can also have a massive effect on our moods. After I eat those types of foods, I always feel tired and sluggish. Believe it or not, unhealthy food can actually cause depression. When we eat healthily, our energy increases and the risk of diseases such as diabetes dramatically decreases. But how can we eat healthily without breaking the bank? Quite easily actually!

Get creative with your choices of protein

Meat can be expensive. But that doesn’t mean that you need to give up on it. There are other cuts of meats that are actually a lot less expensive. Tougher cuts of meats, and the ‘insides’ are very cheap. I never thought I’d eat the insides of an animal, but it’s actually delicious, and you can really get creative with recipes. Apart from that you can also buy frozen minced meat which is also much cheaper than fresh cuts. Chicken is another great option which you can stack up in your freezer in small batches, and use whenever you need. Frozen fish can also be dirt cheap, and it’s great when you feel like something light. Eggs are another wonderful source of protein that are also extremely cheap if you buy in bulk. Protein is vital for a healthy diet, and you definitely should not give up on it!

Grains and beans are your friends

Whole grains and beans are a wonderful choice when you’re trying to eat healthily. Not only are they extremely good for you, they also make you feel full and satisfied after a meal, making it less likely for you to grab an unhealthy snack. Go for grains such as quinoa and freekeh, and beans such as lentils and black beans. The amount of creative recipes out there with beans and grains is incredible. My favorite dish using these items is a Mexican Quinoa Salad, with quinoa, black beans, feta tomatoes and chili. My husband (who is a one of the biggest junk food fans out there) demolishes the entire bowl when I make it! Healthy salads and side dishes don’t have to be boring – they can actually be the highlight of the meal!

Plan plan and plan some more

There’s nothing I hate more than getting to the point where I have to throw food out. When we don’t plan well, a lot of food (and money) can go to waste. Plan your meals a week in advance, and only then do your weekly shopping (according to the ingredients you need for the meals). Never go to the supermarket without a plan! That’s when you can get carried away and land up spending a small fortune. Freeze meals for the week and take them out each morning. Not only does planning ahead save you money, it also saves you a lot of time. Because with our busy lives, who wouldn’t want an extra few hours a day to do what we love?!




About Jess

Jess hails from Sunny Australia and is the youngest of the frugal ladies. She loves shopping for a bargain, reading, watching movies and spends most of her life on the beach

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  • Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I do my best to eat a healthy diet, but it definitely gets expensive.

  • Colleen Lanin

    Excellent tips! You can save a ton of money on meat if you buy the tougher cuts and cook them up in a way that gets them nice and tender.

  • Jen Rattie

    Thanks a lot for sharing these tips. I’ve been trying to eat more healthy foods, but it gets SO expensive. I’ll give these a try.

  • Pam

    Planning is a great tip for eating healthy on a budget. If you plan meals in advance around sales you can save some serious cash.

  • This is helpful advice. I suppose we could look into some different cuts of meat and alternate sources of protein. I’ve been loving quinoa and lentils lately too.

  • rachelferrucci

    I hate throwing out food and it was difficult to learn to how to go from cooking for four to two. I agree to plan your meals ahead and have a night for left overs

  • TheNewClassy

    My husband and I are trying to eat healthier, but it is expensive to buy fresh food if you don’t eat it quickly. These tips should help us.

  • Veronica Solomon

    This post is so timely. I am looking to improve my diet

  • Marcie W.

    Helpful ideas! We meal plan every weekend for the week ahead and it really helps us stick to our grocery list.

  • It is crazy how expensive it can be to make the healthy choices. Thanks for these tips – I never think about planning meals in advance.

  • Theresa

    I love cooking with beans because they really are cheap and filling. I’ll even use a 50/50 meat/lentil ratio to stretch the budget.

  • gaynycdad

    It’s a lot of work trying to get healthy meals into my boys, thank for this information to help my job be a little bit easier!

  • Toni Dash

    Love these tips! It’s important that we eat healthily but it’s also important that it is within our budget. And doing both is a win-win!

  • Jeanine @ sixtimemommy.com

    These are great tips! I make budgets monthly and we eat very healthy. I think it’s just some extra work to cook/bake but its doable. Especially if you cut back on other things.

  • Melissa Chapman

    Any dish or salad with quinoa is great for me, bring on the Mexican. I would love to be so organized and have my whole week planned out.

  • Louise Bishop

    It can definitely be costly to eat fresh and healthy. Yes, beans are a great cost effective health choice!

  • Kelly Hutchinson

    I have found that by prepping my meals, I don’t spend as much on groceries and the meals are healthy. We have also stopped buying so much snack foods.

  • Planning is where it is at when trying to eat well on a budget. My husband and I have to follow a strict shopping plan when we go into a store.

  • Tracy Iglesias

    meal planning is definitely important, it helps to plan meals ahead of time because it allows you to stick to your budget and not buy a ton of extra stuff and junk food you don’t need.

    Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly

  • Our Family World

    I use a meal plan and I never go in a store without a grocery list. I avoid going in there too when I’m hungry. I don’t want to throw food out and would recycle if I could. Thanks for these tips. I am sure it will help a lot of moms out there too.

  • Annemarie LeBlanc

    These are all great tips you’ve shared. I think it is always best to plan. Choosing the right kind of protein source, like chicken (which happens to be our favorite) is a good way to save money too, without compromising the health benefits we can get from it.