It’s a common but sad truth that grocers often stray away from the organic food produce aisle. Chances are, a cart filled with fruits and vegetables would be more expensive. Hence, some people would justify that practicing healthy eating habits also corresponds to burning a hole in their wallets.
However, eating healthy and sticking to a budget is possible when grocers opt for clever financial decisions. You can still achieve your fitness and wellness goals without draining your wallets.
Are you still unconvinced? Try these tips on how to have a healthy diet within budget.
1. Plan your meals
If you are aiming to eat affordable healthy meals, you should integrate meal planning into your lifestyle. Plan your food for the following week and, based on this meal plan, create a list of ingredients to buy.
You should also take note of whether these ingredients or foods are integral. This precaution saves you the stress of going over the budget and having excess food. Remember to check your refrigerator and cabinets before going to the grocery, as well. You may find a lot of hidden and forgotten foods you may combine into your food meals.
2. Pack lunch for work
Packing lunch to bring to work saves you money, as eating out will cost you more. Preparing home-cooked meals can help you make healthier food choices. You can control and be mindful of what goes on your plate. Portion control is also a benefit of packing lunches. Since those diner chefs would not know your preferred serving sizes, bringing your meals avoids food waste
3. Look out for sales
Keep an eye out for sales and other promotions in your local grocery store. Getting your usual items at a lower price will allow you to stock up. To preserve these foods’ freshness and allow shelf-life longevity, toss them into your refrigerator.
Buying in bulk rather than in smaller portions can save you money. Some food items like chicken breasts, nuts, grains, and ground beef are cheaper when bought in bulk. However, take note of the expiry dates and your consumption levels. Overstocking may lead to financial losses and food wastages.
4. Switch your proteins
You can buy animal proteins such as cuts of beef and chicken by the pound. However, these types of proteins are relatively more expensive, so try switching them up.
The best protein alternatives for your animal meats are plants such as legumes and beans. In addition to their protein content, they also contain fibers and carbohydrates that assist in digestion and body fuel. Thus, they are healthier food choices. They also last longer in the pantry
5. Buy efficient food (fewer ingredients, more nutrition)
Buy more nutrient-dense foods rather than processed ones. Meals with fewer ingredients will cut your expenses even by a little. While in the grocery, make sure that every ingredient you buy has a purpose and is packed with nutrients that your body needs. The key to efficient food purchases is targeting as many food groups as possible in one ingredient or meal.
6. Try meatless meals
Consider upgrading your meal plans to plant-based diets, emphasizing fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, legumes, and nuts. These meals are rich in fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients, which aids in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Moreover, plant-based foods are more affordable than cuts of meat.
If you are concerned about your protein intake, switch your animal proteins to plant proteins, such as legumes and grains, which are healthier and cheaper. The plant options can also resemble the flavor and feel of your desired meats.
7. Go for frozen fruits and vegetables
Fresh fruits and vegetables are only available during specific seasons. Due to their high demand, they relatively have higher price points. Hence, consider pre-packaged frozen fruits and vegetables for your meal plans. They contain the same nutrients as fresh produce but at a cheaper price range.
Frozen produce is great as ingredients in cooking meals, to blend to create healthy smoothies, and as toppings for your favorite oatmeal recipes. They can also help prevent food spoilage. You can store them in your freezer and get them out only when needed.
Healthy Diet on a Budget
Contrary to popular belief that it is expensive to be healthy, you would not need to empty your wallet to consume nutritious meals. Following strict healthy eating habits will not be a monetary burden if you are clever in your financial decisions.
With a global health crisis, there is an additional need to look after ourselves. If you want to take a step further towards health and wellness, there are health insurance in the Philippines, such as BPI AIA, that you can look into.
BPI AIA Critical Care 100 can offer lifetime health protection from up to 100 critical illnesses until age 100, so you can live a happy and worry-free life with your family! Schedule a virtual appointment with one of our agents today.