How to Eat Healthy and Save Money
Hello 2019! I’m excited for the new year and I hope you are too. I don’t know about you, but I consumed WAY too much sugar over the holiday season! I’m getting back into my regular rhythms of cooking healthy foods and exercising.
This time of year, people tend to focus on their health and their budgets. So, I thought I would combine the two topics! Many people think eating healthy is expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. I’ve learned how to save money and take care of myself in the process. Here are some things I do that over time saved me $20-$30 a week on my grocery bill while eating healthier.
I remember in my early 20s when I would go to the grocery store get home and have nothing to eat. Has that ever happened to you?! Now, I’ve developed a good system after years of wasting food and money.
As a single person, I plan two meals a week for myself, one lunch and one dinner (enough to last for 4-5 days). For breakfast, I like to have a couple options to choose from like eggs or oatmeal. I’ll also make sure I have extra veggies and fruit for snacks. This process has simplified my nutrition and my budget.
By meal planning, you spend less time in the grocery store and in the kitchen. You also spend less money because you avoid impulse purchases! It’s much easier to make healthy choices when you decide what to eat in advance of going to the store. Scour Pinterest or your family’s recipes and make a list before you shop.
Buy ingredients vs. processed
There is no question cooking at home is cheaper than eating out. But is it cheaper to make food from scratch verses buying processed food at the store? In my experience it is. I primarily shop the perimeter of the store, in the meat and produce departments. I buy what’s on sale and in season. It is possible to make cheap and healthy choices. Here are some ways I do.
Make meals simple (and portion controlled): protein, veggie, grain/starch or fruit
Ex. half of chicken breast, sweet potato, and green beans
Buy lettuce instead of bag salads
Buy canned goods
Shop weekly sale and seasonal fresh items
Use coupons and shop store brands
You don’t have to be an extreme couponer to save on your grocery bill. When meal planning for the week, search for coupons online. Good places to search for coupons are Coupons.com,Valpak, and grocery retailer websites. Buying the store brand vs. the name brand is also an easy way to save money. The store brand is typically made by the name brand manufacture anyway.
I’ve come a long way from wandering grocery aisles and being shocked by the total at the register. Before I started shopping this way, I was spending $70-$80 a week on groceries. Now, I typically spend around $50-$60 a week.
Here’s some action steps you can take:
Figure out what you typically spend on groceries right now. Go look at your last month’s bank statement if you need to.
What’s one change you can make from some of the suggestions I outlined above?
Determine an amount you want to spend a week on groceries vs. eating out. Multiply by 4 and put it in your budget. Next month, check to see how you did and adjustment if needed.
I hope you’ll learn from my mistakes and come up with your own system for budgeting and eating healthy too!