Eating Healthy On A Budget
There’s no magic formula to eating on a budget. Like anything else, it takes a little planning. But when you consider the benefits —better health and more money!—you’ll find it’s worth the effort. Superfoods are more varied than you might think, and believe it or not, some of them can actually be found at reasonable prices.
Beans and Lentils
Canned or dried, these fibrous foods make nutritious, hearty soups, and can also act as a main course with the addition of fresh vegetables or rice. Research shows that eating beans can help control blood sugar, keep weight down, and reduce risk of heart disease.
Great, filling addition to a leftover meal and veggies. Although brown rice is slightly more expensive than white, the nutritional payoff is well worth it. Another inexpensive, easy-to-fix grain, millet, is best when bought fresh. Simply rinse and toast before using it in recipes.
Semi-homemade soups can’t be beat for nutrition and convenience, especially since you can use canned or packet soups as your base, then add your own veggies and leftover meat.
The hard truth: If you need to lower your cholesterol, lowering your body fat overall will prove much more effective than simply tossing out the yolk. Dietary cholesterol isn’t bound to blood cholesterol, and the yolk contains half the protein and vitamins A, D, and E in the entire egg.
Frozen Chicken Breasts
Chicken breasts are very versatile and provide lots of healthy, lean protein. Frozen breasts are much cheaper than fresh, but it’s best to consume the chicken breast within 2 months of freezing.
Regular black tea can easily fit the health bill. Even the standard brand is packed with flavonoids, the protective compounds that neutralize health-damaging particles called free radicals to maintain cell health.
Go Online Sticking to your shopping list and buying what you need will prevent overspend and will ensure the necessary ingredients to stock the fridge and larder
Buying from your neighborhood organic farmer can save money and buying direct from those wholesalers will guarantee the lowest prices.
Buy in Season
Buying fruit and vegetables out of season, whether organic or not, will always cost more. Out-of-season selections carry the added cost of transportation and energy, so be sure to purchase in season produce for the lowest prices. If you cannot live without then buy in bulk during season and freeze.
Skip Convenience Foods
Supermarkets can be sinister: They know that the average person is short on time, which is why they cash in on pre-sliced veggies, trimmed-and-cleaned chicken breasts, and pre-cooked everything. Pre-chopped produce comes with a hefty markup so avoid veggie trays and take the time to prepare produce yourself.
Eat More Plant-Based Foods
Although delicious, grass-fed beef and wild-caught fish don’t come cheap. Load more of your plate with inexpensive, filling leafy and cruciferous veggies, good fats like avocado, and slow-release high-fibre carbs like quinoa and legumes.
Load Your Plate with Fibre
Fibre delays gastric emptying, balances blood sugar, curbs cravings, and makes you feel full faster. Aim for two or three inexpensive, high-fibre foods at every meal. Excellent choices include avocado, legumes, nuts, seeds, and leafy greens.
Buy Organic Selectively
Not all produce needs to be purchased organic, as thick, removable skins protect some fruits and veggies from pesticides and other chemicals. The Clean 15 represents the produce you’re safe to purchase non-organic, saving your health and your wallet. On the other hand, the Dirty Dozen Plus is a list of fruits and veggies you should only buy organic.
While healthy fruits and vegetables are available year-round prices vary based on the season. However, frozen produce is always a good deal, and just as healthy as the fresh stuff. In fact, frozen produce is flash frozen at peak ripeness, providing you with all the nutrients at less cost.
Choose Healthy Fats
Get healthy fats from plant-based whole foods like nuts, seeds, avocados, and olives, and minimize the amounts of extracted oils and processed fats used when cooking.
Planning meals prevents making bad food choices just because they’re quick and easy. Check sales, locate healthy recipes, and create a shopping list for all the dishes you’ll make that week. After shopping, invest some time in slicing and prepping fruits and vegetables for the week and refrigerate in re-sealable containers. Staples such as chickpeas, lentils, quinoa, and brown rice should be prepared in large batches when you have some time for fast and healthy meals later.
Stock Up During Sale Time
Nuts will be on sale as we head into the holiday season, and they make a great source of fibre, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and more. Most perishable foods can be frozen for later, too.
Go Big on Flavour
An easy way to make a delicious dinner without adding calories or cost is by incorporating spices, seasonings, and seasoned vinegars. A little goes a long way with these ingredients that need to be purchased very infrequently and can last for long periods of time.
Eat Out Less
Dining out is a big part of weight gain and unhealthy eating. Cutting down on dining expenses will no doubt cut down on calories, too.
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