When it comes to eating I feel like most of you think that we have to choose between healthy and affordable.
Sadly, you are not that wrong. As organic food became a trend, it really seems like healthy food started being more expensive.
But, not so fast!
Eating healthy on a budget is possible and I myself have been doing it for years.
That’s why today I’ll give you my most use 12 hacks I’ve been using for “affordable” weight loss.
Healthy food doesn’t always have to be pricey. But I’m gonna show you how to keep up with your diet and lose weight, without making the wallet lighter along the way.
Let’s get started right away!
1. Eat Home-Cooked
If you want to keep eating healthy on a budget, my very first tip for you would be to eat home-cooked food.
I know, I know… There are days when I can’t even make the time to sit and eat my lunch like a normal person, not to mention cooking it in the first place.
However, you’d be surprised to know how much money you’re going to save by doing this.
Not to mention the fact that cooking your own food is much healthier because you have full control of what you eat.
The way that foods are cooked at restaurants and takeaways, is usually a much less healthy way than if you were to cook it yourself at home. Which means that by eating home-cooked you’re hitting two birds with one stone.
2. Load Up On Frozen Food
My next eating healthy on a budget – hack, is buying frozen food.
Frozen fruits and veggies are easier on the budget, compared to fresh and canned produce.
While frozen foods have been on the bad rep for so long, I’m so glad that myth has finally come to an end.
Studies show that there are almost no differences in nutritional value when it comes to frozen vs. fresh produce.
In fact, frozen might even have more nutrient dense properties, simply because it’s picked when ripe and immediately frozen.
While fresh produce is sitting on the market shelves for days losing most vitamins and minerals, frozen foods get to keep most of them.
This means you don’t really have to worry about what’s healthier and just go for whatever fits your budget.
3. Avoid Pre-Chopped Produce
Yes, pre-cut or pre-chopped fruits, salads and veggies are much easier to have on the go.
However, they are a bit more expensive this way, plus they don’t last as long and you’re more likely to food-waste this way.
So, unless you have to eat on the go, go for the whole fruit or vegetable.
4. Shop With The Season
In season fruits and veggies taste better and cost less.
And we probably all know that. However, it’s hard to follow up when you don’t know what is in the season – when.
That’s why I made a list for you with fruits and veggies grouped in seasons. YAY!
5. Plan Your Meals Ahead
I usually plan my meals for the week in order to stock on ingredients and be ready.
That’s why I started using a planner in the first place 🙂
Pre-planning the meals will help you make the most out of each product you buy.
Let’s say you need to buy a bag of baby spinach for your upcoming lunch.
You know you’re not going to use the whole bag on that one meal, so make sure to plan another meal that week that will use the rest of that bag you bought.
Grab your copy of the Fit Babe Fitness Planner and make sure to plan your meals ahead.
6. Always Shop With A Shopping List
I’ve noticed that whenever I shop without a plan, I am more likely to over-shop and over-spend, and buy a bunch of stuff that I end up food-wasting afterward.
That’s why I make a shopping list with the exact items I need to buy, so whenever I go to the grocery store I shop according to it.
This is the main reason why in my 4-week meal plan Burn Baby Burn, I’ve created shopping lists for each week.
I want to make sure you don’t over-buy anything and you are always prepped when it’s time to cook.
7. Make The Most Of What You Already Have In The Fridge
Before you head out to shop, take a good look at what’s already in your fridge.
Use your imagination and try to pack up a healthy meal of what you have left.
Also, by double checking your fridge, you’ll ensure not to buy something you already have, and that good food doesn’t go to waste.
8. Replace Meat With Other Proteins
Proteins are crucial when it comes to losing weight, getting fit or just maintaining a healthy life overall.
However, we often forget that there are other ways to load up on proteins than meat.
Meat, in general, is pretty expensive.
And I’m not saying that we should all go vegetarian, but reducing the meal to 2-3 times a week is a great idea for both your budget and your health.
Starting from peas and beans to lentils and dairy, you have plenty of options that will help you load up on protein while helping you stay even healthier on a tight budget.
My meal plan Burn Baby Burn is loaded with plant-based proteins on a daily basis, so if you are looking for a way to spice up your diet, this will be a win-win.
9. Stock On Sales
You should take advantage of the sales because when grocery stores provide certain deals you can actually save tons of money.
Just make sure to never overbuy and let the food go to waste.
A way to avoid that is to simply save the items for later, by portioning them out and freezing them.
10. But Always Think It Through
If almond milk is on sale, that doesn’t mean you should buy it if you don’t like it, or just can’t find a purpose for it.
I do this ALL THE TIME, so just wanted to make sure you don’t do the same thing 🙂
Make sure to think it through before reaching out for an item on sale, so you don’t end up with a bunch of stored foods you’re not gonna eat for months (if ever).
11. Shop At The Farmers Market
We are all used to shop in big supermarkets.
And yes, it’s easier to go to Walmart and shop there, simply because you’ll find everything you need from grocery to self-care and cleaning supplies.
However, supermarkets are more expensive. That’s why I warmly suggest you visit the farmer’s market, every now and then.
You’ll not only find better deals on fruits and veggies there, but you can find far better quality for a lower price too.
You can even find unlabeled, organic produce, by the same price as conventional foods.
The thing is, most of the farmers can’t afford the USDA Organic Certification, but if you talk to them they’ll tell you how they grow their products.
12. Don’t Forget To Meal Prep
Yes, I know, ain’t nobody got time to prep!
But, meal prepping is so good especially when you want to lose weight and eat healthy on a budget.
Prepping saves you money and it makes sure you are going to eat healthy for the week, so make sure to give it a chance at least.
13. Skip The Big Brands
Name brands don’t always mean that they are the best choice out there.
In fact, they are often pretty expensive, just because people know the brand.
So, make sure to double check the products next door, especially the store brand generic ones which are usually exactly the same as the pricey one.
Big brands use fancy names to describe their products such as “natural”, “organic” etc and usually when it comes to cost for money, you get completely the same product by reaching out for a small brand.
However, don’t forget to double check for hidden ingredients.
14. Grow Your Own Herbs
Most of us do not have space to create a whole farm with 20 different types of plants, but sometimes even the tiniest steps could make a difference.
One of those things you can plant and keep by the window are herbs.
Herbs cost $2-$3 in stores, and they are used only once or twice. Homegrown herbs, on the other hand, can be replanted and used over and over again for months.
Plus, they’ll taste so much better this way and they’ll make you so proud and satisfied.
I usually plant parsley, basil, and mint, and sometimes I even regrow my lettuce.
It’s easy and it saves money.
15. Don’t Get Obsessed With “Organic”
Yes, organic food is obviously healthier than conventional food, but it’s also a more pricy one.
The most important thing you should always keep in mind is to keep a healthy diet, no matter if it’s organic or conventional food.
Healthy conventional produce is still 100 times better than eating junk food, so keep that in mind next time you go shopping on a tight budget.
Now Let’s Get Healthy!
I hope my shopping hacks helped you keep eating healthy on a budget.
Let me know which one’s your favorite hack by commenting in the section below.
Also, don’t forget to share these eating healthy on a budget – hacks with your friends.
Till next time, babes.