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Living Healthfully on a Budget.

Living Healthfully on a Budget

Up until the last handful of years, I was always, always trying to feed myself as healthfully as possible with the least amount of money as possible. My priorities and budget shifted after getting married and having a family, but I still remember those days well, and quite fondly. Here are a few of my favorite ideas for living on budget.

Stop eating out

Eating out is easy and delicious and requires almost no clean up on your part, but if you’re trying to stick to a budget, it’s almost certainly something that needs to go. Even if you get a “cheap” meal, it’s probably not as healthy, and perhaps not as cheap, as it would have been to make something at home.

Learn to cook

This goes right along with not eating out—if you really want to eat on a budget, you’re going to have to learn to cook (at least a little). It can be as simple as learning how to properly slice an onion (there’s a video online for that, I guarantee it!) or hard boil an egg, for real.

Embrace the bulk goods section

Instead of buying highly packaged foods, try things from the bulk aisle. Doing this allows you to buy just a single cup of adzuki beans, which you may need for one recipe and then never try again, rather than having to buy a two pound bag. It’s also very inexpensive.

Don’t buy pre-packaged foods or prepared foods

Speaking of bulk goods, things like beans are cheaper if you boil them yourself, rather than buying them prepared in the can. It’s also cheaper to chop up your own salad vegetables rather than buying a pre-packed bag of something, and cheaper to cut up your own pineapple instead of buying one that’s sliced already. (Not sure how to cut a pineapple? There’s a video online for that, I guarantee it!). What about microwave meals? If you can find them on sale and they actually fill you up, go for it. Otherwise, it’s probably less expensive to make your own mashed potatoes (or mashed cauliflower!) and get a rotisserie chicken that you can eat for a few nights.

You don’t need avocado toast just because everyone on Instagram is eating it

You do not need fancy things you see online in order to be healthy. You just don’t. Not acai bowls, collagen-infused smoothies, chia pudding, or gluten free black bean pasta. Just buy vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, some fruit, you’re good. Nothing fancy needed.

Don’t let food go to waste in your fridge

This is a huge budget-killer. I once had a client who would buy all this healthy and delicious sounding food, but then never, ever take it out of the refrigerator drawer because she didn’t really want it.  Buy things you actually want and put them in places in your fridge you’ll actually see them. Only buy what you need and freeze extra if you can’t eat it all before it goes bad.

Cook and split meals with a friend

This can be fun and a way to save money. You make a big pot of bean soup and a whole grain quick bread and give her half, she’s cooks a big old veggie lasagna and gives you half to freeze. You get variety and savings!

It’s not always easy to try to eat well on a budget, but with a little practice you can get pretty good at it.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.