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Buying Healthy Foods on a Budget

street-market-fruits-groceryA lot of people believe that eating Healthy means having large grocery bills, but that is simply not the case.  It is possible to maintain healthy eating habits on a budget.  These tips are sure to help you eat healthy without draining your bank account.
1.  Try to stay away from junk food.

One way to avoid caving in to the temptation of buying a cart full of junk food at the grocery Store is to shop alone.  Since children and spouses are usually the ones throwing junk food into the cart, shopping alone will help you make sure that you only buy foods that are nutritious and healthy.  Another piece of advice is to always have a shopping list.  Making a shopping list will help you stay focused on buying only the food items that you actually need and not a whole bunch of extra junk items.

2.  Don’t buy soft drinks.

Instead of buying a lot of sugary soft drinks, try to stick with much healthier options like water or milk.  This does not mean that you have to quit drinking soda completely.  For example, you can still enjoy a soda during a night out or at a special event, but you should try to get the smallest available size to minimize cost, sugar consumption, and calories.

3.  Buy lots of Fruit.

Eating fruit is a healthy and tasty alternative to eating sugary treats like cookies and candy.  You can buy large quantities of fruits that are in season and freeze any extra portions that don’t get eaten.  Freezing fruit allows you to always have the fruits that you love even when they are out of season.  Simply wash the fruit, toss away any bad pieces, allow the fruit to dry thoroughly, and place them in freezer bags.

4.  Eat more meats and Beans.

Meats and beans are full of protein and can often be found at great prices.  Many grocery stores will have weekly sales on certain meats and canned items, so be sure check your local store’s ads for special prices.  Since meats can be frozen and beans can be stored in the pantry, these items make great bargains for any weekly sales.

5.  Try using beans as a substitute for meat.

Since beans are a high-protein food, they can be easily substituted for meats in many meals.  It is a good habit to have vegetarian meals a couple of times a week and beans make great additions to these meals.  There are several types of beans to choose from and many more ways to cook them.  So have fun and try something new!

According to the USDA, you should eat beans at least four times a week.  As most people would expect, eating large quantities of beans may cause a little gas.  If this happens, try washing the beans and boiling them in water.  Once the water begins to boil, carefully drain the water and refill the pot.

6.  Eat more fish.

Eating fish is a great option for a healthy meal and should be a regular part of your diet.  If you live in a coastal area or an area where fresh fish are readily available, take advantage of your location and you will find some great choices in fish varieties and prices.  To save even more money on fish dinners, you can also try catching some yourself from nearby lakes and rivers.

7.  Buy more Peanut Butter.

Peanut butter is a great item for those on a grocery budget.  It can be used in several different ways and is a healthy and tasty option for both adults and children.  Try putting some peanut butter on a sandwich instead of having a hamburger for dinner.

8.  Don’t avoid Store Brands.

Store brands are often just as healthy and tasty as many of the more popular brand name items. Store brands often offer food items at significantly cheaper prices than their brand name competitors and are definitely worth trying out.  Some stores even carry their own brand of organic foods and can be bought at lower prices than most brand name organic foods, which is a bonus for healthy eaters on a budget.

Eating healthy doesn’t not mean you have to spend a lot of money at the grocery store.  With a little creativity and some mindful shopping, anyone can enjoy the benefits of healthy food on a budget.

 

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