10 Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget

Eating well doesn’t have to be costly or difficult with these simple steps

10 Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget
Istock/RKIRKimagery

In news, about as surprising as the fact that Congress is unpopular with the public, is a recent University of Washington study that confirmed that eating your Brussels sprouts is more expensive than eating Twinkies®. According to the study, meeting the government’s recommended intake of potassium would cost the average person an additional $380 a year, while meeting vitamin D and fiber requirements would be about $250 dollars a year. At a time when food prices are rising, eating healthy on a budget may seem impossible, but it’s still possible to do at a low cost.

In a perfect world, apples, whole-wheat bread, and kale would be cheaper than ramen noodles, white bread, and doughnuts. But unfortunately, we live in a world where processed food usually costs less than healthy food and the cast members of the Jersey Shore are famous millionaires. But don’t despair. Not all healthy foods are prohibitively expensive and eating healthy on a budget can be done. By following a few rules, you can eat foods that are good for you without having to take out a loan to cover your monthly grocery bills.

If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where you can grow some of your own produce year-round, join a CSA (community-supported agriculture), or buy your fruits and vegetables at farmers markets, then go ahead and do all three. The more creative you get with your approaches to healthy eating, the less money you will spend. But if you can’t grow your own food, join a CSA, or go to farmers markets on a regular basis, there are still plenty of ways to eat well on a budget. Chopping your own vegetables instead of buying pre-cut ones and buying in bulk are just two of the 10 tips that you can follow for healthy eating on a budget.

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4 Comments

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My 'bean prep' strategy: soak the beans, however much you calculate that you will need for the week or weeks ahead, you can boil them to the desired doneness you need for whatever dish or soup you will be planning to make. A pressure cooker is great for this as a 50 minute cook time at pressure will yield a nicely done batch of boiled beans. Drain the beans, lightly oil them and toss in a large salad bow then: pack sandwich size zip lock bags with about a cup of the prepped beans and FREEZE them. The night before you need them, take them out and put them in the refirgerator. Next morning, put the prepped bag or bags of beans in a large salad bowl filled with water. When you come home from work, simply empty the bags of beans into a strainer, rinse if desired and use for the dish or soup you will be making. Very simple! Happy healthy eating on a budget with the 'time' problem solved with a little planning ahead!

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have ya seen the prices at farmer's markets? it ain't cheap that's for sure. they tout their organic produce and are smart enough to know that people will pay more at the 'market' just for the sake of saying they got it at 'the market'.

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Heck...saute four slices of bacon (cut in to 1" pcs) and a half a head of diced cabbage and half of an onion until cabbage is soft. Salt/pepper or season of your choice to taste. Viola... cheap AND good.

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