When it comes to eating healthy on a budget, sometimes you have to get a little bit creative. Buying fresh foods can be expensive, but with a little preparation before heading out to the store and a few helpful tips, you can create super healthy meals without breaking the bank.
1. Pass Up the Bagged Salad Mixes
Although bagged salad mixes are convenient, and anything that makes eating your veggies convenient is a good thing, these salad greens can go from fabulous to funky very quickly – and they’re expensive. Buy a head of lettuce instead and create your own mix by adding different lettuces and veggies – it’s much cheaper and lasts longer in your crisper.
2. Buy Spices in Bulk
Spices are awesome for creating healthier, tastier dishes because they add bold flavors without adding extra fat or calories. Find a store that sells spices in bulk and you’ll pay less up front. Also, you’ll be able to buy smaller amounts of spices you don’t use as much, which saves money, too.
3. Stock Up on Staples
Olive oil, pastas, nuts and canned beans all keep for extended periods of time and often go on sale. When you find a great deal, stock up on these items to keep more cash in your wallet.
4. Get to Know the Potato
Potatoes, although a high-carb food, are surprisingly nutritious. They contain fiber, potassium and vitamin C for a huge nutritional bang for your buck. Russet potatoes are highly versatile, too, so you can use them in just about any meal.
5. Use Whole Chickens
We know the boneless, skinless chicken breasts are terribly convenient, but they are the most expensive way to buy chicken. Only buy chicken this way when it’s on sale, otherwise, opt for a whole chicken instead and roast or grill it. You’ll spend less per pound and have way more meat.
6. Don’t Forget About Fresh Herbs
Just like spices, fresh herbs add wonderful flavor without any added fat. They are also good for your health, as many contain anti-inflammatory and disease-fighting properties. Unfortunately, fresh herbs are expensive in the store. To get the most from fresh herbs, grow your own at home. It’s easy to do, and you can even grow them indoors.