In an age where people are always on the go, it can be difficult to find time or money for a nutritious meal.
But this doesn’t mean you have to settle for fast food every night.
With some creativity and a little planning ahead, eating healthy can be affordable and not just reserved for those with fat wallets!
Shopping for Groceries on a Budget
I would recommend shopping for groceries at a wholesale store like Costco or Amazon.
You’ll save money and have the chance to buy in bulk which can help to get more healthy food for your buck.
If you do end up going to a regular grocery store, be sure to stick with the periphery of the store where all of the produce, dairy, meats, and other perishable items are located in order to avoid any impulse buying that might add up in price.
You may also want to consider stocking up on canned beans and legumes when they’re on sale as these will give you a lot more variety than most prepackaged supermarket salads.
Packaged foods are often overpriced due to all of their special packaging which is why I prefer to stock up on items like beans when they’re in bulk. You can also purchase dried beans and cook them yourself, which I’m sure some of you do already.
To save even more money, try growing your own herbs and spices!
Use short-term loans to buy food, but only as a last resort
I would recommend that you only use short-term loans to buy food as a last resort. Short-term loans can be expensive and they take up your paychecks for the month.
You should use them sparingly if you need to and not on an ongoing basis. The best way is to find ways of saving and getting funds for groceries without taking out any loans or using your paycheck.
If you do decide to approach a payday loan company, make sure that you know what the interest is and how much it will cost. Be careful how far into debt you get yourself.
If they can’t help you out then I would suggest approaching family members or charitable organizations for assistance.
If you are struggling to get by and have no other options then I suppose a loan is sometimes your only option but please try not to fall into this trap too often.
If you don’t know where to seek short-term loans, consider speaking with members of your church or religious organization, especially if they’re running any food drives that you could donate to.
Saving Money on Healthy Meal With Coupons
In order to save money on healthy food, I would recommend buying things like canned beans and legumes when they’re on sale. You can also buy dried beans and cook them yourself, which I’m sure some of you do already.
If you really want to save even more money, try clipping coupons! It may sound like a hassle at first but it’s easy once you get the hang of it.
Take a quick look at the grocery ads that are available for your store and find coupons for the products that you are planning to purchase. Make sure the coupon is for something that you actually need as there is no point in clipping a coupon for something that you don’t eat!
You can also take advantage of money-saving apps like Ibotta or Checkout 51. These allow you to clip coupons and receive cashback for buying the things that are already on your shopping list.
The internet is also a great place to find coupons as there are so many free printables out there! Just be sure to always check the expiration date before using anything, especially if you’re planning to eat the food right away.
Have Fun and Get Creative
On that note, I’d like to end this article with some more fun and creative ideas for saving money on healthy foods. First of all, try making your own yogurt!
You can use an old saucepan or even a coffee warmer to do so which is a lot cheaper than buying it from the store. Yogurt is packed with calcium and protein so this is a great way to get more out of one of your meals!
Eating Out at Restaurants without Breaking the Bank
Eating out at restaurants can be a great way to try new foods without spending too much money, but it’s easy for the price to add up quickly. If you want to keep your meal under $5, stick to a soup or sandwich combo.
You can also add some sides like chips and a drink to make your lunch even cheaper.
I’ve found that eating out is usually expensive because you’re paying for more than just the food. A lot of places charge extra for things like bread so take that into consideration before getting anything else on the menu.
I would also recommend walking away from anything that has “specialty” written in its name as this will almost always result in something that is overpriced.
If you just want to try something new, you don’t have to break the bank to do so. A lot of restaurants offer a few basic fresh items for free so ask your server about these before ordering anything else!
If you really want a specialty dish, consider splitting it with your dining partner. Also, be sure to check out some more budget-friendly restaurants like Subway, Chipotle, or Moe’s.
Cooking From Home to Save Time and Money
Cooking from home can be a great way to save money and time. It also means that you have more say in what you’re eating which is always a big plus for me.
Plus, it’s not nearly as difficult as many people make it out to be! You can find a simple recipe online or even use the ones included with some of the prepackaged foods that you buy.
I usually cook something like hearty soup or pasta for dinner, maybe even oatmeal for breakfast. If you’re really feeling ambitious, try making your own dish!
It may sound hard but cooking from home is actually quite easy once you get into the groove of things. The first week or two will probably seem tough as it takes getting used to, but you’ll get there soon enough.
Just be sure to always keep your pantry stocked with things like canned foods and dried vegetables and spices, which last a long time when stored correctly!
Also, try freezing some of the food that you don’t have time to eat right away so that it’s easy to heat up later on.
I hope this article has provided you with some tips and tricks for eating healthy on a budget as well as some new ideas for saving money when doing so. It can be easy if you make it creative!