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Five Tips for Eating Healthy without Breaking the Bank

chicken plateDid you resolve to eat healthier in 2019?  Eating healthy is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, right up there with “spend less money” and “exercise more.”

Healthy eating can be expensive if you’re on a tight budget, but it can be done with a little thought and creativity.  Here are some easy tips for eating healthy on a budget:

Plan your meals. If you plan your meals, build a shopping list, and only buy what’s on the list, you’ll spend less on stuff you don’t need.  You can save even more if you take a look at what’s on sale at your grocery store and build your food plan around it. For example, this week, my grocery store is having a special on ground turkey, salad greens, grapefruit, pears, and whitefish—all items around which I can build a healthy meal plan.

Buy whole foods. A block of cheese is cheaper than a bag of shredded cheese. Buy it in bulk and shred it yourself to save money.  Buying processed foods like frozen meals or food helpers almost guarantees that you’ll have more salt, sugar and fat than you need, with less nutritional value.  If you find fresh vegetables too pricey, purchase frozen vegetables. They are just as nutritious, keep well, and can be re-purposed for other dishes easily. I keep some standby items like mushrooms, peppers and corn in my freezer for soups in the winter.

Never shop hungry.  Several things happen when you shop hungry. First, if you go to the grocery store hungry, you are more likely to stray from your grocery list and purchase impulsively. Second, when you’re hungry, you often crave foods that aren’t good for you or your budget. If you can, shop right after a meal.  If that’s not an option, have a healthy snack before you shop.

Cook large quantities.  If you buy a package of chicken breasts, prepare them all at one time and find creative ways to use them in several meals.  You might have grilled chicken for one meal and re-purpose the extra chicken for quesadillas, soup, or a casserole later in the week.

Shop in season.  Fruits and vegetables that are in season are sourced locally or at least regionally, while out-of-season foods are shipped from halfway across the world.  Shopping in season saves you money and reduces your carbon footprint.  If it’s practical, buy foods in bulk. You’ll save more money and you can freeze what you don’t use for future meals or incorporate it into next week’s menu.

Need healthy recipe ideas?  Visit ifoodreal.com for meals that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less.

Have a healthy, happy New Year!

Andrea Groth Wellbeing Detective

Andrea wants to live in a world where the neighborhoods are walkable, bike lanes are plentiful, and the food is fresh, delicious and readily available.

A 20-year veteran of the health and wellness industry, she started her career in the fitness industry while earning a master’s degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion, and then on to the burgeoning field of worksite wellness. Andrea has competed in collegiate level soccer, worked as a personal trainer, fitness instructor, wellness coach, and master trainer, climbed 14ers, and completed cycling centuries and metric centuries. All of these experiences give her the opportunity to view well-being from many different perspectives.
When she’s not helping others to be their healthiest self, you can find her at a farm to table restaurant, down dogging at the yoga studio, or experiencing the Colorado landscape on a bicycle, snowshoes, cross country skis or on foot.