• Jillian Lentini

Eating Healthy on a Tight Budget

One of the things that almost always comes up with helping someone adjust their foods to more healthy choices is budget. It is in my intake form for a reason. It is a real issue for some, but not impossible.

Eating healthy as a family at first can be overwhelming and feel like you are making it rain money on your food budget. What I notice happens, is most clients not only add the new healthier things in, but they also buy their usual weekly staples instead allowing for some swaps.

Over time, the goal is to only buy the healthy stuff and slowly move away from still buying both.

That being said, sometimes budgets are still pretty tight at times, and you can absolutely eat healthy on a budget.

Here are some tips to get nutritious foods in and stick to a smaller budget:

  1. Buy seasonal vegetables and fruits on sale. Hit up your local farms. They tend to have less which means you may tend to buy less.

  2. Take advantage of the sales each week on produce and only buy the ones on sale.

  3. Buy frozen vegetables instead of fresh (This does two things) One saves the wallet, and two saves you from throwing away what you didn’t get to in a couple of days)

  4. Pay attention to prices and hit the stores that consistently offer lower ones. For example, price right isn’t always the cheaper option for produce. Know your prices to help save your family money.

  5. Make a list and stick to it and don’t go shopping hungry. Think of the meals you want to make the week ahead and buy the things you need for those meals.

  6. Make smaller trips rather than one big one and buy what you need when you need it. The caveat here is to stick to your list and avoid the temptation of deviating from if you are making more trips.

  7. Buy meat in bulk and opt for cheaper cuts of meat. They may require more work to prep and store but can save big time in the end.

  8. Use up what you have and get creative.

  9. Cook larger meals and use your leftovers for lunches and breakfasts.

  10. Make your teas and coffees at home instead of stopping on the way to work.

  11. Make your “own” almost anything you tend to buy that adds up quickly. It is almost always cheaper to buy the ingredients you need to make your own.

I’ve worked with people of all budgets, and when you make your health a top priority, once you get over the hump, you can make it work and fit it in. It will eventually just become routine to opt for the minimally processed whole foods over the convenience foods.

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