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4 Tips For Eating Healthy on a Budget

Author: Katie Horrell, MS, RDN, CPT

There’s a common myth that healthy eating has to be expensive. When we think of “healthy foods” we might think of: expensive juices, protein bars/powders, supplements and organic produce. But guess what? You don’t need all those fancy things to eat healthy. Don’t get us wrong, they can be fun little “extras” to treat yourself with, but healthy eating can totally be affordable, we promise! 

1. Start with what you have on hand

What is the #1 key to saving money on groceries? Start in your pantry & fridge! What veggies do you need to use up? You could make a soup or veggie bake out of them.  What about those fruits that are about to go bad? Get creative and create a smoothie you’ve never tried before! This rule goes beyond perishables as well. Why not check out your dry foods and see what hasn’t received much love lately. Then you can search for recipes using those ingredients! 

2. Build a meal & snack prep list

Once you search your fridge, start making a list. Know how many meals & snacks you want to prep for the week. Note how often you normally go out to eat so you don’t over-purchase! It sounds cliche, but know exactly what you need when going to the store. The more structure, the less money spent! Make a list and stick with it!

3. Don’t feel pressure to *only* shop organic

Organic is great when you can afford it, but organic doesn’t always mean it’s healthier. When it comes to produce in particular, some fruits & veggies (for example, ones with thick skins) have a lower likelihood of contamination. Check out the Dirty Dozen List to see which fruits and veggies are better to buy organic, but save on others!

4. Don’t be afraid to modify/tweak a recipe

One last money saver is modification! For example, if you have a teriyaki chicken recipe but no chicken, look at what proteins you have available on hand.  You can make the same recipe with tofu as the protein! Do you have dried oregano, but not fresh oregano? Use a smaller portion of the dried version instead.  There’s a saying that cooking is an art, and baking is a science. That means when you cook, there’s more flexibility. You can paint the picture the way you want it! Baking is a different story, but that’s for another lesson!

If you’re ready to put some of these tips into action, sign up for Noom today!