How To Eat Healthy On Budget
The spring season is not the only reason to celebrate March, it’s also National Nutrition Month. Every year, healthcare professionals like us, dietitians, nutritionists, dentists, and the healthcare community puts an extra focus on making informed food choices and developing healthy eating habits.
National Nutrition Month has been celebrated since 1973 with a weeklong awareness campaign and turning into an entire month by 1980. The campaign is supported by plenty of good information and resources such as tip sheets, posters, community center, and school events, even libraries get it on the fun.
At Amicus, we take healthy eating habits very seriously since we know how crucial they are to the health of our patients. We even offer preventive medical nutrition therapy for chronic illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, and obesity. From time to time, you can also catch one of our live Facebook events with nutritionist Maria Camacho just like this past Christmas where she gave us tips on how to handle the buffet during the holiday season.
In this article, we’d like to shed some light on how to eat healthy while on a budget. For many households, a budget is a way to grow and achieve their goals for the future whether that’s buying a house or putting the kids through college. Eating right shouldn’t deter you from those goals. Keep reading for tips on how to eat healthy without putting a dent in your budget.
First, planning for the week is an important step. It gives you an overview of what you’ll need and how much you’ll need to shop for. There’s no point in buying extra food items that will only spoil or you won’t use for another two weeks. Think about your three meals a day, including snacks if it’s part of your routine. If you plan on eating with friends or family or going to a restaurant, or even a work lunch, take that into account since it’s one less meal to prepare for and can make a difference if you’re a family of four.
Make a habit of checking out your local supermarket flyers; look for two-for-one deals, coupons, and discounts. Go online, and download coupons and promo codes too for even more discounts. For fruits and vegetables, check out a local farmers market such as ours at Amicus’ Deerfield West, or small neighborhood produce market that’s non-chain. You can also find out if big-box warehouse-like chains work for certain items.
Shop for produce in season, since supply is abundant and prices are cheaper. For example, in spring, apricots, avocado, mango, pineapple, and strawberries are in season. Buy small amounts at a time so they don’t spoil and you don’t waste any money. Or if you have it within your budget, you can buy more and freeze them for the week after.
Focus on low-cost foods that are nutrient-filled and get creative with recipes. Think peas, lentils, oats, canned tuna, quinoa, eggs, and peanut butter. For example, you can replace your go-to tuna sandwich with a tuna burger. You can turn your peanut butter sandwich into using the staple for sauces in your dinner dishes such as a crispy tofu cauliflower stir fry or in a protein smoothie for breakfast.
When it comes to snacking, convenience can blow your budget. Instead of buying individually-wrapped snacks in your local supermarket, go ahead and portion your own. Buy a large pint of yogurt, and portion it out for your everyday snack time. Make your own trail mix by combining healthy nuts and seeds. Try air-popped popcorn in small sandwich bags; the possibilities are endless.