Gone are the days when you could tell a lot about a person’s wealth and social status by their belly fat and weight. Not anymore! Nowadays, its healthy food that is the more expensive ones and it costs more to eat healthily and be healthy. Unhealthy, processed and packaged food actually costs less these days; you can have your fill of fast food for less money than what it costs to get healthy food.
However, if you are on a budget to feed your family, it doesn’t mean you have to put unhealthy food on your table. You can still eat healthily and lose the weight you want to if you know the tricks to it.
Here are some tricks and tips that can help you to eat healthily and lose weight when on a budget.
- Stop Buying Meat
Meat, especially deli meat, costs more than anything else you might pick up in the supermarket. If you are on a food budget, the first step to do is to stop buying deli meat. Meat once a week is perfectly acceptable instead of every night, and there are a lot of healthier and less expensive options you can choose from. Beans and mushrooms are just as healthy and rich in protein as meat but cost much less.
Beef can be the costliest of all kinds of meat. If you really love meat and can’t do without, try chicken or veal instead of beef.
- Buy in Bulk
Whenever you buy something in bulk, it automatically costs less. Buying a whole chicken costs less than if you buy half or in pieces. Even if a whole chicken is too big for you, you can plan your meals in advance for the whole week. It’s the same with vegetables. You can choose one or two vegetables for the week and get them in bulk, planning all your meals around the limited ingredients.
In the same way, large containers of oatmeal, rice and cereals cost less than small packets. If these are something you eat regularly, buying in bulk makes more sense than buying individual servings every week.
- Stick to your Respective Aisles in the supermarket
Make a list of what you need in the supermarket and stick to those particular aisles. Stay in the produce section and the frozen section, because that’s all you’re going to need for your dinner. The rest of the supermarket mostly contain processed and packaged food which are not really good for you.
Stick to what you need, freshly produced and raw to cook at home, and that’s both cost-effective and budget-friendly.
- Make breakfast simple
Breakfast can be extremely complicated, but only if you make it complicated. On weekdays, you can opt for easy breakfast items that are both inexpensive and healthy. Instead of branded cereal boxes, try a simple but filling menu of eggs and fruit. Regular raw oats bought in bulk can be more budget-friendly than individual packets or flavoured brands. Bread with butter or peanut butter can be a treat instead of ready-mix waffle or pancake mix packets, and healthy too.
Besides, these packaged cereals and flavoured oats sometimes sneak in added sugar and fructose, and that’s not going to help you lose weight.
- Avoid Everything Gluten
Anything that contains gluten is actually cheaper, but not entirely healthy. Even if you are not gluten intolerant, it is better to avoid them altogether. When hungry, try inexpensive and easily available fruits like apples, pears or bananas instead of bread, cookies or baked snacks. These fruits cost less, especially when bought in bulk and will leave you feeling full.
- Buy Everything Raw
When buying your favourite nuts or seeds, buy them raw instead of roasted, canned, salted or baked. They cost less in bulk from your supermarket shelves than packaged and processed, roasted and salted. They are healthy too, something you can munch on whenever hungry without feeling guilty.
- Buy Raw and Whole Food
You can get fruits and vegetables for less if you buy them raw, whole, unpeeled and unsliced, instead of chopped and in packets. Mixed salad packets or chopped vegetables costs much more than if you buy them directly from the produce section to prepare and cook at home. Besides, when you buy whole, you’re getting fresh fruits and vegetables instead of produce processed to last longer, which is the healthier choice for you.
- Buy What’s in Season
When buying fruits and vegetables, only buy what’s in season. Anything that’s not a product of that particular season will be costlier than what’s being grown in the farms at that moment. In winter, look for butternut squash, turnips, Brussels sprouts, tangerines and kiwis, and in the summer, look out for berries, broccoli, greens and tomatoes.
These vegetables are versatile and can be used in a lot of recipes, but also easy on the wallet when in season. It’s the same with fruits.
- Water, just water
If you live in an area that gets good drinking water, you don’t need to spend on anything for a drink. Tap water should be your primary and generally, your only choice for a drink. Not fruit juice, bottled water, infused water, energy drinks, powdered drinks, soda, fizzy drinks or anything; just water. All you need to keep your body hydrated is plain tap water, which is free.
- Stop Drinking Alcohol
If you’ve been looking for reasons to cut back on your alcohol intake, here’s the best one. Avoid all kinds of alcohol, when you’re by yourself or in with company. Almost all alcoholic drinks, especially beer, contains calories you don’t need. Also, alcohol, even the cheapest ones (which also happens to be bad for your body) costs a lot.
You also don’t need alcohol to enjoy or relax in company. Opt for water when others are drinking, you’ll see your beer belly dissolving away before your own eyes.
Unfortunately, we live in a society where healthy eating costs more than if we were to binge on processed food. This can seem to be a problem if you also have a tight budget to maintain, but not impossible. Follow these tips to eat healthily and lose weight even when you are on a budget.