On Thursday, June 23, the WE Fit Wellness team travels to copper mountain to participate in the No Barriers Summit where we will offer classes in Cardio Drumming and Eating Healthy on a Budget. Since we were gearing up for these activities we wanted to share a few tips for eating healthy on a budget with those of you who are not able to join us at No Barriers.
Many people believe that the biggest barrier to eating healthy is our wallet. After all, buying organic, all natural, hormone and antibiotic free food can come with a hefty price tag. WE Fit Wellness believes that eating healthy can be accessible, affordable, and achievable.
It is as simple as the letter 3 Ps
When it comes to eating healthy on a budget, planning is key. Before planning your weekly menu, take a look at what is on sale. This may give you some inspiration for affordable and healthy meal ideas. Plan your weekly menu in advance and make a list of all necessary ingredients. Check your cabinets to make sure you do not already have the ingredients listed. Make sure you shop from your list. A great way to spend too much money at the grocery store is to start buying things that you do not have to have. If you stick to the list the grocery bill will be significantly lower.
Eating before you go to the store may help reduce the temptation to stray from your shopping list.
When considering fresh produce, purchase food that is in season. It will taste better, likely travel less distance to get to the grocery shelves, and will cost less. If you are not sure what is in season you can always ask a store associate. If food is not in season it may be best to purchase it frozen. Frozen food is frozen at the height of ripeness so you get great taste, nutrients, and the cost can be lower than fresh produce that is being shipped from a distance because it is not currently growing in our area. Canned does not mean bad. While canned food is in most cases less nutritious than frozen or fresh food it is still better than a microwaved or fast food meal. Purchase low sodium canned goods when possible. If purchasing canned fruit, purchase fruit that is canned in natural fruit juice instead of sweetened syrup. Fruit already contains natural sugar and there is no need to add more. Purchase food from the outer parameter to avoid many of the highly processed foods. When thinking of staple foods that will last a while, steer clear of heavily processed ready-made meals in favor of whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, barley, and oats. Dried beans, peas, and lentils are healthy and inexpensive staple items as well.
Preparing food in bulk can allow us to eat a meal and freeze some for later. Freezing individualized sized meals can be a great motivation to eat at home on an evening that you do not feel like cooking. Make enough dinner so that you can pack your lunch for the next day. When freezing or packing lunches consider portion sizes. We do not need to gorge ourselves at every meal. Being mindful of portion sizes helps us stay a little trimmer while trimming back the grocery bill. Prepare snacks and breakfasts that are easy to grab and go. This will incentivize eating breakfast and snacks from home instead of buying them elsewhere. Crock pot meals are a great way to make dinner a snap. Just prep your meal before you leave for work or even the night before if you are not a morning person and turn it on before you walk out the door.
If we follow these simple tips will help us stay healthy, keep the grocery bill down, and eat more of our meals at home so that we save money on eating out. Listen to our Find Your Fit podcast and check out BreakingBlind for more great tips and tricks on exercise and nutrition.