Wondering how to eat healthier on a budget?
The most basic foundations for healthy eating are actually super simple and are obtainable even on a very small budget, and many are even free!
The Basics of Healthy Eating:
- Eat a variety of foods to ensure you get all the required nutrients
- Stay hydrated
- Choose more foods that are a good source of fiber, protein, unsaturated fats, vitamins, and minerals
- Choose fewer foods that are a high source of salt, sugar, saturated and trans fats
- Eat in ways that positively affect the way you feel
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How to eat healthier on a budget:
1. Buy Groceries Using Points Earned from Reward and Cash Back Programs
Read: How much should I spend on groceries?
2. Join a Garden Gleaning Group
3. Cook from Scratch
4. Drink Water
Don’t like plain water?
5. Choose Healthier Cooking Methods
You might also like:
11 Minimalist Cooking Tips To Simplify Meal Time
6. Choose the Wholegrain Version of a Food
7. Choose the Plain or Unsweetened Version of a Food
A simple lower sugar example:
8. Choose the Lower Sodium Version of a Food
9. Follow Food Safety Guidelines
- Control the temperature of your raw and cooked food so it is not at room temperature for more than 4 hours. The less time here, the better to prevent bacteria from growing on your food.
- Fully cook and reheat your food to kill any bacteria that may have grown.
- Safely store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days. Longer than that and your risk of food poisoning goes up a lot. If you won’t eat it by the third day, freeze it so you don’t have to throw it out.
- Avoid cross-contamination of raw foods like meat with ready to eat foods like salads. Store raw foods on the bottom of the fridge so they don’t leak onto other foods. Wash your hands, countertops, knives and cutting boards thoroughly in hot, soapy water.
10. Eat Mindfully
How to Eat Mindfully:
11. Eat with Others
- One aspect of not eating alone is that talking between bites slows down your rate of eating and gives time to truly enjoy your meal.
- Did you know that your brain needs about 20 minutes to register feelings of fullness?
- This really ties into the point about mindful eating. If you finish your meal in a hurry and go back for more before allowing enough time for your brain to assess your level of fullness, you may end up feeling overfull and sluggish.
- Being conscious of your level of fullness, as well as your enjoyment of the meal will help you feel satisfied after eating.
- If you have kids, there is a lot of evidence to show that family meals are vital in teaching children healthy eating habits from an early age. They are much more likely to try new foods and eat vegetables if they see others eating them in a low-stress environment.
- Social eating is also tied to an increase in human connection and a decrease in loneliness and social isolation.
- Social isolation is strongly linked to poorer health outcomes like increased stress and depression.
- Stress increases our risk for almost every chronic disease. If we can reduce stress, we can reduce our risk of getting sick!
- Those who are struggling with depression tend not to be able to take care of themselves as much as when they are well. They tend to avoid people and end up isolating themselves more, leading to a cycle of self-destruction.
Below, I’ve summarized the 11 ways to eat healthier on a budget that I discussed in this post:
Use points rewards programs
Join a garden gleaning group
Cook from scratch
Choose healthier cooking methods
Choose the wholegrain version of a food
Choose the unsweetened version of a food
Choose the lower sodium version of a food
Follow food safety guidelines
Eat with others