The times are tough. With the unstable economy, very few people can afford to spend a couple extra dollars to purchase organic foods or drive all the way to the other side of town to a specific store just to get what they need. It is a luxury that many just cannot afford. But while it is clear that many do not have the financial capability to keep up such a lifestyle, or so we think, the need to eat healthy cannot be dismissed or ignored. Which brings us to a very delicate topic on eating healthy while on a budget. It is a skill that we all have to learn to better our lives and even prolong the life we live.
Before we jump into it, it is important to state the obvious, well, not so obvious given that many haven’t the slightest clue. Fast foods and processed foods might come cheap at the time of purchase but looking at the bigger picture, they are the most expensive foods you can gobble down your throat. The money and effort you will have to put in in the future to undo the effects of the burgers and fries you filled your belly with for years will be unbelievable.
So now, without much ado, below are some tips to help you lead a healthy life while working with a tight budget.
Buy the foods that are in season
Lots of healthy foods have a season. From your high school science, you know that there are plants that are biennial and there are those that are perennial right? For instance, blueberries are ripest during summer while asparagus are available in spring. Buying foods in their season is much cheaper and affordable than when they are out of season and scarce.
Stock up with frozen foods
The downside of fresh healthy foods is their short shelf life. If you have ever bought fish, only for it to go bad after a week, you know the pain. Frozen foods however helps to eliminate the problem and in the process help to save you hundreds of dollars. You can get a month’s supply of fruits, veggies and meat and store them in your freezer. This will ensure that you have a constant supply of healthy ingredients for your healthy soups and stews.
Do less meat and more plant based foods
Yes, there is a difference between processed meats and wild caught salmon and grass fed beef. Processed beef is, needless to say, cheap while grass fed beef is expensive but well worth the money when you look at the health benefits it comes packing. But then again, not many persons can afford to feed a family of four on such an expensive diet, healthy or otherwise.
But even then, rather than settling for processed meats, fill up your plate with lots of green veggies and less meat products. Have good fats and high fibre foods in there as well.
Have a protein shake to start your day
Shakes, if done right can take you through the day. And the best bit is that you can come up with one in the comfort of your home in less than five minutes. All you need are fresh produce. You can throw in anything you fancy (careful not to ruin the taste). From spinach to milk, kale, chia seeds and berries.
Do not snack
When you feed on the right things, you will be surprised you will not feel the urge to snack. The food will be in your system for longer, and will provide your body with the nutrients it craves for. In the long run, you will save more and be healthy.