You’ve made your decision: Today is the day I start eating healthier but then you arrive at the grocery store and suddenly the sticker shock knocks you over. Healthy eating can be expensive!
We have several suggestions to help you include whole foods in any budget:
5 Ways to Eat Healthier on a Budget
#1 – Make a plan.
Take 10 minutes to plan your meals for the next week.
Think about who you will be feeding (number of servings needed), which meals you need to shop for, and what ingredients you need to add to your shopping list. This also means checking your fridge or pantry for items that you may already have on hand to prevent duplicate buying.
If you’re feeling frugal, choose sale items as the basis of your meals. Once you’ve made your shopping list, stick to it. Don’t be tempted by impulse buys, which can really add up.
#2 – Cook at home.
Not only does cooking at home allow you to control what you eat and how it is prepared, but it will also save you money.
Generally, you can feed a family of 4 at home for the same price as 1 or 2 entrees in your favorite restaurant.
#3 – Buy (and prepare) extra!
Often, buying in bulk can save you money per serving. For example, buying a 3-pound bag of apples for $2.50 means that you are paying $0.83 per pound, which is cheaper than spending $1.99 per pound for single apples. Bonus: bagged apples are usually slightly smaller, which is the appropriate “baseball” size serving.
Prepare extra servings so that you can pack leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
Make extra servings to freeze for a meal next week. Don’t forget to label these meals to easily identify later.
#4 – Choose whole foods.
Whole, unprocessed grains are less expensive than processed grains like cereal.
A block of cheese is less expensive than a bag of shredded cheese. Convenience costs more. The key here is to spend a few minutes preparing the food when you bring it home so that it is ready to use when you need it so that you’re ready to grab a cup of diced peppers for dinner tonight rather than finding a shriveled bell pepper in the back of the fridge sometime next week.
#5 – Consider lower-cost protein options.
Eggs, canned fish, or less expensive cuts of meat should be considered staples to help you meet your daily protein requirement on a budget. Legumes, tofu, and tempeh are other great, inexpensive protein options, but you will need to consider the carbohydrate content in those foods.
Bariatric Surgery at WakeMed
About Stacy Kropp, MPAP, MPH, PA-C, RD, LDN
Stacy Kropp is a certified physician assistant who specializes in surgical weight loss, nutrition, and wellness. Before attending physician assistant school, she practiced as a registered dietitian helping people improve their health through nutrition.
Stacy joined the WakeMed Physician Practices General Surgery team in 2017 and continued working to improve the health and wellness of patients as a physician assistant. With the WakeMed Bariatric Surgery and Medical Weight Loss team, she is focused on helping patients prevent, slow, and/or reverse weight-related medical problems.