Even as life gets hard every other day, eating healthy is still critical. Knowing smart ways to do this despite a strict budget is an important skill you need to master.
The cost of living keeps skyrocketing every other day. As such, everything from transportation to education and groceries gets expensive. Nonetheless, you still need to eat healthily. This article is a typical primer; it helps you know and masterthe basics about living smartly on a tight budget and still eat healthily.
i. Grow your vegetables
One clever way to eat healthy despite living on a tight budget is to grow your own produce. While the seeds and seedlings may come at a very low price, the harvests will save you and your family a great deal. Besides, there are other benefits only associated with your own grown produce. First, you will be eating what you are sure of when it comes to ripeness and chemical use. Secondly, whenever you need vegetables and sprouts, you will walk to your home garden and fetch them, not having to go to the stores. Last but not least, they will definitely taste better than the store-sourced groceries since they are fresh and only sought as need be.
ii. Buy what you need in bulk
While this may sound rather trivial, it’s certainly one of the surest ways to eat healthy on a tight budget. The main explanation for this is that such foods that can be bought in bulk can be used in several dishes and are versatile, finding multiple uses in the kitchen. Such include oat, millet sorghum, rice, and barley. Legumes like beans also make great meals and can be bought in bulk. Apart from the availability, buying in bulk saves the time and transportation cost of fetching groceries from stores every time.
iii. Buy what the season offers
Many people buy what’s in season and find this cheap, and you might equally want to try it. To see sense in this technique, think about what goes into transporting out-of-season supplies, and you will understand why they tend to be more expensive. On the other hand, buying what the season offers means eating healthy, fresh supplies, yet cheaper.
iv. Diversify your protein sources and don’t limit yourself to meat
Meat is delicious and a rich protein source. However, having it as the only protein source in your already tight may put unnecessary pressure on you. However, diversifying your proteins to accommodate legumes, canned fish eggs, sardines, and hemp seeds is still healthy yet quite cheap. What’s more, these foods tend to last longer; hence, once you cook them and keep them well, they can save your budget.
v. Focus on sales and stock your favorite foods
Having been in the kitchen for a while, you likely know what you frequently use. Fortunately, different seasons may have different foods, ingredients, and spices to offer, and you can take advantage of these. When they are at the top of sales, source, and stock them up. However, ensure that they have long shelf lives so that you don’t buy something and throw it, saving no money.
vi. Cook your meals
Of course, most people would not resist the idea of eating from restaurants when the situation allows since the meals there are delicious. However, cooking your meals at home may be the best option when you have a tight budget and still want to eat healthily. Interestingly, the amount of money one or two people spend eating in a restaurant can comfortably feed at least four people if you cook at home. What’s more, cooking from home ensures that you know what goes into your meals and their freshness.
vii. Plan your meals before shopping for groceries
Impulse buying is a typical problem many people have to deal with, including those living on a tight budget. However, planning your meals in advance is one way to stop you from spending impulsively and comfortably live with your strict budget. An ideal way to do it is to sit down on a particular day of the week, plan the meals and the ingredients you need for them, and shop based on such a plan. You could also check your refrigerator to find what’s almost expiring and use it before the due date.
viii. Stick to the plan
Even with a grocery list, you might still find it hard to avoid impulsive buying, eventually spending more than intended. Therefore, a bit of discipline is needed when you get to the store. You could get an app from the Apple Store or Play Store and use it to plan your grocery shopping. Such an app will help you stick to your plan. Furthermore, when you get to the store, first focus on the outside parts/edges where you are more likely to get whole foods before moving in to see many processed foods.
ix. Maximize on leftovers by cooking large amounts of foods
With leftovers, you might find it easy to warm than cook foods. This way, even the urge to keep eating from restaurants is cut, enabling you to save some pennies. Besides, if your leftovers comprise versatile dishes, you can use them in several ways, including hummus, salsa, salads, and burritos. Both the time and money you would spend on the restaurants are saved.
x. Eat something before going out to shop
Hunger is irresistible, just like any other call of nature, and it may catch up with you when you go out shopping, making you spend a fortune on processed ready-to-eat foods. Therefore, it’s important that you eat something before leaving the house, and you will find it easy to stick within your budget.
Even as the economic situation gets tough, eat healthily is still critical to avoid deficiency syndromes. Knowing smart tactics to sail through this wave is thus incredibly important. Some of these techniques include planning meals in advance, sticking to your plan when you go shopping, eating something before you leave the house for shopping, cooking at home, and growing your own produce.