How To Eat Healthy On A Low Budget? It is all about the right habits

Many people struggle to eat healthy on a budget, and though it may seem like an impossible task. It’s just like changing other fitness and nutrition habits. All you need is time and practice.

Of course there are some tips and tricks to get you started and push you in the right direction, which we at Gymaholic, are going to share with you.

I myself am a student, so I have plenty of experience dealing with empty pockets and scrounging for food. I have met plenty of people who think it is extremely difficult to eat healthy with a low budget, and they are shocked when I tell them that I now only spend maybe $40 on groceries per week, if even that.

To be fair, some people may end up spending more than that to sustain themselves, and there are also many people who share a fridge and a house with others and you may or may not be in control of what goes in or out of that fridge… But I promise you, and whoever you share this with that if you follow these tips, it may save you a bit of money in the future.

Eating healthy is all about habits, and so is shopping. What you like to eat usually dictates what you buy, so if you have unhealthy eating habits, you’re obviously more likely to buy unhealthy food.

Small steps are important, and if you try to dive head first into a healthy diet after eating horribly for a long period of time, you are going to end up wasting money and time. Slow progress is better than no progress. So keep that in mind.

The biggest problem a lot of people face when trying to eat healthier is organization and planning ahead. If you are going to the grocery store and you’re not sure what you’re going for, you’re likely going to spend more and buy more things that you don’t need.

‘Need’ and ‘want’ are big words when shopping, and you should always be asking yourself the question “Do I need that, or do I want that?” What do you need is where the planning comes in.

Create a plan of what you’re going to eat for the week. If that’s too daunting, at least plan a healthy dinner for a few days of that week, and think of essentials you may need for breakfast and lunches.

Group foods together and use them more than once during the week to limit wasting food. For example, if you know you’re going to buy specific vegetables or fruits that go bad faster, or that you can’t freeze, try to make plans ahead of time to use it up. This increases the amount of food that ends up in your stomach, and limits the amount of fresh food in the garbage.

Create a shopping list of what you need for those meals and bring it with you. Always have a shopping list. If you go without a list or a plan, you’ll likely spend more money on things you might not need.

If you’d like to set a budget too, it can be helpful, but sometimes you need to experiment and get used to shopping healthier before you realize how much you can save by not buying junk food that you don’t need. Keep an open mind and be aware of what is truly burning away your money.

You may think you need a cart, but do you really? It’s like when you grab a larger plate when you’re eating dinner --you end up filling the plate more, because the food portion looks smaller in comparison. Portion control can start at the grocery store.

Grabbing a smaller basket means you’re tempted to spend less, and question more whether you truly need that giant box of sugary cereal or bag of chips taking up all that space, where you could put more healthy items instead.

It’s okay to buy things you want once in awhile, but limiting things you want to one or two items every time you go grocery shopping is key in order to save room for more things that you need.

It can help with portion control, as that ‘treat’ needs to last you until the next time you go shopping, so you may choose to split it up through the week, rather than eating it all at once.

Here is a plan for women that will help you train on a budget:

And for men:

Waiting for sales or buying things because they are on sale does not make you cheap, it makes you smart. There are always flyers around, and you can usually look it up online for whatever store you happen to be going to.

However, just because it’s on sale, doesn’t mean you need to buy it. --And just because it says 3 for $8.99, doesn’t mean you need to buy 3, especially if you know you’re only going to eat one. Think before you buy. Need or want?

As much as some people hate grocery shopping, it’s much better to buy less each time you go to the grocery store, and go shopping more frequently. The reason for this is fresh food.

People who want to eat healthier are tempted to go out and buy and try to make everything at once, but they don’t have the time to prepare and eat it all. Fresh food can spoil a lot quicker than boxed, canned or preservative filled foods that can last for weeks. Only buy what you need in the short term, or you may end up throwing out half the food you buy before you can use it.

Normally in grocery stores the things that are fresher and healthier are located around the perimeter. Sticking around the edges of the grocery store can help you stay away from processed foods.

Though that doesn’t mean that all things on the edges or in the fridge section are good for you, it limits the amount of preservatives in your basket and hopefully replaces them with more fresh and healthy options.

If you live near a bulk store, make use of it. Seriously. Buying things in bulk is great as long as you can eat it/use it before it goes bad. This more applies to places like Costco, where you can buy almost anything in bulk, even fresh foods.

In other kinds of bulk stores, ones that you may know for selling bulk candy, there are also a lot of healthy items there that you can also buy in bulk. I tend to buy more long lasting, meal-additives from bulk stores like beans, nuts, lentils, quinoa, flax seed, chia seeds… Generally dried or uncooked things that don’t expire for a long time, that I can cook myself whenever I need to.

Speaking of bulk, make meals in bulk that can be frozen and reheated, or that will last in the fridge for a while so you’ll have a meal or snack for several days.

There are a lot of ways to cut costs and make healthier choices at the grocery store. If you’re not sure what to buy, check out some of the other articles like the lifters grocery list, beginners, mens and womens nutrition plans to get you started!

Here is what we covered in this article:

  • Healthy habits can be made at the grocery store.
  • Plan meals and know what you need in advance.
  • Use a basket and know the difference between need and want.
  • Sales can be useful, but don’t be fooled into taking more than you need.
  • Buy less, more often, and stick to the fresher foods.
  • Buy bulk product and make bulk food as long as it won’t expire, or won’t expire before you use it.

Save money, live healthier and happier!

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Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Nutraceuticals. A Canadian with a love of food, fitness and health.

Weekly knowledge exclusively for people who want to improve their health, fitness and mindset.

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