Eating healthy can seem like a daunting task. There is a perception that eating healthier foods means spending more, however, this is not always the case!
Here are some of the easiest ways to eat healthy on a budget.
1. Plan, plan, plan― and stick to the plan.
Make time to plan your meals using flyers and coupons, then write a grocery list and stick to the list at the store. Try to grocery shop after eating a meal as well. You will be less likely to make impulse purchases if you have already eaten.
2. Buy your food in bulk or packaged in bags.
Packaging costs money, therefore items with more packaging (boxes and plastics) are typically more expensive than bulk products or those packaged in bags.
3. Avoid name-brand products.
Look at the nutrient facts and ingredients of the no-name equivalents for your favourite foods. They are usually very similar and much less expensive than their name-brand counterparts (example: 540 mL of brand name canned chickpeas = $1.38 V.S. the equivalent no-name brand = $0.87).
4. Buy less pre-packaged and convenience foods.
Convenience foods are great to have on hand if you have limited time. However, if you are choosing convenience foods more often (think shredded cheese, pre-cut vegetables, and individually packaged yogurts), then you will be paying a premium. Instead, choose whole foods and try to cut/shred/portion the items as soon as you get home from the store.
5. Have more meatless meals.
Find ways to integrate meatless alternatives for dinner at least twice a week, as meat is expensive and does not have a long shelf life. Some ideas for incorporating meatless options are: bean tacos or burritos with peppers, lentils and cauliflower with naan, or a vegetable and cheese omelet with toast. One of my favourites is palak paneer with rice or naan. You can find the recipe here.
You can make small changes to how you grocery shop that will make a tremendous impact on your spending!