Frugal Food: Eating Healthy on a Budget
With obesity and other diet-related illnesses on the rise in the United States, discussion about living a healthy lifestyle is a constant and popular topic of conversation. One of the things many people bring up is whether or not it is possible to eat healthy on a budget. While it is definitely more challenging to follow a healthy diet with a lower income, it is very possible! Here are some tips for college students trying to live on a budget and follow a healthy diet.
Make a Plan
When trying to save money, planning is key! Instead of going to the grocery store every time you need food, to go once a week with a plan of what you are going to eat for the week. This makes it more likely that you won't over or under purchase. Going less frequently also makes it possible for you to drive a little further to the grocery store in the area that has the lowest prices.
Most people have seen the commercials or TV shows about the self-proclaimed "coupon queens" who save thousands of dollars a year by cutting coupons. While you don’t have to go to this extreme, collecting coupons can save you a good amount of money… especially on non-perishables. Stocking up on non-perishable items that you know you will need throughout the year while they are on sale can be a great money saver. So save your coupons to save some cash!
Eat Seasonal Items
Throughout the year different items are in season. If an item is in season in your local area, it will typically cost less than products that need to be shipped from farther away. Try buying fruits and vegetables that are currently in season to save some money and to have fresher produce. It's also a fun way to try some new fruits and vegetables!
Although many people prefer to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, their frozen counterparts still have many health benefits and can save you cash! Try buying some frozen fruits and veggies to include with your meals and save the non-frozen items for things that can’t be kept in the freezer such as apples or lettuce.
For even more help, I have provided a link to a 7-day meal plan that is low-cost and meets nutritional needs! It can be found at www.choosemyplate.gov, which is a great resource for finding information about eating healthy on a budget. Here is the meal plan: Seven Day Meal Plan.