Eating Healthy on a Budget
Amber McElduff, Health Coach grad, shares tips and tricks on how to live a healthy lifestyle on a reasonable budget. From being an athlete to battling anorexia, Amber has dedicated her career to helping others realize that their health is the greatest asset.
Previously, she also shared one of her favorite healthy smoothies for a quick meal replacement or workout energy boost. Get the recipe.
Tips for Saving Money:
- Plan your meals.
Like it or not, this is necessary for more than just counting your calories. This allows you to save money. By planning your meals in advance, it allows you to look for deals on the food you need.
- Shop with a list.
This is a rule, whether trying to stay fit or not. You buy more unnecessary things if you don’t have list. Then it spoils, which leads to waste, which leads to wasted money. This is also another reason I propose meal planning. Not just for calorie tracking, but for money saving! If you know what you plan to eat, you know what you should buy!
- Buy now, save later — buy in bulk.
I don’t really get to do this a lot, as I live in a condo with limited space. But with big items, it is worth it to find the room — especially protein powder. While it is fun to try all the flavors, the big “5 pounder” saves more money. So I always purchase my chocolate, which is a staple I use, in the 5-pound package.
If you are buying dry goods in bulk, take the time to separate them into serving sizes. Not only does this keep you from eating too much, they are already handy and waiting for your meal prep.
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- If meat is on sale, buy it and freeze it!
Meat and protein will be your biggest expense. If you can get this on sale, it is worth the cost now for the savings later.
- Produce is great, but it spoils easily.
Try to stick to produce that last longer: potatoes, apples, etc. While bananas are great, I have yet to be able to use a bunch before they get too mushy. And if you just love them, buy them when you want them and use them directly in your meal prep. Remember: Wasted food is wasted money! Also, I buy a lot of frozen veggies. The freezing techniques used now have proven to have less nutrient loss than previously.
- Use foods that are on sale in your meal prep.
I understand this can take a lot of time. However, I have found you can download apps to most of the big grocers (I use Publix), and some allow you to save favorite foods and will alert you when they are on sale. Publix BOGO deals are my jam! I get an email to remind me the new ad is out, and I spend just a little time to scan these on their app and add them to my “shopping list” (also in the app). This comes out on Thursday, so this gives me until Sunday to plan my meals according to what foods I can get on discount.