There is a common misconception that eating healthy is expensive. While certain organic markets and produce can often be pricey, it is possible to start eating healthy on a strict budget!

Studies have shown that for most populated areas within the United States, eating healthy is no more expensive than eating unhealthily. What makes eating healthy tough is the time and effort it can take to:

  1. Obtain the Ingredients
  2. Cook and Prepare the Food Each Week
  3. Find Inexpensive Organic Food

If cost is a factor that is keeping you from a healthy lifestyle, check out these tips to start eating healthy on a strict budget!

Eating Healthy on a Tight Budget Starts with Your Meal Plan

If your budget has already been established, your meal plan is the next step. To start eating healthy on a struct budget, you need to make both a meal plan and a grocery list for each week of the month.

This can ensure that you can control what you spend and what you make with your groceries. If you run into the grocery store and throw random items and produce in your cart, it can lead to waste. You may even find a few moldy broccoli stalks in your fridge in a few weeks!

Get started on your meal plan by finding recipes that are appealing to you. You don’t need to sacrifice taste to eat healthy! Find recipes that can yield quantities that will make leftovers easy for you. Plan at least three meals per week and leave some wiggle room in your budget for snacks and quick meals. Some cheap and healthy meals you can try out that are under $10 to make are:

  1. Chicken Salad on Lettuce Wraps
  2. Roast Chicken and Vegetables
  3. Stuffed Peppers and Rice
  4. Chicken and Pepper Stir Fry
  5. Stuffed Sweet Potatoes and Rice

The best way to start your meal plan is to think of ingredients first, then meals. If you buy a rotisserie chicken for $6 at your local grocery store, you can turn that into a few different meals! Start off with a chicken salad and then turn the rest of the bird into chicken soup once you have scraps you can use for the stock. That $6 chicken can easily turn into a few meals for the week with plenty of leftovers. 

Look for Marked Down Produce If You Need to Begin Eating Healthy on a Strict Budget

Another way to start eating healthy on a budget is to look for ugly produce. Some grocery stores and grocery subscriptions, like Imperfect Foods, can offer discounted produce simply because it is a bit ‘ugly’! Take advantage of this great deal and help the environment by eliminating food waste. With these services, it may be easier to find organic food and produce on a tight budget.

In addition to choosing the right place to shop, you will need to plan for produce that you will enjoy and fits the recipes you like. Don’t buy kale simply because it is a healthy produce option. Instead, buy things that you can enjoy and make meals out of, so they will not just sit in your fridge.

Eating Healthy on a Strict Budget

Find the Right Staples to Start Eating Healthy on a Strict Budget

One of the easiest ways to start eating healthy on a strict budget is to find staple foods that you enjoy and can use often. These staples often include items like:

  1. Rice
  2. Beans
  3. Chickpeas
  4. Canned Proteins (Chicken, Tuna, Beef, etc.)
  5. Quinoa

Always keep a few staple items in your pantry to help lessen the burden of grocery shopping and meal planning. With a few staple items you can plan a multitude of meals, and even have them as a backup if your meals fall through, or if you need to stretch your budget this month. These staples are generally inexpensive and can be stored for longer periods of time if stored correctly.

If you do have extra produce at the end of the week, store it in the freezer and use those items to make a soup later. Add rice, beans, or pasta, and that can become a quick meal on a tight budget!

Avoid Expensive Grocery Stores to Begin Eating Healthy on a Strict Budget

When most consumers think of eating healthy, they may think of grocery stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. While these grocery stores do offer healthy foods, they do not cater to a tight budget. Grocery stores like Aldi and Walmart can offer consumers produce that is inexpensive and delicious! Aldi and other grocery stores can often offer clearance items throughout the week that can make it easier to find cheap staple items for your meal plan.

A big part of eating healthy on a strict budget is just experiencing the trial and error. You can learn where to shop as you go at places that are both inexpensive and convenient.

Learn How to Manage Your Time to Begin Eating Healthy on a Tight Budget

Many consumers do not eat healthy for many reasons, but the biggest reason is often time! Preparing healthy meals can take more time and effort than visiting a fast-food joint for dinner. If you can learn how to budget, you can also learn how to manage your time! What works for some people is meal planning and prepping ahead of time. This means choosing one day of the week to both grocery shop and prepare your meals in advance. Doing so can help cut down the burden of cooking each night and help you have more time to relax during the week after work.

It can be tough to manage a job, bills, and other activities every week. While it may seem tough to start eating healthy on a strict budget, you do not need to be perfect every week. Even the small steps can make a difference with your health, and eventually you will succeed!

What are Some Ways I Can Earn Cash to Start Eating Healthy on a Strict Budget?

If you need extra cash to get started on a healthy lifestyle, it may be easier than you think to obtain it. With a paid-off or close-to-paid-off car, you can place an inquiry for a car title loan! Qualified borrowers through ChoiceCash Title Loans can get fast cash in as little as 24 hours.1

If you need help starting your budget, find out how much emergency cash your vehicle will qualify for through a car title loan today. Get started on a title loan with ChoiceCash Title Loans by heading online to the website. Or, if you have any questions about the title loan process, give a loan agent a toll-free call at 855-422-7402.