If you’re trying to save money, eating healthy can be a challenge. According to the Harvard School of Public Health’s (HSPH) 2013 study, healthy food costs more than less nutritious options. HSPH found that the average American consumer pays $1.50 more each day when they eat healthy food. Over the course of a year, an individual who sticks to a healthy diet pays over $500 more on groceries.
That price gap remains. How do you eat healthier and maintain a balance in your diet on a budget when the food you want to put in your body is more expensive? Here are a few tips to help you save money without sacrificing the quality of your food.
Plan and Prepare Meals
Planning and preparing meals helps you make cost-effective meal choices. Know what you want to cook throughout the week, and make a grocery list early to get the most out of your meals.
Plan Your Menu
Use one day each week to plan your meals. Consider the ingredients you have, what you’ll need to buy, portion sizes and how much food you expect to have left. If you have a family, planning your meals will come in handy as well. Keeping these factors in mind helps you make cost-effective choices when you shop. If you know you’ll make enough pasta for three other meals, for example, you can incorporate that into your weekly plan and skip buying other items.
Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork with Pickled Vegetables in Lettuce Cups
Made With Tamari Soy Sauce
– Gluten Free, Mongolian Sauce
– Gluten Free, Teriyaki Sauce
– Gluten Free, Teriyaki Lite
– Gluten Free, Hoisin Sauce
– Gluten Free
Prepare Your Meals
When you prepare your meals, make enough that you’ll have leftovers. You can mix and match leftover staples like rice, vegetables and proteins for variety. Packaging leftovers in distinct ways gives you access to appealing meals throughout the week.
Recipe: Healthy Stir Fry With Asian Cooking Sauces
San-J’s Three-Step Stir Fry is an easy meal packed with nutrients. You’ll need:
- One pound of your choice of protein
- Four cups of vegetables
- 3/4 cup of San-J Asian Cooking Sauce
Just cook your ingredients together and serve over noodles or rice.
You’ll need a strategy to save money at the grocery store when you’re eating healthy. Buy smarter with these three shopping tips:
1. Make a Grocery List
When you plan your meals weekly, you know exactly what you’ll need to cook everything on your menu. Those ingredients are what should be your grocery list, and it’s crucial that you stick to it. By focusing on the list of items you need, you block temptation from impulse buys or unhealthy snacks. Be sure to check for ingredients you already have as you’re making your list, too!
2. Grow Your Own Vegetables and Herbs
Cut costs by growing your own food when possible. Planting your own vegetables and herbs has several benefits, including cost efficiency. When you grow your own vegetables and herbs, you also know that your food is free of pesticides and preservatives. Enjoy making your favorite foods like a healthy stir fry with soy sauce when you use vegetables and other ingredients you grew yourself.
3. Use Coupons
If you’re trying to save money, using promotional coupons from stores and brands makes a difference. Paying an extra $1.50 per day for healthy food adds up, and so does saving a few dollars here and there on the products you buy anyway.