It’s a common misconception that eating healthy food takes a lot of time and money. But, in reality, eating healthy can help you feel and look healthier while cutting out numerous unnecessary expenses. Here are just a few ways you can spend less on food while enjoying a healthy, nutritional diet:
1. Plan your meals.
Yes, that’s right. Meal prep really does help you save money. If you make a plan, you’ll know exactly what you need to buy at the store and won’t waste time and money on impulse purchases. Take one night a week to plan what you’d like to eat that week, make a list of what items you need to get, and stick to your plan.
Meal planning helps you avoid the frustration of not knowing what to make that night or not having the right ingredients. When faced with this frustration, many people choose to just go out to eat or snack on unhealthy items. Meal planning erases that frustration, giving you a healthy pre-planned meal.
2. Stop buying processed foods.
Do you want to know what is really killing your grocery budget each month? Processed foods. Processed foods like chicken nuggets, frozen pizzas, potato chips, and cookies are expensive. They’re also not the healthiest options either.
One trick you might use when grocery shopping is to shop around the outer edges of the store. The fruits and vegetables, dairy, and meat sections often provide healthier, less expensive options than the microwave dinners and boxed cookies in the middle section of the grocery store.
3. Enjoy leftovers.
Who doesn’t love a good leftover homemade pizza? Chili and casseroles also make the perfect leftover. If you’re feeding a crowd, or want to have lunch prepared for the rest of the week, just make a large batch and store the leftovers in small portion-sized containers. Putting together healthy lunch options for the week can save you time and money. You won’t be tempted to go out to eat and you can just grab your lunch and go each morning before work or school. Also, preparing a healthy lunch with healthy snacks will make a big difference on your waistline.
4. Don’t eat out.
Eating out is basically a no-brainer. Eating out a lot can really put a damper on your budget as well as your health. You don’t need to give up eating out entirely. We’re not that heartless! 😉 Dining out is a lot of fun and can be great for socializing or creating fun memories. However, if you’re eating out way too much due to laziness or out of convenience, you could really hurt your finances.
Don’t eat out because you were too lazy to pack your lunch that morning or because you don’t know what to make for dinner (hopefully you can solve these issues by starting a meal plan and using leftovers to pack your lunch for the week).
Benjamin Franklin once said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” When you make a plan to eat healthy and stick within your budget, you’ll see success in your finances as well as on the scale. However, if you continue to live with a carefree attitude of eating out and buying processed foods when you really can’t afford them, you’ll fail on your budgeting and weight loss goals.
If you need help staying on track with your budget, check out our financial management tool, RentPlusMoney. Start saving money and improving your health today by switching to healthier meals.