How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

Tips for eating healthy on tight budget
We created Pure Plates because we believe healthy eating is essential to optimal health. And this means consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables as well as other fresh, whole foods. While this way of eating may seem cost prohibitive, it doesn't have to be. In fact, research shows that eating real food isn't more expensive than a processed, convenience food diet.

In addition, there are many healthy swaps that can actually save you money. For example, replacing soda and sports drinks with water. And replacing a "bar" with a banana. In fact, a single piece of fruit or a handful of nuts is almost always cheaper (and much healthier) than a processed snack food.

Thus, please don't let your budget stop you from eating healthy. Here are several tips to help you stay within your budget...

Buy in season:

Produce costs less when it's in season. For example, berries are typically less expensive in the summer. But berries in the winter can get pretty pricey. In addition, you can stock up on seasonal fruits and veggies when you find a deal and freeze them for out-of-season months.

Buy frozen fruits and veggies

Frozen fruits and vegetables are very economical and often just as nutritious as fresh. They work great in smoothies, soups, stews, stir-fries, and many other dishes. They are easy to stock in the freezer. Plus, they are already washed, chopped and ready to go.

Buy in bulk:

When you buy from the bulk section in your grocery store, you can save money on the cost of packaging and labeling. Bulk sections are great for nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, and lentils. And you only need to purchase the exact amount you need.

It's also worth mentioning that you can also buy pasture-raised meats and poultry in bulk from local farmer's, butchers, and online. This can save you a bunch. You can store the excess in the freezer or split the order with a neighbor or two.

This is also often possible with produce as well. Ask your favorite vendors at the farmer's market to learn more about your options.

Online retailers:

Check out retailers such as Thrive Market and The Green Polka Dot Box for healthy pantry staples. These online retailers all offer many goods at wholesale prices.

Big box stores:

Shopping at big box stores is also a great way to save money on pantry staples. In addition, Costco now sells more organic foods that Whole Foods. Their organic selection is tremendous and the prices in many cases are almost identical to the matching conventional products.

Coupons and sales:

Always check your local store for coupons and shop on their sale days. And get to know the employees at your favorite grocery. They can help you get the best deals and give you a heads-up when certain products will be on sale.

If you find a great deal, stockpile. And don't forget to join your grocery store loyalty programs for even more discounts.

In addition, using coupons and sales to save money on other non-food expenses also helps to free up some money to put toward healthy foods.

Skip the coffee shop:

We understand the need for coffee. But a daily latte adds up. Consider buying organic coffee in bulk and make it at home. It will save you time as well as money.

Eat less meat:

We recommend high-quality, thoughtfully sourced meats. But these can be more expensive than factory farmed options. However, the portion sizes that we've come to expect are much bigger than we need. An adequate portion of meat, poultry, or fish is 4 ounces. Approximately the size of a deck of cards. Thus, filling your plate with more vegetables, whole grains, and beans and smaller portions of meat will make sticking to your budget possible.

Minimize waste:

To ensure your healthy food doesn't end up in the trash, meal planning is essential. And for the days when cooking is not an option, plan to prepare food on the weekend or the night before. You could also plan to fill in the gaps with our Pure Plates meals. For example, our meals can save you time and money on nights you need to work late or the kids have a soccer game. You'll feel good knowing that your family is eating just as healthy as if you cooked the meal yourself. And, you won't waste food that you didn't have time to prepare.

Eat out less:

Dining at a restaurant is almost always more expensive than a home-cooked or a Pure Plates meal. Thus, we highly recommend meal planning as previously discussed. And plan to pack your lunch for work or consider packing one of our meals.

To Sum it Up...

Eating healthy is essential. And doing so on a budget is possible, especially when you consider the tips we've outlined above.

Now we'd love to hear from you! What are some ways you’ve managed to eat healthy on a budget?