Healthy eating on a budget
I hear many people state that it Costs more to eat Healthy.. or it takes too much time ..
When in fact the truth is going back to the basics keeps them out of the diet and industry trap of high sugar convince foods that hit their wallets and waists in a negative way. To build muscle and lose fat, you need lots of healthy foods. Proteins to build & maintain muscle. Carbs for energy. Fruits & veggies for vitamins, minerals and fiber. Water for hydration & recovery. And healthy fats to help fat loss.
Stick to unprocessed foods
As soon as you put that chicken breast into a frozen dinner or made it into nuggets, you'd better believe the price , calories, carbs and fat will shoot up. Learn how to Cut up and remove the skin off a chicken. Often you will see great prices on whole chickens -- much less expensive than the "sum of the parts
Its' important to get enough Quality protein, and this is probably the most expensive part of the diet :
Eggs: A large egg has 6 grams of protein. At under $3.00 per dozen , a gram of protein from eggs costs 3 cents. Egg Nutrition, Storage, and Recipe
Cottage cheese Dry curd has about 22 grams of protein per half-cup serving. Price per pound, it turns out to be similar to milk for the price of the protein (actually, slightly less).
Canned Fish : Tuna and Salmon are the most versatile and least expensive protien options
Include eggs in your daily plan. Eggs are inexpensive, yet high in protein, with about 6 grams of protein per large egg, yet free of carbohydrates. You can add variety to your meal plan by varying your cooking method: make fried eggs, scrambled eggs, hard-boiled eggs or an omelet. Add any Super Carbs that are on sale that week, such as spinach, tomatoes, avocado, Swiss chard or bell peppers. Canola is a good fat to use to cook your eggs and vegetables because its medium-chain triglycerides contribute to a faster metabolism and inexpensive. Buy large containers to save.
Canned fish makes ( Super Store non name brand usually is around .96 cents per can) a healthy and cheap protein option for your high-protein low-carb lunches. Simply mix salmon, tuna or sardines with lettuce and vegetables. Avoid bags of prewashed salad because they are usually more expensive, unless they are close to the expiration date and on sale. Commercial salad dressings are usually overpriced and contain a lot of added sugars and unhealthy fats. If you want to eat healthier and stay within your budget, make your own. Buy Flax Oil and balsamic vinegar in bulk and just drizzle a bit of each on your salad. Fresh lemon juice is also an inexpensive flavoring for your salads.
Don't be fussy -- pick whatever protein is on sale that week when building your daily meal plan. Buying large pieces of stew meat or whole chickens (remove the skin ) , chicken thight is a good way to save. Otherwise, ground meat is usually a budget-friendly option and can be used to make high-protein, low-carb bunless burgers, meatloaves or spaghetti sauce to serve on spaghetti squash. Simply accompany your dinner with any Super Carb vegetables on sale or Frozen vegetables or visit your farmer market to get more affordable seasonal and local vegetables. Bags of Frozen fish for 10.00 at SuperStore are a good option
Many popular high-protein, low-carb snacks, such as nuts, low-carb bars and protein bars, can be expensive and cause a sudden spike in your blood sugar and waist line. Instead, build your snacking plan around QUALITY PROTEIN SOURCES , such as eggs, left overs , deli meats . A couple of hard-boiled eggs with a few slices of deli meat or deviled eggs with a stick or two of cheddar cheese are inexpensive options. Buy large packages of cheese to save and freeze some if you have too much.
Buy Frozen Fruits & Veggies. Unfreeze berries in microwave and eat warm with cottage cheese. Put frozen spinach in a colander the night before and try one of these recipes the next day. Try also frozen beans & broccoli. Save Money. Often half the price of fresh. Almost infinite shelf life when kept in freezer. And you can buy in bulk to get more discount.Save Time. Frozen fruits & veggies are pre-washed and pre-cut, which saves preparation time. Time is money.Nutrient Dense. If frozen right when picked, frozen fruits & veggies can contain more nutrients than fresh ones.
Buy Generic Food. And store brands. Raw foods like rice, pasta, eggs, milk, cottage cheese, frozen fruits/veggies, ... taste like brand name foods once you get used to them. But they'll save you money on packaging & advertising.
Buy in Bulk. Especially when you have promos running.
Drink Tap Water. Get a brita pitcher and filter your tap water. It's cheaper than bottled water, soda or orange juice. One $8 filter cleans 40 gallons water and makes it taste a lot better.
Avoid Impulse Buying. Make a List and Stick to It. Plan your meals ahead, including portion size. List all foods you need for the next 7 to 14 days. Go the grocery store, get what's on your list and get out. Eat Before You Go Shopping. This prevents buying foods not on your list because you're hungry. Eat a solid meal before doing the grocery.
Make double portions take leftovers with you, use cans of tuna & mackerel, rice & pasta, frozen veggies, ...
Prepare Your Own Food. It takes 30-40mins, saves you stress about what you'll be eating the rest of the day and you eat healthy while saving money..
Take Food with You . Preparing your own food gives you total control over the ingredients and is cheaper than buying food at work/school. Food containers for work/school, protein shake for the gym,, ...Eat Before Leaving Home.
Learn to Cook from Scratch. Invest the time to learn to work with spices & herbs.
Additional resources are available from my Nutrition Guide and VicFitness recipes.
Contact me for further details.