Do you think eating healthy is too expensive? Think again. There are plenty of budget-friendly ways to eat nutritious food regularly. Use these five tips and you’ll find yourself eating healthy on a budget in no time.

1. Plan your meals for eating healthy on a budget.

Meal planning helps to organize your food choices and ensure you’re eating meals that are good for you. Yet planning in advance for several weeks or even a month of dinners, lunches and breakfasts is also a great way to cut your food costs.

Learn how to budget for groceries, then plan your shopping list. Get bulk savings on larger quantities of meat, poultry, fruit and vegetables. Then portion the food to use in two or three different recipes for the month. This also helps avoid food waste and makes better use of leftovers.

For example, you can buy a larger-than-usual ham for Sunday dinner. Then use the leftover ham for a ham-and-bean stew on Monday and perhaps a ham-and-cheese frittata for lunch on Wednesday. There are plenty of ways to save on grocery shopping.

2. Shop the deals and expand your menu.

When you’re interested in eating healthy on a budget, make it a habit to review your weekly supermarket print flyers, online flyers or coupon apps to shop the deals. Stock up when more expensive organic and all-natural items go on sale. Better still, combine deal shopping with your meal planning and save even more money.

Also consider making more meals from scratch, by purchasing individual ingredients to prepare a large quantity of a low-cost, healthy meals. Then freeze them for additional quick meals later in the month.

3. Freeze fresh produce.

Fresh, locally grown vegetables and fruit cost less when they’re in season. If you buy extra and freeze it to use later in the winter, you’ll have healthy food options without busting your budget when the prices rise later in the year. Make sure your fresh produce is packaged and sealed properly to help avoid freezer burn.

4. Stick to your list (and eat before shopping).

Make a grocery list based on your meal planning and sale flyers — then stick to your list! One reason you may have struggled to stick to your list and instead picked out an unhealthy snack is hunger. Avoid grocery shopping on an empty stomach and you’ll be more likely to stick to both your budget and your diet.

5. Buy generic/store brands.

You may prefer to stick with certain brands for your favorite foods. However, choosing a generic or store brand saves money when you’re trying to make healthier food choices.

These store brands usually cost less than “big name” brands because they don’t pay for expensive advertising, and in many cases you’ll enjoy the same or nearly the same quality food. Compare store brand and big name labels for healthy food items such as canned beans and vegetables, and frozen fruits and vegetables. You probably won’t notice any taste differences once you start cooking.

With a little research, planning, and discipline, you’ll soon get in the habit of eating healthy on a budget. Both your waistline and your wallet will thank you!

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