Trying to stick to a healthy diet with increasing prices on food can be a challenging task. But to build muscles and reduce fat you need to plan healthy meals daily. Healthy food need not be expensive. With wise planning and following some rules, you can eat healthy even if you are on a tight budget. Cooking at home is cheaper than buying food.
Make a list
On priority write down few recipes you like to include in your healthy diet and list down their ingredients. Before you go grocery shopping make a detailed list and stick to the plan. It will stop you from buying unnecessary items. Canned foods and processed meals can sometimes be more costly than fresh ingredients. When you cook your own food, you get to control the oil intake or sugars and freeze the leftovers for the next meal without wasting.
Planning the meals is a smart move as it keeps you focused on healthy diet and reduces the overall meals cost by half. Sticking to the list will reduce the impulse buying you get at the end of shopping. Do not grab candies or chocolates at the checkout counter while paying the bill. Avoid some aisles in the supermarkets to refrain from buying the processed and canned goods.
Take time once in a week to visit farmer’s market to get fruits and veggies necessary for the diet. The prices are relatively lower than the supermarkets and fresh. Fresh produce can be stored longer or can be frozen well. Buying from farmer’s market will help you to buy same food in more quantity as they tend to give free stuff near the closing market time. Buy everything from one place as it saves money on fuel and time too. Always go for seasonal produce as they are comparatively cheaper than fruits and veggies which are stored.
Read the labels
Before buying any product, take a look at their labels and see if they can be frozen or near expiry dates. It will avoid money going down the drain without even consuming half of the packet. Buy only those groceries in bulk like rice, pulses, lentils, sugar which have a maximum shelf life. Try organic foods whenever possible without fancy packaging as it will cut costs. Be supermarket savvy and get a store card to avail discounted prices on special occasions. Plan your snacks in advance and stock up on them instead of buying it often. Carry prepared meals or snacks on the go to avoid filling on chips.
Healthy inexpensive foods
Eggs, beans, whole grains and some cuts of meat are healthy but inexpensive compared to their processed counterparts. They taste great and often come cheap when bought in bulk. Buy cheese in blocks and grate it yourself instead of buying cuts. Replace bottled juices and energy drinks with water or freshly squeezed juice. It will cut the calorie intake and save money. Buy fish and meat in bulk. Freeze it and use it instead of going for canned tins. Make gravy or sauces in large batches and freeze them. It will be easier to simply add them to a meal later without spending a lot of time in the kitchen.
Last few tips
Grow your own herbs and veggies once you are used to the healthy diet. Make sure to load your freezer with some extra meals to eat on a lazy day. Re-purpose the leftover foods and make them hearty breakfasts by adding eggs. Pack your lunch whenever possible and use discounts and coupons wisely without deterring from the healthy diet.