Tips to eat healthy without breaking the bank

Keep it simple. While exotic foods are the craze, you don’t always need to fork up the big bucks to eat well. If kale, arugula, coconut oil, and grapeseed oil are breaking the bank, try a less expensive option like spinach or olive oil. The oldies truly are goodies, and sometimes for less than half the price. So don’t be afraid to break from the trends. They often go just as quickly as they came in.

Cook at home. Eating out will cost you in more ways than one. When you do the cooking, you know exactly what’s going into your body, and it takes the guesswork out of making food choices. It’s hard to eat out on a budget AND make healthy choices. While cooking at home, just be sure to keep your serving sizes in check to prevent overindulging.

Eat in-season foods. Good prices on produce items come and go with the seasons, so don’t get too hung up on purchasing fresh strawberries in February. Opt for fruits and vegetables that are in season. Watermelon and strawberries in summer, blackberries and apples in fall, and citrus and pomegranates in winter. Not only will this help you rotate through foods, but it will help your wallet as well. If you need a fruit or vegetable that’s not in season, generally frozen is the way to go.

Watch the sales. Whether it’s meat or produce, fresh or frozen, be sure to stock up when the sales hit. This is why we have freezers. A good trick to freezing berries is to wash them, hull them, and spread them out on a cookie sheet until frozen. Then place them in an airtight container or zip top freezer bag. This way they are frozen separately instead of one frozen mass of berries.

Don’t let food go bad. Make a menu, shop for the menu, and eat those foods. Food that goes bad is just like letting money rot. Leftovers make great lunches, and excess veggies are a great snack on the go. Healthy foods often have a shorter shelf life, but fueling your body well is worth the extra trips to the store.

Things to watch for:
Check bagged versus bulk prices (especially with spinach/salad)
Stock up during frozen food sales
Shop your local farmers’ markets and food stands

Becca Capell
iFit Head Trainer