Eating on a Budget

Money is valuable, right?!

Uh, hello, yes!!!  I don’t know about you, but we try to save money wherever and whenever we can.  Working fresh, healthy food into a tight budget is sometimes overwhelming, and it’s easier to just not try sometimes.  But isn’t your health worth the few minutes it will take to sit down and figure it out?  Not only will you feel better now, but you will be saving money in the future not having to purchase medicine that is prescribed due to weight-related illness and injuries.

1. Take a look at last month.

How many times did you eat out and how many of those times COULD have been spent at home?  I know it’s not possible 100% of the time, but if you have your meals planned out for the week, shop for just those foods, you won’t need to spend the $5+/meal at a fast-food restaurant.  Those extra cents will add up to what you could spend at the grocery store at the beginning of the week.

2. Look for the sales in the produce department each week before shopping.

You know those annoying, newspaper type grocery promos we get almost every day?!  Yes, those.  Circle the big sales for the week.  What type of meals could you make to incorporate those things?  Plan your week around the sales and then stick to your grocery list.

3. Check for a farmer’s market, discount grocery store (Aldi’s) or even a revolving weekly produce market.

These are great places to load up on cheap veggies and save money for the week.  While you may not need a laundry basket full of vegetables for your family (or maybe you do), I bet you have a friend that would appreciate those veggies as well.  Team up and split the cost and the veggies!  It might not lead for the most exciting meals or maybe you will try some new veggies in a recipe that you wouldn’t have thought to put them in before.  Either way, you are saving money and still getting better nutrients than a bag of cheese puffs will give you.

Eating on a budget

4. STICK TO THE LIST.

I’ve said it a few times now, and I think it’s one of the hardest but simplest ways to save money.  Don’t shop on a hungry stomach and have laser focus when you enter that grocery store or market.  Cross things off your list as you go and head directly to the checkout when you’ve crossed off the last item.  Do not pass go.  Do not collect $100.  LOL.  But seriously, planning ahead and sticking with it forces you not only to spend only what you were planning on, but to also eat that week what you purchased rather than running out for an extra ingredient or grabbing dinner from a fast-food restaurant because you’ve already spent the money.

5. Don’t think you have to buy name brand just because you are trying to eat better.

Look at ingredients listed rather than just who manufactured the product.  Sometimes the store brand has better ingredients that a product that is marketed as “healthy” but just full of filler foods that aren’t good for you.  And the store brand is generally quite a bit cheaper.

The thing is, you have to find what works for you based on your lifestyle, but change does have to happen somewhere.  Taking a good look at what you are currently spending money on will give you a good idea of where you can replace unhealthy items with better ones.  Even taking a weekly dollar amount and planning your meals based on that will help you see where you’ve spend extra without realizing it in the past.

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Sarah Costa, SDB Contributor

Sarah Costa, SDB Contributor

Sarah Costa is a coach for Beachbody, helping encourage and inspire women in their health and fitness! She’s passionate about encouragement, friendships, and helping women reach their goals physically, emotionally, and spiritually. If you’d like to contact her to begin your journey today, please click HERE.

 

About The Author

I am a wife and stay at home mom who is pursuing opera. Along the way I've gotten to do lots of different jobs but am most excited about my current career: empowering women toward their health and fitness goals. I believe people should be able to accomplish their dreams and love finding ways to help them do that with their fitness.

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