Let’s be honest, we all want to eat healthy. But unfortunately, many believe that healthy food is too expensive for the average grocery budget. And it’s true. Fresh fruits and vegetables will probably cost more than a box of mac and cheese and ramen noodles. However, a nutritious diet is within reach. So, here are some tips to eating healthy without breaking the bank. And turn your average summer into an #AllianceEpicSummer by utilizing your community’s grilling spaces and kitchens for meal prep.
Buy in bulk
Did you know that when you buy in bulk, it can actually cut the price in half? Buy large bags of frozen chicken breasts and keep them in your freezer. Use what you need per each recipe.
Plan out your meals
Take one hour each week to plan out your meals. Without planning, you’re more likely to order takeout or reach for something quick and, well, unhealthy. If you already have your meal planned out, you know exactly what you need and have the ingredients on hand. It saves you a trip, money and calories.
Prepare in bulk
At the beginning of each week, grill up a couple chicken breasts or even throw a couple in the slow cooker. That way, when in need of a quick meal, you can heat up a pre-cooked chicken in a pita, wrap, or in a salad. Quick, simple and healthy. You can also double or triple your recipes so that you have a few quick on-the-go meals to eat for the rest of the week.
Cut the junk
Let’s be honest, junk food isn’t cheap. All those drinks, snacks, cookies and treats add up. When you are craving something sweet, reach for fruit. Give your body the nutrients it needs and satisfy your sweet tooth at the same time. Win-win.
Ignore brand names
Many generic or store brands are prepared in the same exact plant as brand name items, it’s just labeled differently for a fraction of the cost.
Buy for the season
There are different peaks for different fruits and vegetables. And produce is priced according to its availability, so stock up on what’s in season.
Buy frozen or canned
For when you’re craving out-of-season produce, but don’t want to pay an arm and leg for it – don’t be afraid to buy frozen or canned fruits and vegetables. It may not be exactly the same, but it’s a great alternative. The only thing to keep in mind if you go this route is that canned food often contains more preservatives to give it the longer shelf-life, so make sure you’re choosing fruit canned in 100 percent fruit juice and vegetables labeled “low sodium” or “no salt added.”
If you have a farmer’s market close to you, go! You can get fresh produce and food at a really great price, plus you’re supporting your local farmers and businesses, which is a double bonus.
Got anything else to add? We want to hear it!