3 Easy ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget

Who say's reaching your health and fitness goals means you can't stick to a budget? You can eat right without spending all of your money at the grocery store.

Food is one of the biggest items I spend money on every month. If you want to lose weight or really just improve your quality of life, it start's with good food.

Here are some ways that you can stay on track with your fitness goals and your budget.

Stick to staples

Oatmeal, rice, beans, potatoes, canned vegetables, olive oil. Those foods are very cheap and can make for the basis of your healthy eating diet. No they aren't the most exciting but, you can change the game if your spices are on point.

A protein source is really all you need to round things out. I'll get to that at the end of this.

Try to cook most of your meals

By now it's no secret that eating out is more expensive. Even if you buy things on the dollar menu, the math just doesn't make sense. 

You can save some of the time you'll spend cooking if you prepare some of the steps in advance. Another way to save time is by cooking and portioning out food in advance. Once you get the practice down, it saves even more time.

To top it off, there are many, many articles written about the health cost of eating fast foods.

Shop where you save the most

If you have a local Aldi you're in luck on the produce end. It actually helps me vary what kind of fruits and vegetables I'm eating when I shop their sales.

I've bought things like:

  • Radishes for 69 cents for 8 oz
  • Sweet potatoes for 69 cents a bag (about 7-8 medium)
  • 2 lbs of carrots for 1.19

The funny thing about some of the foods is, they're literally the exact same brands you see at other stores. They're just significantly cheaper.

For meats, the cheapest chicken I've seen in Columbia without a sale has been found at Walmart (1.99/lb). However, I'm not really a fan of the Walmart chicken, the quality seems off.

Hyvee, on the other hand, has some great sales and better quality that can actually make the trip worthwhile. It might take a little more math but, I've found chicken on sale at 3.99/lb buy one get one free. That comes out to 1.98/lb and you just have to buy more. I've also seen chicken on sale for 1.48/lb at Hyvee.

Buy your food in bulk

Besides saving trips across town, if you have a place to store it all, generally this is a long term game changer. Per unit, foods are typically cheaper in bulk because a large chunk of the price is in packaging.

If you can spend a little more now on meat that is on sale, you can freeze it for consumption later when you run out. The sale might be over by the time you get around to it.

Take that 1.48/lb chicken for example, I weigh about 215 and for a high protein diet need anywhere from 0.8-1.0g of protein per lb. That comes out to 28.6-35.8oz of meat in a day. 

My meat budget might look like this:

  • Chicken at 1.48/lb: $80.65-100.81 a month
  • Chicken at 1.99/lb: $108.44-135.56 a month
  • Turkey breast at 2.99/lb: $162.94-203.68 a month
  • Bottom round roast at 4.99/lb: $271.93-339.92 a month

Huge difference. To save money I could try to eat on the lower end of protein and still reach my fitness goals.

A little planning in advance can save you hundreds a year, or just make your goal possible financially. Give some of these ideas a shot!