How to Eat Healthy on a Budget?
Do you know how much money you spend on food a week? How many products do you buy and how many of them remain unused? How varied is your diet? Many people believe that a healthy diet is expensive and is available only to wealthy people. This is promoted by advertisements of various superfoods. Food and Nutrition Magazine hopes that this article will help you understand that proper nutrition can be cheap, healthy and tasty. We will tell you what products you should buy and also share various tricks when creating a budget-friendly menu.
How to lose weight without blowing your budget?
- First of all, we would like to remind you the classic but still very important advice: before you go to the store, you need to make a clear list of products needed for cooking dishes from your menu. No need to buy anything else!
- Watch for stocks in stores – this is the cheapest way to lose weight!
- Do not go shopping when you are hungry. To avoid waste of money, you should have a full stomach at this time;
- It is necessary to exclude fast food, hamburgers, sushi, carbonated drinks from your diet. They are very expensive and unhealthy;
- Meat is the main dish for most people. One piece of meat can be used for cooking two dishes. For example, cook whole chicken or bone with meat (it is better to cook for a long time over low heat – so the meat will be softer and tastier). Broth can be used for cooking soup;
- Many people love to buy juice in cardboard boxes and bottles. They are expensive and contain many preservatives and dyes, which are harmful to health. You’d better cook compotes and fruit drinks – it’s useful and less expensive.
Top 8 cheap and healthy foods
- Sour cream. It is good because it replaces mayonnaise in salads and harmful fillers in desserts. It can also be used for stewing or served with pancakes and fresh berries;
- Eggs are also an essential element of nutrition for any family;
- Bird (turkey, chicken). Dietary poultry meat is suitable for roasting, stewing, boiling, and steaming. And it is delicious! If you still like cutlets, then make them from the bird. For breakfast, you can add pieces of turkey or chicken to the scrambled eggs. You can replace meat, sausage and other semi-finished meat products. In addition, it is cheap! You can even make homemade chicken ham, which will be much cheaper and more beneficial than buying it in the store;
- Fish – coho salmon, chum salmon, pink salmon, cod. It can be baked, boiled, salted, roasted, cooked in the oven and steamed;
- Seafood. We do not suggest that you eat langoustines (large shrimp) and lobsters. Carcass squid is more than affordable at the moment, and mussels are not the most expensive delicacy. In addition, many stores offer discounts on seafood – take advantage of this opportunity to eat shrimp or octopus;
- Soy meat. The main thing in a healthy nutrition is diversity, which allows us to provide the body with everything necessary from different foods, so it is sometimes useful to include soy products in the diet. Soy meat contains only 102 calories, while it is rich in complete protein, which is 50-70% of the total product. Fats account for only 3-4%. Like all soy products, soy meat contains vitamins B1, B2, B6, E, D, as well as magnesium, sodium, iron and potassium;
- Buckwheat. It is very versatile. It can be used as a side dish for meat dishes. It can also be served as an independent vegetarian dish, adding homemade tomato sauce or mushrooms, and it is very tasty to eat buckwheat porridge with milk in the mornings;
- Rice. You can choose the type of rice you like most, including unprocessed wild, black and brown rice. You can make anything from rice – porridge, pilau, serve as a side dish to stew fish or meat. Rice is also added to meatballs, stuffed vegetables, casseroles, and some types of salads. If you do not like rice, then buy bulgur. Try to have a stock of different cereals;
- Oatmeal. The advantages of oatmeal are obvious: low price, the speed of cooking, various uses – it is good with berries and meat. But do not buy instant porridge with all sorts of additives;
- Pasta. Do not be afraid of pasta but try to buy pasta from durum wheat;
- Lentils are very available today. It contains a lot of protein and can be used as a separate dish and as a side dish. By the way, you can add it to vegetable salads – a tasty and cheap way to lose weight;
- Pumpkin. It can be baked, added to cereals and used to cook incredibly delicious desserts;
- Lemons. They can be added to coffee, tea, desserts, and also used in cooking meat, fish and seafood;
- Vegetable oil unrefined for salads. Olive oil is good for the heart, brain and skin but it is also expensive. Choose a more budgetary option: flaxseed oil (contains omega-3 and omega-6 fats), soybean oil, sesame oil (effective for various pulmonary diseases, shortness of breath, asthma, dry cough, prevents the formation of blood clots and helps to cope with gastrointestinal colic), camelina or mustard oil;
- Frozen products. If you need berries in the winter, buy the frozen variant. Of course, they will be cheaper than fresh ones, but less tasty in any case, so it is better to use a frozen product in the preparation of sauces and various desserts. But do not buy berries that are re-frozen. By the way, try to take care of your stocks in the summer and freeze the summer vegetables and berries you would like to use in the winter;
- Seasonal fruits and vegetables. You can forget about exotic fruits, which are very expensive in our stores. Instead, choose native and favorite apples. We mean that it is not worth buying watermelon or melon in winter. Better enjoy seasonal fruits, berries and vegetables. Carrots, for example, can be used in all kinds of main dishes, soups, salads;
- Dried fruits and nuts. Of course, nuts are not cheap, but it is better to spend money on nuts than on all sorts of “sweets for tea”;
- Milk products. Do not forget about milk, cottage cheese or kefir. But choose a natural and healthy product.
Cheap snack options on the road or at work
Healthy snacks can also be budget-friendly:
- Bananas and other seasonal fruits. Bananas satisfy hunger perfectly. One banana can be a good snack between meals, and if you add a banana into cottage cheese or yogurt, then you can definitely survive without food for a few more hours;
- Nuts or dried fruits. They can also be taken between meals, their undoubted advantage is that they fit in a bag and therefore are always at hand;
- Vegetable salads with sour cream or butter. This option is for those who work at home. Salads satisfy hunger quickly and are also useful, so, freelancers, take a note!
- Bread crusts. You can choose the one you like. But be careful, do not eat a whole pack!
- Sandwiches with red fish are also a good option for snacking, which you can take with you. Place a leaf of lettuce, a circle of tomato and pieces of red fish on the bread. Tasty, useful and fast! You can use pink salmon, it is tasty and cheap;
- Kefir. This is also one of the easiest options for snacking;
- Whole grain bread with raisins. This is delicious. We highly recommend it!
We wish you good health!