Eating well today takes some effort, especially if you are on a budget as most of the subsidized foods are junk food. The problem with junk food is there is very little nutrition and a lot of toxins which will increase your risk for chronic disease and obesity.
How do you eat well while sticking to a budget?
Always include your food budget in with your health budget because the kind of food you eat will determine how often you have to see the doctor and if you need to spend money on prescription drugs or hospital stays.
When you consider the costs of being sick, junk food is not the cheapest option.
Eat real food as much as possible. It will always be healthier and more nutrient dense than processed food and easier on the budget in the long run.
The most nutrient dense (more nutrients per calorie) foods are animal foods. Organ meats, ground meats, chicken legs and thighs, roasts, stew meat, and eggs are going to fetch the best bang for your buck.
Always check the meat section for sales. Meat is marked down if it is about to expire, and if you can’t use it before the expiration date, you can freeze it and use it another time.
Squash and root vegetables like potatoes are nutrient dense, provide energy, and are usually less expensive than other vegetables. Fruits in season are more economical than out of season fruits.
Get the best quality you can, but don’t stress over it. You don’t have to get everything organic. Check out the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen lists from the Environmental Working Group to see the fruits and vegetables with the least and most pesticides and choose the lower pesticide options most often.
Cook more often. Eating home-prepared meals will save money and help improve your health. If time is a factor, try meal prepping where you take a day and cook everything and then it’s ready to go for the week.
Look for meal prepping or quick recipes online, print them out and put them in a notebook. You only need 7 dinners, 1 lunch and 1 breakfast to start. Reuse those recipes every week. Add another week of recipes as desired. You can plan once and reuse them forever.
It is possible to eat well on a budget, it just takes a little planning and picking the most nutrient dense foods.
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