There’s a misconception that eating healthy has to be expensive. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t! So now that you no longer have that convenient excuse, here are 5 tips for eating healthy for less than you’d spend on bad takeout:
- Meal plan: There’s nothing like aimlessly wandering the well-stocked aisles of a grocery store to derail your diet and your budget. Plan your meals ahead of time, write down a list of ingredients you need, and stick to it.
- Shop the bulk bin: These unsung heroes are stocked with dry goods that require no refrigeration, have a long shelf life, and will save you money. Love oatmeal? Stop buying the individual quick oats packages and get a bag of rolled oats for just over $2 a pound. Less packaging waste, less sugar, and less money. That’s what we call a win-win-win!
- Legume it up: Beans -- or legumes if you’re being all fancy about it -- are cheap, high in fiber, and a great source of plant-based protein. And the best part is they take on any flavor you throw at them. Feeling like takeout curry? Boom! Chickpeas and lentils for the win! Could totally go for a burrito? Black bean- and pinto bean-quesadillas will satisfy that craving and can go from cupboard to plate in under 10 minutes.
- Don’t be afraid of leftovers: Somewhere along the way leftovers got a bad rap. But here’s a secret: Leftovers are amazing! Especially high-flavor, low-cost meals like soups and casseroles often taste better the next day. And bonus savings: no need to buy lunch the next day when you pack your own.
- Be mindful: Planning ahead and going to the grocery store with an ingredient list in hand will definitely save you money in the long run, but be mindful and flexible when you’re shopping, too. Look for items, especially fresh produce, that’s on sale and be creative about incorporating lower cost products into your weekly menu.