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Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget

Eating healthy on a budget doesn't have to be difficult. As a matter of fact, staying healthy on a budget can be fun and rewarding.

Just use the 12 tips below to keep both your finances and your eating healthy on a budget.

Here are your cheaper by the dozen tips for healthy eating on a budget:

1. Plan your menu ahead. Impulsive buying and eating can cost extra money, calories and your health. Make a weekly menu and shopping list that includes good seasonal and shopping deals. And never ever shop on an empty stomach!

2. Buy unprocessed foods. Most processed packaged foods are higher in fat and sodium and cost more than whole foods. So shop mainly on the outer perimeter of the store and spend the bulk of your money on fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry, low-fat dairy and whole grains.

3. Compare frozen prices. Frozen produce is often less expensive than fresh. Plus it's picked at the height of ripeness, flash frozen to retain nutrition and flavor and can stay frozen until ready to use.

4. Be selective with protein. The costliest part of your food budget tends to be high protein foods. Since beans and whole grains, like brown rice, combine to make balanced, less expensive protein, use them in dishes to fill in the cracks when you can cut down on costly animal protein.

5. Look for things on sale. Stores often have coupons or foods on special. But make sure it's something you can use, store or freeze.

6. Start a health food co-op. You can usually get great prices with a well organized food co-op. Just find some like-minded people, a good place for delivery (like a church or business), a health food store distributor and someone willing to be in charge (for an extra discount).

7. Buy more foods in bulk. Whenever feasible, buy enough to get case or bulk discounts. Just make sure you store all foods safely.

8. Pack your own snacks. Nothing ruins your health and budget faster than a hunger-attack when you're out and about. Always carry snacks, like sliced veggies, whole grain crackers or cheese and an apple.

9. Dine at home more often. Home cooking is not just healthier, itís also cheaper. When you're too busy, buy a rotisserie chicken and add side dishes. If you do eat out, downsize to a healthy "kidís meal".

10. Cook double, freeze half. Prepare food in large batches and freeze meal-size portions for when you're too busy to cook.

11. Grow your own organics. Instead of other landscaping, plant apple trees and blueberry bushes. And during the growing season, save money with a "victory" garden of homegrown organic high fiber foods. Plus, you can grow fresh sprouts indoors all year long.

12. Eat healthy low calories. Many studies show that a healthy low calorie diet (no lower than 800 calories) is best for your health. So eating less can be one of your most important tips for healthy eating on a budget.

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Note: The information contained on this website is not intended to be prescriptive. Any attempt to diagnose or treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician who is familiar with nutritional therapy.

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