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10 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget

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* This is part of a year-long weekly series called “52 Weeks to Eating better than Ever”. Click on the side bar for more information and to read the previous essays.
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The following are a list of 10 ways that I personally use to eat healthy on a reasonable budget.  These are things that I personally can vouch for.  Some are so simple that you’ll wonder why you never thought of, whereas others you may immediately reject for how seemingly hard they will be to follow. 

​Regardless, you can eat healthy on a budget, so go do it!
 
Buy food in bulk and prepare it ahead of time and store it in containers.    This will keep you from making bad decisions and help you save money by buying in bulk. 
 
Bring your lunch to work instead of going out to eat.Eating your own lunch that you made at home is almost always better for you and cheaper than going out. 
 
Focus on eating things like apples, cucumbers, oranges, or salads, that take a while to eat and have more fiber.Fiber is one of the single most important keys to eating better on a budget.  Fiber-rich foods fill you up, and are less expensive.
 
Vinegar and oil are inexpensive and healthy.  A small splash of vinegar and vegetable oil or olive oil makes a tasty and inexpensive dressing on any type of salad.
 
Pasta, brown rice, whole grains, lentils, and beans are inexpensive and good for you.This could really be a separate tip, but it’s related to eating more non-animal proteins like those listed.  Animal protein (beef, turkey, chicken, lamb) is expensive so simply by eating healthier non-animal proteins like these, you can save money and be healthier at the same time.  Many people eat more protein than they need. 
 
Frozen vegetables are just as healthy as fresh.  Often, but not always, they are cheaper too.
 
Drink a lot of water to curb your appetite.Sometimes what you think is hunger is dehydration.
 
Tell your friends and family you are trying to eat healthy and save money.  Ask them to help you and be supportive.  If they’re good friends that are worth having, they will.  Your best friend is the number one predictor of obesity.  I’m not saying to ditch your friends, but I am saying that if you want to be healthier, your true friends will want this for you too. 
 
Exercise or go for a walk instead of eating.Boredom can be mistaken for hunger.  The next time you are daydreaming about food, try walking or doing a quick workout or stretches instead.
 
Stay out of restaurants with calorie-heavy menu items that are hard to resist. Better yet, stay out altogether.  Go to places which have tasty items that are lower in calories, higher in fiber, and reasonable prices.  Asian restaurants tend to be lower in calories. Better yet, don’t view restaurants as sources of food, but rather as the place for a very occasional special meal.
 

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ABOUT AUTHOR SCOTT GODWIN

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