One of the most difficult aspects about trying to eat healthy is that it can be so darn expensive! It becomes even more of a stressor when your healthy diet is one of the main ways to combat your chronic pain symptoms. The last thing you want to do is break the bank trying to keep your body in top condition. If you want to eat healthy for cheap, let’s take a quick look at some tips and tricks on how you can get a tasty meal that is both cheap, easy, and good for your body.
1. Simplify your meals
Trying to make healthy meals can turn into a nightmare quickly if you let it. When you’re trying to eat healthy for cheap, focus on just a few simple and smart choices. Those can be just as good for you as those overly fussy, health-focused recipes you find on the web! Remember: a small salad or some lightly-roasted veggies with rice and beans can be just as good for you as an elaborate and time-consuming feast.
2. Spice it up from there
Simple is great, but when you get bored, there is no reason you can’t kick it up a notch. Take your standard go-to dishes and try a different blend of spices and herbs. There are tons to choose from and it really can be a completely new experience.
3. While you are at it, buy whole herbs
Buying whole herbs and grinding them up yourself will drastically increase how long your spices provide full and delicious flavor. A simple coffee grinder can make it a snap and you can use this handy how-to guide to match spices with all the right foods.
4. Buy in bulk
Your local warehouse stores can be a huge help when you want to stock up on food and supplies you eat regularly. It is always smart, and much cheaper, to buy food in bulk. For those products that have a long shelf life, it is one less thing you have to worry about having on-hand during your day-to-day responsibilities.
5. Prepare for the week
Why just buy in bulk when you can cook in bulk? Spending a day (or even just a few hours!) cooking meals is one of the best tricks when you’re trying to eat healthy for cheap. It can save you from those last-minute excuses and stressors that can send you running to your local fast food joint. Cook up a week’s worth of veggies, if nothing else, and then you are always sure to have a healthy side or snack food at your fingertips.
6. Don’t forget the whole food option
Nothing says value like the whole food option. Processed food is especially harmful for pain patients. In processed foods, many of the nutrients have been removed during the manufacturing process. Additives are then added that bring a host of other issues. Some can even exacerbate or worsen chronic pain. The good news for ditching processed food is that it is cheaper, although they will take some more time to prepare than a microwavable meal.
7. Make your own bread and milk
For those with chronic pain, one of the best things you can do is substitute gluten and dairy with alternative products. This can be expensive, but don’t fret. It is actually quite cost-effective and easy to make your own and, with this quick guide, you will be done in no time flat.
8. Put together your own freezer meals
While most frozen meals are known to be packed with sodium and carbs, there are exceptions to the rule. If you want to eat healthy for cheap and have a meal ready in a few minutes, but don’t have the time to cook your own, check out these ten excellent examples of healthier freezer meals. If you do have the time, try making some of these low-cost, healthy freezer meals from HappyMoneySaver.com.
9. Make a trip to the farmers market
If you are on a limited budget, but still want to eat healthy for cheap, check out your local farmers markets. The best time to go is about an hour before close, because most vendors want to unload as much as they can before they pack up for the day. You get cheaper produce and products, and less food is wasted. It’s a win-win!
10. Try out frozen veggies
The toughest part about keep fresh vegetables on-hand is that they don’t last more than a week or two. Frozen veggies solve this problem because they can last for months and can be just as tasty as fresh. They are picked and frozen at peak ripeness so they are still nutritionally dense, so they can even end up being a better deal.
11. Use a crockpot, seriously
Never underestimate the power of a slow cooker. There is nothing like a simple meal of meat and veggies cooking for eight hours. It will leave your house smelling amazing and your mouth watering.
12. Avoid nutrient-deficient foods
A big part of the healthy life style is avoiding food that are calorie-packed with no real value. That white bread might be ten cents cheaper, but your body will pay for it in the end.
13. Have a plan of attack
If you’re trying to eat healthy for cheap, don’t go to the grocery store without a plan. Look for coupons and check online for deals before you go. The easiest way to blow money on unhealthy food is to go hungry and make it up as you go along. If you already have meals planned out for the week that is even better. That way you can curtail the desire to spontaneously purchase that junk food.
14. Remember that more isn’t always better
We have this mentality that bigger always means better, but this is rarely the case when eating healthy. Over the last few decades, our culture has been wanting and consuming more and more. So make sure to have the right mindset when you are going to make (or even buy) a meal. Always think of what will give you the most nutrients for the least amount of money.
How do you save money when you are eating healthy?