You're familiar with the phrase, "You are what you eat." While you might not literally turn into a Big Mac after eating one, unhealthy eating habits can lead to an unhealthy lifestyle and poor health overall. If you want to improve your health, start with your diet!

You'll be glad to know that eating healthy is not as difficult or as expensive as you might imagine. Here are some practical tips for eating healthy on a budget:
  1. Cook at home as often as you can. While eating out is a great activity to spend some time with your family, it's expensive and the food choices are usually less than healthy. Cooking yourself at home ensures that you can choose healthy ingredients and you don't have to pay extra for the privilege of eating out.
  2. Buy whole foods. Instead of buying that bag of baby carrots for $2, why not buy a two-pound bag of whole carrots for the same price (or less)? Buying whole fruits and vegetables is much less expensive than purchasing them precut.
  3. Plan your meals ahead of time. Even if you have some idea what you'll be cooking each week, you probably make additional trips to the grocery store to buy supplies and that adds up. Save money by planning a whole week's worth of healthy meals then make one trip to the store.
  4. Make a grocery list. Whether you're planning your meals or not, going to the grocery store with a list can save you a lot of money. The key is to only buy the items on your list - spontaneous purchases can hike up your bill.
  5. Buy in bulk when possible. If you're a frugal shopper, you're probably already keeping an eye on weekly ads. Take advantage of sales to stock up on the items you use most, particularly healthy non-perishables like whole grains, canned fruits, and veggies.
  6. Make use of your leftovers. Americans waste a lot of money every year simply by throwing out food that could be eaten. Even if you're not planning your meals every week, you should be utilizing your leftovers for lunches or incorporating them into other meals.
  7. Stop buying junk food. If you quit buying unhealthy snacks and convenience foods, you'd have more money to spend on healthy foods. Instead of stocking up on chips and cookies, buy healthy snacks like carrots, celery, and apples.
  8. Try vegan or vegetarian cooking. Meat can be expensive, so why not save money and eat healthy by trying some alternative forms of cooking? Try making one or two vegetarian meals each week and experiment with more affordable alternatives to meat.
  9. Make an effort to buy produce in-season. Fruits and vegetables are much cheaper when they are in season, so stock up while you can! You should also take advantage of farmers markets during the spring, summer, and fall to get fresh produce at a great price.
  10. Grow your own at home. From fruits and vegetables to herbs and spices, there are many healthy foods you can grow right at home and you don't have to spend a fortune to do it! Start a container garden on your deck or in your kitchen and enjoy the fruits of your labor, literally.
You shouldn't have to choose between eating healthy and saving money. By following the tips provided above, you can learn how to eat healthy on a budget. Put these tips to use for yourself and your whole family and enjoy eating well!

Frugal Village