It can be hard enough to eat a healthy diet at the best of times, but the stress of having to stick to a budget can make you feel more inclined to stock up on all those foods you find most comforting, even though they tend to be poor value for money. It is possible, though, to learn to eat more healthily whilst on a budget and to continue following a healthy diet even when you run up against financial constraints.
Often people find themselves in a culinary rut, simply relying on microwaveable meals, and frozen foods which can be ready within half an hour, to provide them with sustenance. Little preparation is involved, and this tends to be a determining factor in why many busy people choose to buy such products. It is so much more convenient to stick a pizza in the oven and watch television for half an hour whilst it is cooking than spending hour an hour chopping up vegetables and peeling potatoes.
When you’re on a budget, though, convenience meals should be regarded as a luxury, because they are simply not worth the amount of money they cost. They are full of salt, sugar, and fat, and do not usually provide a completely satisfactory meal, so that the temptation is there to snack on junk food. It is a good idea to think ahead about the kind of meals you want to eat during the week, and to plan ahead. It might be more inconvenient to chop up your own vegetables, but if you do it late at night for the next day or early in the morning for that evening, the actual cooking won’t seem to take that long. You can even buy fruit and vegetables which have been ready chopped, though these will not be as economical as buying them unprepared.
Rice, pasta and couscous are extremely versatile foods which can be combined with different sauces, meats and vegetables to produce hearty meals, and are relatively cheap to buy. It is usually the items which accompany them that inflate the price, and so it makes sense to look around for the best deals on sauces, unless you want to make your own. You may also want to look at buying meat that has been frozen, as it often works out cheaper, or you can buy-in fresh meat when it is cheap and freeze it.
If you are eating healthily on a budget it usually means avoiding fast food, and limiting the amount of junk food you consume. However, you may not want to deprive yourself completely, and so you should look at any special offers that stores have on your favourite foods. Maybe you could even look for healthier alternatives to sweets, chocolate, and chips by looking at dried fruit and nuts instead, particularly if you are prone to bingeing on unhealthy snacks.
It is possible to eat healthy foods and remain within a budget, as long as you plan in advance what your budget is and what foods you need to buy. What might be harder is avoiding the enticing array of food items on display when you go shopping. That requires determination.