It’s no surprise that healthy eating options are fast-becoming a priority for many American households and people with on-the-go lifestyle. The numbers are alarming. According to statistics, one in three children in the U.S. is either obese or overweight, and two-thirds of the entire population are under the same category. That’s why many people are starting to switch to a healthier diet.
However, there’s one common misconception about healthy eating – that it means you’ll have to spend more. While it’s true that most of these healthier options are pricier than normal food products, there are certain ways you can have a healthy diet and monitor what you eat even on a limited budget. Here are some ways to help you plan your meals the right way:
Never shop when you’re hungry
This is something that has been said over and over again – do not shop for food when you’re feeling hungry. This is because when you’re on an empty stomach, you’re more likely to put more junk food in your shopping cart because sweet and salty food becomes extra tempting when you’re hungry. So, before you step out of your house to do your groceries, make sure you grab some healthy snacks. Or you can also do your grocery shopping right after you’ve finished a meal.
Have a fixed monthly budget for groceries
Decide your budget allocation on groceries before each month begins. Start by looking back at how much you’ve been spending on food in the past few months. When you’ve built a routine, you’ll be able to have a more solid idea of how much you’ll have to allocate for food every month. It’s important to be consistent, although there will be some months when you’ll have to go beyond your set budget (for example, the holiday season).
It may take some time before you can have a solid idea of what your monthly food budget should be, so give it at least three months of trial. In addition, you need to put a separate budget for your groceries as well as for eating out. While it’s usually cheaper to just eat at home, it won’t hurt to treat yourself from time to time and grab a healthy box lunch in a casual Utah restaurant once every two weeks.
Come up with a solid meal plan
Smart meal planning isn’t just good for your body; it’s also great for your budget. According to experts, the best meal plans start in your own kitchen. The great thing about meal planning is that you can customize your meals depending on what you find healthy and works best for you. It should be an enjoyable and effective process. While it’s tempting to just copy meal plans from online sources, you might get bored easily if it’s not something to your liking.
So, look around you and start with the ingredients you already have in your kitchen and check out some recipes you can try using them. Then, be on the lookout for store’s sales ads, whether they’re in newspaper ads, magazine clippings, or even the online version if it’s more convenient. Plan your meals according to what’s on sale that week.