So you want to eat healthy and save money? While cutting costs at fast-food restaurants is the cheapest option, comprising on food quality will take a toll on your body—and lead to increased health care costs down the road.
The first step to eating healthy on a budget is, obviously, making a budget. Before you go to the grocery store, write down what you need and how much it will cost you. Organize your list into two categories: Needs and wants. Load up on fruits and vegetables, while resisting red meat, processed food, and sugary snacks.
Spend primarily on the necessities, and stick to it! A budget’s worst enemy is lack of discipline.
The second step is time management. Eating healthy means extra time in the kitchen, and cooking can take two or three hours a day. Budgeting your money is crucial, but budgeting your time is just as important. Cut down on procrastination hours to leave enough time for prepping the oven, chopping vegetables, and wrapping your food for the day ahead.
“Lack of time” is the top excuse for people resistant to healthier eating. But you have plenty of time—if you make sacrifices. Spend less time watching sporting events. Cut out the afternoon happy hours and Friday-night bar crawls, and the alcohol that comes with them.
Remember: You can also save time by eating less. Most Americans consume too much food, which not only leads to high blood pressure and obesity, but also leaves you with less time in the day. Instead of eating four or five meals, stick to two or three.
You’ll be healthier and wealthier because of it.