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Five tips for eating healthy on a budget

Eating healthfully doesn't have to be expensive. In fact, it can be affordable and easy if you follow these five tips: 

1. Plan your weekly meals and snacks
Be thoughtful about healthy meals and snacks by resisting the urge to overbuy, especially fresh produce. Instead, use up what's in your cupboards, fridge or freezer first. Clip grocery coupons and shop sales. Stock up on healthy food when it's on sale and always shop from your grocery list to avoid impulse buys.

2. Buy fresh produce when it's in season 
All fruits and veggies can be frozen and used later in smoothies, a heart-healthy stir fry or as a side. In addition to freezing, take a class to learn how to do home canning, fermenting or preserving foods.

3. Plan meals with healthy, low-cost ingredients and store brands
Stock your pantry with budget-friendly ingredients and store brands that are available year-round. Some examples: eggs, apples, bananas, carrots, greens, potatoes, sweet potatoes, dried or canned beans, canned tomatoes, brown rice, whole-grain pasta, old-fashioned oats, canned meat and fish.

4. Grow a row
Grow herbs in your garden or in pots to add fresh flavor to your meals. Mint, basil, cilantro and rosemary are great basic herbs to try. Dry them for use during the winter.

5. Share a meal
Participate in a potluck with your friends, neighbors or coworkers. Plan together what each person will prepare so your meal is well-balanced and nutritious. You'll make connections and build relationships. The strong social connections and positive support that come from sharing communally can even help you be happier and healthier. Plus, you get to share the leftovers!


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