Taylor Dadds is a Certified Health Coach who started One Balanced Life. Taylor creates healthy recipes and shares meal prep and weekly meal plan advice to help simplify the pursuit of better nutrition. She lives in Austin, TX, and prefers to do a variety of workouts to get her Paceline minutes. Below, her tips for eating healthy on a budget.
A lot of times I’ll hear that healthy eating feels unattainable on a budget. That’s definitely not the case! You can totally create good, healthy meals while still working on a budget. Plus, I bet they won’t be lacking in flavor either.
1. Plan out meals in advance
This is a great way to make sure you’re not purchasing items that won’t get used up each week! When you plan out what you’re making for the week, you can better choose the necessary ingredients at the store. Not only does this help with the budget but also in minimizing food waste so it’s a win/win!
I like to break out my meal plan into breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That way you can get a good look at everything you’re making and how you can use different ingredients in your other recipes for the week.
Paceline Tip: You might also create a shopping list before going to the grocery store. Doing so can speed up grocery shopping, help you nix any impulsive purchases (like junk food!), and stick to purchasing the items you need.
2. Utilize meals that will have leftovers
When planning out your meals, look for recipes that will have leftovers so you can have them the next day. This is a great way to not only be cooking/in the kitchen every day but also save money throughout the week. Some recipes that I love that always have leftovers are:
- Shrimp & Asparagus Pasta with Creamy Avocado Sauce
- BLT Pasta Salad
- Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats (makes 2 servings)
3. Don’t get caught up in the name brands
You can still get great items that are the store brand label. A few items that I can think of are:
- Nut butters (a lot of stores make their own that are great!)
- Almond milk
- Chicken sausage (I love the 365 brand from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s)
- Frozen fruit/veggies
Paceline Tip: Not only are frozen veggies and frozen fruits budget-friendly swaps for fresh produce, but they also last longer if you store them right.
4. Use bulk bins
This is a great way to buy some staples foods at a lower price than getting them packaged at the store. Think oats, flours, seeds, nuts, and spices. Utilize these rather than purchasing the packaged nuts because it definitely saves!! If you need a spice, but it isn’t one that you use a lot of, utilize the bulk spices to get just what you need instead of buying the whole jar.
5. Focus on items you can get multiple uses from
This goes back to when you start meal planning for the week! When thinking about meals, think about produce that you can use in your dinner for two different recipes. Or if getting a dip or sauce, how can you use that so it doesn’t go to waste? Creating a plan for your meals can go a long way 🙂
6. Don’t fall for pre-chopped fruit or veggies
Usually, when items are already chopped and packaged together for you, they are pricier. You know at the store where they already have the saute ingredients chopped and ready for you? Or the fruit thats packaged in the containers. Skipping this and instead taking some time at the beginning of the week to meal prep will definitely help you save!
7. Choose wisely between organic and non-organic
Don’t feel like you need to buy all organic foods while grocery shopping. Refer to the Dirty Dozen (fruit and vegetable that often use the most pesticides during cultivation) if you decide to buy organic. 2022’s list is below and you can read more about it here:
Just remember to always wash your fruit and veggies no matter if purchasing organic or non-organic!
I hope this was helpful! As you can see, making the healthiest choice doesn’t have to break the bank if you follow a few simple tips and tricks. Stay healthy and keep hitting your Paceline streaks!