Eating healthy on a tight budget
Updated: Mar 7, 2019
Welcome to my 1st of many articles talking about nutrition. One of my favorite topics! I love trying to eat healthy and finding the most nutritious ingredients I can find. I also love interviewing the experts on what they recommend. Here is my first piece on how to eat healthy on a budget. Enjoy!
Jumping on the eating healthy bandwagon? Excellent, just don’t believe people when they say eating healthy is expensive. While buying organic and trendy health foods IS pricey, you can undoubtedly get a great healthy meal on the table without hurting your wallet. Try following these few great tips for inspiration!.
I asked Franci Cohen is a personal trainer, board certified nutritionist, owner and CEO of the specialty fitness center, Fuel Fitness in Brooklyn, New York and (catch your breath) mother of 4 kids for some eating healthy tips. She was kind enough to take some time out of her super busy schedule to provide me with some great information.
According to Cohen, buying in season, coordinating meals and eating less expensive cuts of meat are some great ways to cut down on your food shopping bill.
“Buy fresh produce when it’s in season, and freeze it!” says Cohen. When something like strawberries or corn are out of season, the price can skyrocket to exorbitant amounts of money!
“Buy your corn in the summer, your cherries in the spring, and all other produce when it is in season here in the U.S.. This will save you not hundreds but thousands each year,” she adds.
Cohen says to look for supermarket sales and coordinate your meals around them.
“For example, if you see in the daily circular that organic chicken breast will be 1/2 price on Friday, then plan your Friday night with chicken as the star focus! Carefully planning your menus around supermarket sales can allow you to get the healthy food you want at a fraction of the cost!” she adds.
A good piece of advice is to choose less expensive cuts of meat says Cohen. She says that most meats that are highly marbled are extremely costly (such as fillet mignon), and cuts that have a lot of tough connective tissue are generally very cheap. “No need to splurge on the expensive stuff! Instead, buy the inexpensive cuts and use moist media to prepare the meat. For example, don’t grill or pan sear it, but instead cook it in a stew or overnight in a slow cooker. This will yield the same soft and tender meat with less fat, and for a much lower price!”
Utilize extremely cheap beans and grains to add more bulk to your meals she says, thereby reducing the need for expensive fish or meat.
“Beans and grains are an extremely cheap way of adding both fiber and protein to your plate. Protein? Yep! That’s right. Amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, are stored in couplets in the body. While animal protein contain these already in couplet form, beans and grains that contain singles of these couplets can be mixed to create the couplet, and thereby the protein.”
An example of this says Cohen is rice and lentils, rice is not a protein and neither are lentils, but rice and lentils together are. “So stock up on barley, brown rice, quinoa, and other heart healthy grains. It’s an extremely cheap and versatile key element for your meal planning, she advises.
There you have it folks, awesome tips on how to eat healthy on a budget without resorting to expensive trendy foods, just focus on the basic food groups to keep yourself healthy physically AND financially!
Check out Franci at www.francicohen.com