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Eat healthy on the cheap

When you compare fresh produce, for example, to convenient fast food options, eating well seems to ring in at a much higher cost. But you can buy healthy groceries and eat well even if you’re on a budget. Here’s how.

Fresh fruit and veggies

When fast food restaurants have burgers, fries and pop for $1 each, eating poorly does seem to be way easier on the budget than eating healthy is. The good news is that it’s possible to eat healthy and not completely drain your bank account. Here are some ways to make eating healthy more affordable.

Invest some time in clipping coupons and reading flyers

Rather than ditching the coupons and flyers you get in the mail straight into the recycling bin, take a few minutes each week to check what’s on sale. In fact, plan your meals based on what fresh produce is on special. If you’re diligent about using what’s in your freezer, consider buying extras of the items on sale and freeze them (make sure to wrap them up well so they don’t get freezer burn). This way, you can take advantage of the savings while benefiting from healthy produce at a later date. Another way to make produce last longer so you can buy more of it when on sale? Pickling. Plus, pickled vegetables are a fantastic time saver on nights when you don’t have much time to cook.

Learn what’s seasonal and plan for meals that incorporate these items

Produce will be cheaper when it’s in season, plus it’ll have more nutrients and a much better taste. Your farmers market may be a bit pricier than your grocery store (make some notes and compare), but if you buy at the market, you may find the quality and taste is worth the small investment. If you can commit to using up all the produce, consider getting a weekly or biweekly delivery of organic vegetables. It may often end up being cheaper than buying at your local grocery store, plus you’ll have no choice but to commit to eating healthy roughage.

Stock your pantry when items are on sale

When you visit a big-box store and find great prices on food staples, invest in them then, and you’ll always have options for whipping up healthy meals. Canned chickpeas, tomatoes, legumes, steel-cut oats, brown rice, whole-grain pasta — groceries such as these will last for a long time and can be used to make simple, wholesome recipes that’ll save you on those nights you’re tempted to hit the drive-through for a burger.

More food tips

It’s time for spring fruits and vegetables
Foods that detox your body for spring
4 Ways to make your fruits and veggies last longer

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