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Eating healthy on a budget.

Maintaining good physical health is a personal goal for many people; however, living a healthy lifestyle can be mentally and financially draining. Staying focused and bolstering morale can be tricky as well. An excellent way to handle the twists and turns (avenues) on the road to physical health is to mark off a couple of small wins. A great place to start is creating a healthy diet; but that can also be pricey. No need to worry; we’ve put together tips to help you not bust your budget on your road to healthy eating.

Build a plan: meal scheduling

The fundamental element of any success story is a plan. You likely plan your other health-conscious habits, be it biking, hiking or yoga. There's no difference when it comes to eating healthy and saving money at the grocery store; planning is essential. Introducing meal scheduling can drastically reduce the amount you're spending and the amount of time you’re wandering the aisles of the grocery store. Meal scheduling is the process of creating a weekly menu to pinpoint the most necessary foods you need for the week. This process may increase the trips to the grocery store, but the payoff is worth it when you tally up your spending at the end of the month.

Stick to your grocery list

The grocery store is laid out to maximize your spending by placing the next hot trend at eye level to increase the chance of impulse purchases. While this isn’t inherently a negative, it can prove detrimental to your goal of healthy eating on a budget. Keeping the right mindset is the key to reducing your checkout balance. Focusing on the primary reasons you entered the grocery store eliminates the cost associated with purchasing unnecessary items.

Helpful hint: Instead of buying name brand items, try the store brand or off-brand versions. There is usually very little difference between the ingredients and it allows you to discover new brands that you wouldn't usually notice if you were caught reaching for the brand you’re familiar with.

Remove junk food

Removing junk food from your diet goes hand and hand with sticking to your grocery list. Though junk food can be a weakness for many people, you’ve determined it’s your goal to take the road less traveled. Removing junk food will improve your diet, but you also notice a change in the heft of your pockets. As an added bonus, eliminating junk food can lead to more energy, weight loss and improvements in emotional and physical health.

Pack your lunch: meal prep

Eating out can be expensive and is often a sinkhole for expenses, especially if done regularly. Bulk cooking and packing your lunch are less costly and allow for the ability to create healthier options than eating out. By introducing meal prepping, you’re actually practicing a time-saving activity and creating the opportunity to try creative new recipes that will expand your palette.