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Healthy Eating on a Budget

Maintaining a healthy diet can be tricky and expensive, and the rising grocery costs aren’t making it any easier. Even still, there are steps you can take to stay on budget while prioritizing your health.

Build a meal plan

The fundamental element of any success story is a plan. Planning your meals in advance can drastically reduce the amount you're spending and the amount of time you’re wandering the aisles of the store. At the beginning of the week, create a menu and pinpoint the foods you’ll need for each recipe and what you already have. Make use of any leftovers you expect to have—if you’re making chicken one night, you could use the leftovers for chicken salad the next day. You can also check the sales at your local grocery store and plan meals around them. If a certain meat or vegetable will be cheaper this week, focus your meals around it instead of the more expensive option.

Stick to your 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. Focus on the list you’ve prepared, and you’ll eliminate the cost of items that weren’t on your meal plan and may or may not get eaten.

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.

Remove junk food

Removing junk food from your diet goes hand and hand with sticking to your grocery list. Your diet will improve, and you’ll save money. As an added bonus, eliminating junk food can lead to more energy, weight loss, and improvements in emotional and physical health.

Pack your lunch

Eating out can be expensive, especially if you’re doing it regularly. Cooking in bulk and packing your lunch is less costly and gives you the ability to make healthier options. Add lunch to your meal plan and your grocery list, and prep as much of it as possible in advance of the work week so you’re not tempted to leave lunch behind and eat out instead. Meal prepping, in the long run, will save you time and create a fun opportunity to try new recipes and expand your palette.