How to Eat Healthy on a Budget
It’s easy to see why many people believe that healthy eating is only for the rich. Stores like Whole Foods are out of reach for people with limited income, while fast-food restaurants are both the cheapest and most unhealthy places to eat. But eating healthy on a budget really is possible; it’ll just take some time to develop a few new habits. At Vikasa, we take pride in our locally sourced foods and incredible Life Cafe kitchen, but we are on a small island, so we know all about how to make the most of what you’ve got!
Do more cooking.
If you want to eat healthy on a budget, cooking more is the most important change you can make. You’ll know exactly what you’re eating, you can choose your own portions and ingredients, and you can more easily avoid chemicals and preservatives. Buying groceries also costs far less than eating out, so cooking is a double-win. Check out our Vikasa Kitchen Youtube Playlist for tons of delicious recipes!
Cook in bulk.
Cooking a meal isn’t as convenient as grabbing something on the go, but preparing food in bulk makes it easier. If you make large portions, you can save the leftovers to quickly reheat, or even freeze some for later. This will save tons of time over-preparing new meals every day, and it’ll make ordering take-out much less tempting.
Make a meal plan
Buying groceries won’t save you as much money if half of them go bad before you can use them. To ensure that doesn’t happen, make a meal plan before you go to the supermarket, and only buy what you need for the things on the plan. Don’t forget to include snacks!
Compare the prices and availability at different grocery stores.
If you have access to more than one supermarket, it’s worth doing some research on the prices at each one. For example, you might find that one store has lower prices on produce, while another has cheaper staples. Or maybe one store has frequent promotions on certain types of items. Knowing what’s cheapest where can help you cut your food costs even more.
Eat what’s in season.
The produce that’s in season in your area will be cheaper, since it doesn’t need to come from far away. Plus, it’ll be fresher and more flavorful, cutting down on the need to add salt or oil. Not only that, eating food that’s local is also more environmentally-friendly!
Look at the menu before going out.
Of course, nobody’s going to cut out dining at restaurants altogether. But looking at menus beforehand can help you choose a place that has both healthy and affordable options. And if you decide what to order before you get there, you won’t even have to be tempted by other things on the menu.
Limit your cocktails.
Eating healthy on a budget doesn’t have to mean avoiding alcohol altogether unless you prefer to. But cocktails are something to watch. They’re usually the most expensive, and they’re often full of sugar – plus you never really know how much alcohol you’re drinking. Choosing beer or wine instead can make a big difference.
While it will take a little more work and preparation, eating healthy on a budget is entirely doable. And once you get in the habit of cooking and planning, it won’t feel so daunting.
Need some inspiration? Join us for a Signature Yoga Vacation and spend your mornings and evenings digging in at our amazing buffet. It’s beyond delicious.
About the Author
Jen is a freelance writer, blogger, and yoga teacher who left her office job in Boston to travel the world with her husband. She previously worked in international development and academic research, and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Rwanda. Some of her biggest passions include promoting responsible and mindful travel and helping her students develop their personal yoga practice.