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8 Ways to Stay Healthy on a Tight Budget

Updated on July 21, 2017

How can I stay healthy and still save money?

This is the question I have asked myself a thousand times.

Eating healthy does not have to be expensive. There are thousands of ways to eat healthy when you are on a budget.

I remember the days as a college student when I had to live on a tight budget in order to pay for other expenses.

Eating out everyday was not an option for me, so I would have to plan out my meals for the week.

I refused to eat from "the dollar menu" or at any fast food restaurant. I had seen the side effects and didn't want to go down that path.

I wanted to eat healthy in order to keep my mind and body prepared for work and my studies.

I found a lot of ways to eat healthy on my tight budget, and there are ways you can do the same.

Clip Coupons

I know you have seen those shows where crazy moms are running through the store with 5 carts full of products to be discounted with coupons.

Well, this is not the type of couponing I am talking about. Using coupons for the things you need to eat for the week will save you a lot of money in the long run.

For example, if you plan to make vegetable soup for the week, searching for coupons and deals on vegetables will allow you to save more money than you would if you ate out at a restaurant every week.

You can find coupons and deals in your postal mail, email, online, or in print at your favorite grocery store.

Get a Membership

You can get a membership card in just about any major grocery store that allows you to save money on everyday items and groceries.

Most of the time, they will even send you updates through email and postal mail so you can find out when items are on sale for the day or week.

Be sure to check the store ad newspaper as well, since this is where you will find even more deals.

Also, check their online site and take a visit to your favorite grocery store to find out if there are memberships or an email subscription where you can get discounts for your groceries.

Pack Your Lunch

It can be tempting to reach for those free chocolate cupcakes from the office party, but by all means do not pass go.

It is okay to indulge every once in a while, besides it's free and you'll save money, but you may regret it later on.

After planning your meals for the week, prepare and pack your lunch for work or school.

This is the best way to refrain from eating unhealthy grab and go options from vending machines or in the workroom.

Also, you don't need a fancy lunchbox bag or expensive Tupperware containers to pack your own lunches.

Take a trip to your local dollar store to find all types of BPA free plastic containers and reusable shopping bags to store your lunches in.



Clearance

In some grocery stores you will find a designated section for food that has been marked down. Be sure to check the dates to make sure that they have not expired or will expire soon.

You may find all types of healthy options in this section to utilize for healthy meals throughout the week.

Contact your local grocery store to find out if they have a section for marked down items where you can stock up on cheap groceries.

Shop the Market

Visit your local community center to find out if there are any farmer's markets or grocery giveaways in the area.

You can get most fruits and vegetables at half the cost of grocery store prices, which saves you even more more money.


Make Your Own Drinks

On a tight budget, it is much cheaper to make your own specialty drinks, such as coffee and smoothies at home rather than buy them on the go.

It is also much healthier as well since you know what the ingredients are.

In addition to planning out your meals for the week, be sure to plan out your specialty drinks as well.

You will save much more money in the long run and can avoid the long lines and high prices at the juice and coffee counters.


Go Generic

Check to see if there are any discounts stores in your area that sell generic brands, as oppose to name brand items.

Oftentimes you can find cheap produce and frozen foods to stock up on for meals and smoothies throughout the week.

These stores may also participate in membership programs, which will allow you to save even more.

Become an Herbivore

Limiting your intake of meat, will allow you to eat more healthier and save more money on your budget.

Keep in mind that when shopping at the grocery store, meat is more expensive than buying fruits and vegetables.

You can buy a banana for $0.50, as oppose to a pack of ground beef for $5.00.

There are plenty of ways to prepare meals without meat. You don't need to be a chef, there are thousands of simple recipes to try.

Search for vegan and vegetarian websites or recipe books to find an abundance of useful meatless recipes.

You don't need to be a vegan or vegetarian to eliminate meat from your grocery list. After seeing how much you save, you may just become one.

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    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 2 months ago from London, UK

      Thanks for the useful tips. A lot of money can be saved by not eating out or avoiding takeaways. It really adds up, when calculated for the whole year. Thanks again.

    • VelaRue profile image

      VelaRue 2 months ago

      These are excellent tips for full-time uni students like me. I realized that becoming a plant-eater not only saved my "already broke" wallet, but also I felt healthier and more energetic. My digestive system is very sensitive, so if I eat any greasy carbs, I get bloated and suffer from gastric reflux (I have GERD) which makes it really difficult to concentrate in class or even walk miles around campus.