How to Eat Right and Stay within Budget

Join wholesale clubs, such as Sam's Club, BJ's or Costco.

You have two choices when it come to food options: You can either eat healthy or fill yourself with a bunch of empty calories. If you are like most of us, you are on a budget, but you can still eat right while staying well within your means. How? One way is by following these simple tips.

Being Choosey When it Counts

Some often are at odds about whether or not it is beneficial for them to join wholesale clubs, such as Sam’s Club, BJ’s or Costco. What do you think about this option when it comes to healthy food selections? Remember: Buying in bulk is almost always cheaper than making a trip down to your local grocery store. Wholesale items that you may need can include family packs of fish, chicken or steak. Don’t forget the veggies by purchasing larger bags of potatoes and frozen vegetables, also. Since you are on a fast track to eating healthy, staying within budget and you don’t want all your hard-earned money to go to waste, you must check to make sure there is enough freezer space to store your items.

Did you know that convenience costs when it comes to food? This means you’ll pay more for things like pre-cut vegetables, instant rice and oatmeal. Make time to prepare your food items from scratch. Not only will this be healthier, but you’ll thank yourself in the end, when you have a few extra bucks in your wallet.

Many enjoy dining out way more frequently than their budget permits. Eating out often can mean smaller pockets and a bigger waistline over time. But, if you just have to eat away from home, try going out for lunch instead of dinner, getting the early bird special or looking for “2 for 1” specials. That’s not all: Stick to water instead of ordering other beverages, such as soda, coffee or tea, which only will add to your check. By asking for water with lemon or lime, you will feel fuller and satisfied with one of nature’s most precious resources.

You don’t have to cook everyday in order to enjoy a delicious and nutritious meal. Just find ways to use the food you already have to create new food options. How? Use your imagination and come up with a unique twist for your leftovers. While it’s good to admire those who are more cooking savvy than you are, you don’t have to be celebrity chef, Rachael Ray, to make a meal that you can be proud of; try adding leftover chicken in a garden salad or stir-fry. This is yet another healthy and money-saving alternative.

Think you shouldn’t plan ahead before going to the grocery store? Think again. Have a game plan for what you want to eat for the entire week. You also should check to see what foods you already have, leaving you to purchase only what you need for your meals. Left to chance, one just may purchase the entre store, literally. This can be expensive, as well as leave you with a lot of unhealthy products.

You may have to put on your detective hat, when it comes to grocery shopping and sticking to the food pyramid. Find the “Unit Price” on the shelf directly under the product you are interested in buying. What you do next is, use it to compare different sizes and different brands of the same brand, to determine which product is most cost-efficient.

Counting your Coins

Hopefully, what you take away from this article is that you don’t have to sacrifice eating less healthy food, because you think it will interfere with your budget. It is so easy to get sidetracked when it comes to both choosing healthy eating options and saving money. And, restaurants depend on the fact that many will let their taste buds lead the way, while you may have in the past, you’ve come along way since then.

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-Kimberly Williams

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