Making healthy food choices can be difficult. But making healthy choices becomes increasingly difficult when money is tight. To help people stick to their eating plan without breaking the bank, frugal living expert Jonni McCoy has provided the following tips for eating healthy on a budget.
- Plan your meals each week. By planning ahead, you can check the nutrition facts of a meal before you decide to make it and create a detailed grocery list for easy shopping. Planning also helps avoid impulse shopping.
- Shop for seasonal produce - fruits and veggies are less expensive during their peak growing times, and they're also tastier!
- Look for the generic brands. The ingredients are usually the same as the brand name versions, but they're much more affordable.
- Avoid eating out, as most restaurants come with extra large portions and extra large price tags. And options at fast food restaurants are typically loaded with excess fat, salt and sugar.
- Eat before you go shopping. Going to the grocery store on an empty stomach will leave you more likely to buy on impulse.
- Frozen vegetables and fruit are just as satisfying, and typically just as healthy, as fresh produce. Just make sure to check the nutrition facts to confirm that no extra sugar or salt was added.
- Limit red meat in favor of healthier and less expensive sources of protein. Fish, like tuna, has omega 3 fatty acids that are good for the heart. Nuts and beans have a lot of protein also, but make sure you review the salt content and eat appropriate portions since nuts tend to be high in fat.
- Scout your local newspaper for coupons before you go shopping. It may cost $1-2 to purchase the Sunday paper, but your savings will likely exceed this amount.
- Make your own pre-packaged snacks by buying a large container of raisins, nuts or pretzels and separating them into individual portions yourself. By checking the nutrition facts, you can gauge how many to eat at one time based on the fat, salt, and sugar content.
- Grow a garden! Not only will you save on vegetables like cucumbers and tomatoes, but you'll stay active with this new hobby. And regular exercise is another important part of managing heart disease.
Start! is the American Heart Association's national cause campaign that calls on Americans and their employers to create a culture of physical activity and health to live longer, stronger, heart-healthier lives. Start! is sponsored nationally by SUBWAY� Restaurants, Healthy Choice� and AstraZeneca.