People usually choose their food in one of two ways…
…either foods that are inexpensive and convenient or foods that are healthy and benefit the body.
The result is that you either save money and struggle to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
You shouldn’t have to choose because of your budget. The good news is; with a little knowledge eating a healthy diet can be done on your existing budget. It’s about being smart. First, let’s see why it’s so challenging.
According to the BBC millions have been invested to get you to spend more from the moment you enter the supermarket. You see it’s not just a supermarket but a “meticulously managed marketing zone.“
The essentials such as bread, eggs and milk are to the back and far from each other. This is to ensure that you pass all their discounts and colourful displays.
The more time you spend in the store means the more you spend; not to mention all the tempting sweets strategically displayed as you wait in line at the checkout counter.
This is to encourage impulse buying especially when you have a sweet tooth. The supermarket layout is designed to get your five senses to work against you.
Smell is the strongest scent tied to your memory. Marketers know all too well the power of your nostrils.
The smell at the bakery would most likely trigger pleasant childhood memories of your mother’s kitchen. You’re therefore more likely to buy bread on impulse.
There’s also the taste factor. Companies give free samples because around 75% of shoppers take them. It’s not that they love to feed customers; this is because it provides a huge boost in sales.
Why? Based on the law of reciprocity we’re more likely to give the friendly representative a sale.
Our appetite has also been tantalized by this small taste which encourages us to take the next step and buy.
Do you remember the last song being played in the supermarket? Maybe not, but your subconscious mind does which affects your behaviour.
Most likely they played slow music which caused you to move slower and spend more time in the supermarket.
Again, more spend time equals more spending. They even go so far as to use smaller tiles in the more expensive wine and alcoholic section.
What happens is that the clicking of your trolley wheels becomes faster with these tiles causing you to slow down and spend more time, which may allow for an impulse purchase.
Supermarkets provide you with food for a feast. In the same way, they are a feast for your eyes. There are colours and promotions everywhere.
They place the expensive foods at eye levels and the foods that entice kids are placed on low shelves.
This causes parents to give in to some of their nagging therefore spending more than they planned.
Your health is wealth so invest wisely. It’s a long-term payoff that’s worth it. There are simple ways to have healthy affordable meals.
We are not really taught how to properly spend money when it comes to eating healthy.
That combined with powerful science cause us to make poor decisions.
All is not lost though. There’s an easy short four-step process: decide, plan and prepare. Here are the painless action steps you can take to eat healthy on a budget.
Each step is important and results in a healthier you with more money in your pocket.
Eat like a king but still have a slim waistline.
(NOTE: Want the 7 proven & easy steps to reshape your body for life? Get your FREE copy of “7 Steps You Ought To Know About Fitness”.)
Deciding to eat healthy is the most important step.
You just need to make up your mind that you’re going to eat healthier. Don’t worry about the details of a healthy diet just yet.
People usually get bogged down with the details. The decision is the most important step.
The focus here should not be trying to fix everything all at once which is impossible at this stage.
The only thing you’re doing here is creating the mindset to become healthier. It’s a forward-thinking approach.
Nothing great ever happens without someone important making a decision. You’re the most important person in this process.
2. PLAN AND SHOP SMART
“Fail to plan or plan to fail.” I’m sure you’ve heard that quote a hundred times. Most people are not aware that supermarkets are designed to make us spend.
First, don’t go shopping on an empty stomach. In that way, you’re not hungry and easily tempted.
Make a list of the items you need before you enter the grocery.
It’s kind of a mini-budget so you don’t overspend. You also develop a sense of purpose so you don’t wander about the supermarket.
The last thing you want is to start grabbing food items you don’t need while justifying your actions. It’s possible to eat healthy on a tight budget.
Start with picking up a few store brand items. For example, Walmart sells a brand exclusively related to them called “Great Value”.
These brands are cheaper and include basic items like cheese, nuts, tuna, oats and peanut butter.
Eat Whole Foods
Focus on whole foods. These are foods that are close to their natural state. They don’t have a long list of ingredients and they’re unrefined and unprocessed.
Some whole foods include sweet potatoes, yams and vegetables. Consuming them is your quickest way to getting in shape.
Eat your dark green leafy vegetables, peas, quinoa, onions and garlic. These foods are fibre-rich and nutrient dense.
Choose fruits and produce that are in season because they will be cheaper. They will also have more nutrients because there would be a lesser need to store or preserve them.
Buy all your produce at a farmers market because you can get deals on the items. Make friends with the vendors and if you’re a regular you’ll get deals.
Once your foods are fresh they need to be consumed within a certain period of time.
Don’t let them waste or you’ll be wasting money. Another alternative to whole foods are frozen produce. Studies show they are as nutritious as fresh produce.
In rare instances, you can buy canned goods if you need to make a quick meal and you’re all out of fresh stocks.
3. PREPARE AND SAVE MONEY
When you prepare your meals a few days in advance you will save money and eat healthy. The kitchen is where it all happens.
Let’s start with breakfast. It does not have to be complicated. Get three plastic containers with covers.
Your base ingredient is oatmeal. Simply fill all your containers and let the preparation begin.
Preparation time 5 – 10 minutes.
It’s all up to you to decide what you’d like to add to your oatmeal.
For snack consume fruits, nuts, seeds, small sandwich wraps, yogurts, homemade trail mixes.
If you choose sandwich wraps your base ingredients are: chopped onion, tomatoes, peppers and lettuce.
Preparation time 10 – 20 minutes
For dinner consume quinoa, sweet potatoes, brown rice, baked chicken, fish, turkey
Preparation time 30 – 40 minutes
Stretch Your Meals
Make your meals last longer. It’s key to saving costs. Stretching a meal is a much-needed skill which can be utilized in many ways.
The reasons range from having an unexpected guest, feeding the family or finding ways around a limited budget.
You can add brown rice to soup or any extra vegetable to eggs. You could also shred leftover chicken to use in your salad. If you know that you will be making extra food freeze unused foods.
All is not lost and eating healthy on a budget is possible. You just need to follow the simple steps where you decide, plan and prepare.
As long as you do them the only thing left is figuring out what to do with your savings.