Healthy Meal Plan: How to Meal Plan Effectively to Save Money?

It is essential to eat a balanced diet for your mental, emotional and physical well-being. Your attitude, power, waistline and how well you think and feel may make an enormous impact. But at a time when so many of us are out of job, facing an unclear financial future, or living on a low budget, it may be difficult to locate food that is healthy and inexpensive.

In addition to a lack of time, budgeting is one of the greatest hurdles to a balanced diet. When you’re hungry and pressured for money and time, the greatest alternatives are processed and quick meals. Although commodity meals are usually delicious and filled, they are often laden with calories, sugar and preservatives and lack vital nutrients. And to what you might have believed, it’s seldom cheaper to consume manufactured food than to eat wholesome home-cooked food. On the contrary, the cost of not-so-healthy fast food, convenience meals, and snacks can stack up pretty quickly and become very expensive over time.

In the Health inspection team experience, we figured out that eating healthy can actually save money in the long run, especially if you stick to a few key principles when shopping for, selecting, and preparing your food.

Here are 12 simple tips that can help you save money while eating healthy:

1. Skip trendy food:

It’s fun to try new foods once in a while. But when a flashy food fad gets your attention, for example: Quina, Chia seeds, Acai berries, Guji berries. Just because a particular food or drink is showing up everywhere doesn’t mean it’s budget friendly. They are nutritious but you can eat healthy foods without having trendy foods on a diet. These trendy foods add a lot of expense. It is not worth the cost when you are on budget.

2. Eat all the basics:

Basics can bring down your food budgets. Foods that less than 1 dollar to serve are:

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Winter squash
  • Beets broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Sweet and potatoes
  • Oats
  • Beans

All these things are under 1 dollar for serving. You know what, if you stick to the basics it really going to be healthy to save your budgets. You do not need to stick to the lists. You can add other food but basics can save your budgets.

3. Try cutting out to eat unnecessary supplements from your diet:

You cannot leave supplements that you used to take for any condition. Add on extra supplements like Green powder, protein powder they are nice to have but not must to have when you are on budget issues.

For example, protein powder is about two dollars or four dollars for serving. I can get the same amount of protein for 20g of scoop from just eating whole foods like eggs or beans and it’s a lot cheaper than any other supplements. If you afford these supplements it’s great but on budget you should definitely cut this out from your diet.

4. Buy seasonal foods:

If you are buying berries in summer it is not too expensive but if you are trying to buy it in winter it will be double the cost to buy. Try to buy foods and veggies which are available in your seasonal market, it definitely saves your dollars.

5. Shop smart:

Here are the three simple hacks you should keep in mind during shopping:

Buy generic brands: Buy generic products always cost less than branded products. Sometimes the taste is not that different between the two. This small switch can add up to big savings over time.

Buy in bulk on sale: Buy products when these are on sale. Every dollar counts when you are on budget. Check out sales in the newspaper and on the grocery stores’ websites to see who has the best deals. It takes a little extra time, but it can pay off in the long run. Look for organic when possible and at the very least low- to no-sodium. Bulk brown rice is inexpensive and when combined with a serving of beans creates a complete protein and good carbohydrate meal. There are several examples you can follow:

➔ Oatmeal is another healthy carbohydrate food and a favorite among lean mass gainers. Oats are inexpensive, easy to cook, and can be topped with fruits or even mixed with peanut butter for a power meal.

➔ Canned tuna will be a lifesaver when shopping on a dime. Chunk light tuna in water will be the best deal and an excellent source of protein. It can be mixed with brown rice, topped with spices, or eaten straight from the can.

➔ Peanut butter is the cheapest of the nut butters. Look for all-natural, staying away from hydrogenated sugar-filled products. Natural peanut butter typically has oil at the surface, requires stirring to blend the product, and contains excellent healthy fat. Research indicates peanut butter as a superior superfood linked to lean mass gain and fat loss.

➔ Eggs are inexpensive, especially when bought in bulk and are among the top easy assimilated proteins for the body. Egg whites and oatmeal is one of the most popular lean mass building meals in the fitness industry.

Shop when you’re calm, on a full stomach. You should also avoid going to the store when you’re hungry or stressed, as it could fuel your food cravings and lead to unhealthy shopping selections.

6. Add some plant-based protein:

You don’t have to be vegan or vegetarian to get the benefits of these. Even if you are a meat eater, that’s really okay. You can still add some plant-based foods and save some money. So, if you want to cut down your budget you can add some beans, lenites, because they are comparatively less expensive and are full of protein.

7. Meal planning:

Meal planning is your ticket to saving food, time, and money, as well as a fair amount of the stress that occurs when you or those you love start to get hangry. If you think meal planning sounds really difficult for you, trust that they are not. There are many effective meal plans available on the internet according to your interest. Just google it that works for you.

Food planning for one month will help you expand resources—whether it’s the food you have, the time you’re planning or money that you spend each and every month for food. Your meal plan can be customized according to what you need to buy and consume. Due to this, you don’t spend your food or money sitting in your refrigerator and wasting it.

8. Go grocery with your shopping list:

Shopping lists should be done when you are working on your meal planning. We are not saying you cannot eat things which are not in the list. You can buy your choice of foods but listing foods can save you temper from buying unnecessary expensive food which add on your budget.

9. Cook bulk of food:

You can cook a bulk of food at once a week, use it for dinner and then the next day left over dinner can be your lunch for the office. Instead of buying food from outside, bringing food from home can save your budget. Eating out is always more expensive than eating homemade food.

Look for organic when possible and at the very least low- to no-sodium. You can choose bulk brown rice which is inexpensive and when combined with a serving of beans creates a complete protein and good carbohydrate meal.

10. Do your own prep:

Pre-sliced veggies and fruits are easy and certainly have their place, but if you’re trying to stick to a budget then it’s better to do the slicing and dicing yourself. Same with some other prep. For example, you can replace some pricier convenience items like quinoa you can cook yourself rather than a microwaveable packet or chicken breast to poach instead of a rotisserie chicken.

11. Frozen your food and veggies:

Consider frozen products if you have difficulty in using all your fresh fruits and veggies before they go bad. This is a great choice for saving your cash. Frozen fruits, vegetables and other fresh types give the same vital nutrients but have a much longer lifetime to help reduce food waste. We may also hold a lot of frozen fruit in our hands to smoothies or combine it with yogurt and oatmeal. Frozen vegetables are also wonderful for frying or may be baked, sprinkled or roasted for a simple side dish.

12. Condiments are necessary:

Condiments are inexpensive and an excellent way to spice up healthy meals. A few fantastic examples include mustard, spicy sauce, salsa, mounted pepper, cinnamon, vanilla essence and natural cocoa sugar. Extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar will form a pantry and budget friendly corner for salads and veggies. Avoid saturated, processed fats, such creamy dressings for salads, margarine and excessive salts and anything false.

Many think it might be more expensive to have a nutritious dinner, however proof demonstrates our regular food consumption fulfills nutrient requirements. Actually, your long run budget may be saved by keeping a healthy, well-rounded diet.

Anika Bushra
Creative, strategic and collaborative professional with hands-on-experience and broad knowledge in Copywriting, Content Writing, Campaign Ideation, Feature Writing, Public health, Biochemistry, Molecular biology, Genetic engineering as well as Biotechnology. Currently working on sustainable agriculture projects and my recent mission is to discover new things related to sustainable developments


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