For families working with a tight budget, eating healthy can sometimes be low on the priority list. Consistently eating fresh, nutritious food doesn’t have to break the bank but it does require some planning.
Creating a grocery list can help you plan out your week, keep you accountable and discourage impulsive buys. Check out some of our recommended superfoods that will maximize your nutrition without maxing out your credit card.
Dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese are a great staple grocery because of the many important nutrients they provide. By eating 2-3 sources daily, it supplies our bodies with protein, vitamin D and calcium, which are important for building muscle and keeping your bones healthy.
Eating fatty fish can be an easy way to get both protein and omega-3 fats, which are important for brain and heart health. Fish filets can be pricy but canned fish like salmon and tuna can be a great way to minimize cost while still getting all the benefits of fish.
Protein is an essential component of a healthy diet because of its role in building and preserving our muscle tissue. Meat is most people’s primary source of protein but can also be expensive.
Eggs, beans, peanut butter and even tofu are all awesome protein sources to use throughout the week alongside our normal meat servings.
Bulk Whole Grains
Whole grains are an important carbohydrate source because of the benefits their fiber content provides. Buying foods like oatmeal, pasta and brown rice in bulk provide these grains at cheaper prices and luckily aren’t quick to expire.
Choose Produce That is In-Season
Most fruits and vegetables are usually only in-season for a few months out of the year. During this window of opportunity, these foods are not only at their peak of flavor and nutrient content but are also usually at their cheapest price!
Check out the USDA’s Seasonal Produce Guide or ask your local grocery store associate for assistance with picking in-season fruits and veggies. By being flexible and incorporating these foods into your weekly menu, you can get the most bang for your buck from produce.
With produce seasons in mind, buying frozen is a great way to continue getting your favorite fruits and vegetables at their peak any time of the year. This also allows shoppers to reduce their waste — use what you need and keep the rest in the freezer instead of spoiling in your fridge.
These foods are a great start to ensuring your family’s health and wellness with food. Don’t be afraid to experiment! Try new foods, look out for coupons and always remember to plan ahead.
Mealtimes are an important part of being a family — appreciate the time together, the food you share and the health benefits it can provide your bodies with.
If you’re looking to eat healthy on a budget, try these three things.
Information within this post was contributed by Peter Ritz, dietetic intern for Baylor Scott & White Health.