How to Eat More Fresh Foods Without Spending More Money

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Ever wonder how celebrities are able to maintain their trim and fit physique? They prioritize fresh fit meals and have an established workout routine. Sure, they have a team of nutritionists and personal trainers working with them – but that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve the same results.

Even if you are on a budget, there are ways to shop smart so that you can prioritize the same fresh foods as the celebrities you admire. These tips and tricks can help you build healthy habits to crush your fitness goals.

Plan Your Meals Each Week

Get out your pen and paper and plan what you will eat daily. Pick simple and healthy meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. When you’ve already chosen healthy meals, it will make grocery shopping easier. Plus, having your meal plan visible will help you avoid splurging money and calories on takeout or fast food.

Skip Eating Out or Ordering In and Cook at Home

Although cooking at home requires a bit more time for planning and prepping, you will save money compared to dining out at a restaurant or ordering takeout.

A Seattle-based study found that people who prepared their food at home consumed fewer calories than those who ate out. They only spent an average of $9/meal while using fresh and wholesome ingredients.

Not only is dining out expensive, but restaurants add a lot of butter and seasoning to make meals taste more delicious. This can quickly add to the calories in each dish. By eating at home, you are in control of every element of what goes on your plate. It’s much easier to control portion size.

Love Your Leftovers

Make larger portions than you need and save the leftovers for lunch the next day or dinner on a busy night. If you get tired of eating the same thing every night, find fun ways to use the leftovers in a new meal.

For example, use the rest of your roast chicken from Sunday dinner in your weekly salads, casseroles, pot pie, or enchiladas. Get even thriftier by using the bones to make broth. You can freeze it and use it to make soup during colder months.

Use a Fitness Meal Service

If spending a lot of time and energy in the kitchen isn’t for you, take advantage of one of the multiple meal delivery services that have become increasingly popular over the past few years.

You can choose from options like My Fit Foods, which offers ready-made meals prepped by registered nutritionists. They ship to over 26 states with curated plans costing about $170/week for 20 meals. Simply heat and serve. Cheaper and healthier than takeout, but just as easy.

Shop the Perimeter of Grocery Store

If you decide to prepare healthy meals for yourself, stick to the grocery store’s perimeter as you fill your cart. The inner aisles usually contain processed foods and snacks high in refined sugar. Load up with meats and produce, then fill in from the aisles. The more healthy snacks you have in your cart, the less likely you’ll spend money on processed snacks you don’t need.

Buy in Bulk

When you head into the aisles at the grocery store, a great way to save is to buy bulk items like pasta, rice, oats, and other grains that will keep in your cabinet for months.

You can also save money on products like chicken, pork, and fish by buying in bulk and freezing what you won’t cook by the end of the week. Families can also save on bulk items like deli meats and cheeses.

Keep Your Pantry Stocked

Using bulk shopping can also help you fill your pantry. When you have healthy ingredients like whole grains, legumes, canned tomatoes, and tuna on hand, you can almost always throw together a healthy meal.

Choose “Whole” Items

You can almost always save by choosing whole items rather than pre-sliced or packaged. Cut up your carrots rather than buy baby carrots. Roast a whole chicken instead of buying just the breast. Choose a block of cheese and shred it up yourself. It shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes to prep and will save you money.

Make it Homemade

Simple things like premade salad dressings and sauces can quickly add up both in terms of cost and calories. If you keep your pantry stocked, you should be able to make an easy salad dressing with lemon juice, oil, and vinegar. It will be healthier since most store-bought dressings can include refined sugar and processed fats. Try a homemade pasta sauce using garlic, basil, and canned tomatoes. Freeze the leftovers and have a healthy sauce ready when you need it.

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