Healthy eating is often considered “too expensive,” but in many cases making healthier choices can actually leave your budget in great shape, too. For example, dining out is almost always more expensive than dining in, so while you avoid those excess calories and overly large portions from a restaurant, you’ll also save money. You’ll probably also want to avoid those expensive movie theater snacks on a date night, so perhaps you’ll rent a movie at home with some air-popped popcorn in a more cozy setting.
Here are a few more ways to stay fit — both physically and financially!
1. Eat vegetarian at least once a week
Pasture-raised meat and wild-caught fish are some of the most expensive items at the grocery store, but you don’t have to give them up completely to save money. Try adding at least one vegetarian meal to your week to enjoy significant savings on your grocery bill, while also adding a healthy variety of plant foods into your diet. This sweet potato and lentil curry on my blog is a filling and affordable meat-free alternative!
2. Brown bag it
Bringing your own healthy lunch and snacks to work or school will not only save you calories and unnecessary additives, it’s also far cheaper than buying something each day. Try packing this protein-rich quinoa salad I posted on my website, which keeps well for several days if you want to plan ahead for the week!
3. Skip the coffee shop
Fancy coffee drinks are notoriously high in refined sugar, fat and calories — and the price tag is usually equally as shocking. Instead, you can brew your own coffee at home for a fraction of the price, and if you want something fancier try making this naturally sweetened pumpkin spice latte for a healthier alternative.
4. Stick to a meal plan
Simply choosing what to eat each day can be a challenge in itself, so planning your week ahead of time is a great way to make healthy eating a no-brainer. By making your plan in advance, you’ll buy only what you need at the grocery store and avoid making excess purchases.
5. Repurpose your leftovers
You can also avoid wasting food by finding clever ways to reuse your leftovers. For example, if you make a curried soup for dinner, you might want to serve the leftovers over a bed of rice the next day for a creatively different dish. And if you end up having leftover smoothie, try freezing it into ice pops for a healthy frozen treat to enjoy later.
I hope these tips will help you stay financially fit while working towards your healthy living goals!