healthful meals

Don’t Neglect Your Diet Even if You’re on a Tight Budget

When planning your meals, you need to do a little research in order to determine which fruits and veggies are currently in season.

By:  Vanessa Davis

Cleaning up your diet is hard in it itself, but when you look at the price tags of healthful foods, you turn your back and fill your shopping cart with the usual, high-calorie, unhealthful foods.

Let’s face it, nutritious food is way more accessible than healthy alternatives. But as it turns out, while healthful food might cost you more, it won’t actually cost a fortune.

As the Time reports, a recent study from Harvard School of Public Health revealed that the healthiest diet will cost only about $1.50 per meal more than a regular, unhealthful diet.

Why eating fast food isn’t worth it

You have to admit, a dollar and a half really won’t make a big difference to your budget. However, it’s understandable why so many people choose to eat that way. According to statistics gathered by PAMF, there are more than 500,000 fast food places around the world.

No matter where you are, you can always find a place where you can grab a bite on the go. Is it any wonder why kids around the planet eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at fast food restaurants more than 157 million times a month.

A poor diet can cause you to become ill and if it’s a serious illness, you could accumulate a ton of medical bills. To make matters worse, you may be unable to work, which will naturally cost you a few paychecks. However, there are ways to find healthful options even with a limited budget.

Learn how to cook and prep meals properly
If you really want to save money on food, you need to learn your way around the kitchen. It’s much less expensive than a restaurant, and it’s even more cost-effective than buying frozen and ready made meals every day.

Don’t worry; you don’t have to visit expensive cooking classes to learn how to prepare a couple of meals. There are free online courses which will help you prepare healthful meals. Plus, you can find a meal prep app that will help you select your food and send recipes to your front door every week.

Plan all of your meals with seasonal produce
When planning your meals, you need to do a little research in order to determine which fruits and veggies are currently in season. The reason is quite simple – out of season produce will cost you a great deal more and you can’t be sure how fresh it is.

In season, the produce is fresh which will benefit both your body and your wallet. So make a few sacrifices, and skip yours (or your family’s) favorite dish. Wait until the ingredients are in season.

Pick foods that are more filling
If you want to fill your stomach with just a couple of bites, you need to opt for calorie-dense food such as eggs, oats and whole grains. They are full of fiber and protein that make your belly feel full faster. They are also generally less expensive than your average fast food meal.

Try to avoid buying food with empty calories such as sugary sweets, chocolate and french fries. While these items will provide quick energy, they contain very little nutrition.

Final thoughts 
Staying healthy requires a little effort but it pays off in the end. Try to improve your diet. You can never make compromises when your health is on the line. Not even when you’re down on your luck and your bank account isn’t as strong as it used to be. Getting sick and spending a couple of weeks in the hospital will cost you more in the long run.

About the Author:
While Vanessa was always interested in cooking, she never dreamed that one day she would write about it for living. Today she is one of the main writers on www.diet.st and when she’s not at her laptop writing, she’s probably somewhere practicing yoga or having fun with her two kids.