7 Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Diet on a Budget

Our bodies need fuel to function properly and maintaining a healthy diet can help you work at your peak performance. While the stress of work and school can really take a toll on your health, a healthy diet, along with rest and exercise, can work against the stress. Don’t let seemingly high prices stop you from buying healthy food. Keep reading to learn about ways you can be healthy on a budget.

  1. Buy fruits and vegetables from the bulk bins. Surprisingly, produce costs more when it comes pre-packaged. Rather than buy your spinach in a plastic container, bag the spinach yourself to save money. This will also allow you to control the amount of food you’re buying and lead to less waste.

  2. Make an effort to meal plan. Choose a few recipes for the week that use some of the same ingredients. This will help you both buy less and  use up everything you buy.
  3. Produce is cheaper when it is in season. You can buy fruits and vegetables when they’re at their most flavorful (and cheapest) and freeze them to use later.

  4. Make the meat part of your meal the smallest as it is often the most expensive. Supplement your meat with bigger portions of  salad, pasta, or roasted vegetables.

  5. Try foods from different parts of the world. Other countries often have rather inexpensive and healthy staples like rice and beans which they flavor with spices. Mexican, Indian, and Chinese food can all be made at home with simple, inexpensive ingredients. You can even check out ethnic food stores to get unique but cheap ingredients.

  6. Get creative with your leftovers! Reducing food waste is a serious money saver. However, you don’t need to eat the same meal three nights in a row. Meat and beans with taco seasoning can be used in tacos one night, quesadillas, the next, and a burrito bowl a third night. You can dress the meals up with different toppings while using the same base.

  7. Be organized when it comes to cooking. As ridiculous as this tip sounds, it will help you stay healthy. Staring into a mess of a kitchen cabinet makes take-out sound extremely appealing. Keeping track of the foods you have on hand will make cooking much easier. An organized refrigerator makes it easier to finish those leftovers or roast that last bit of broccoli.

If you ever experience food insecurity, Swoop’s Food Pantry is here to help. The pantry simply asks students to fill out an intake form before using the service. It is free and discrete.

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