Everyone knows that a healthy diet is one of the cornerstones of optimal fitness. At the beginning of a fitness journey, people tend to think that the diet aspect is the easiest one. But give it some time, and you’ll discover it’s one of the most tedious and possibly even the most expensive part of your effort!
Here’s a little tip for you, though: a healthy diet doesn’t have to be expensive! Drop that 20 dollar box of imported, organic crackers and check out these 4 inexpensive methods to hack your way to a healthier diet.
4 Cheap and Simple Ways to Establish a Healthy Diet
1. Know When to Visit the Farmer’s Market
One of the most generic tips you’ll hear when it comes to healthy dieting is “visiting the farmer’s market.” Sure, all that organic, fresh-from-the-farm produce is a lot cheaper than they would be at the grocery store. But without any fixed prices, merchants can easily step-up their cost during high-traffic hours.
Merchants at farmer’s markets tend to be less accommodating of haggling during peak hours because they know there are lots of other shoppers who’d be willing to buy at full price. Instead of visiting when the sun is high, try scheduling your trip for before the market closes. This is when sellers are more willing to give big discounts to get rid of inventory that wasn’t sold during the day.
2. Strategize Your Refrigerator
It’s one thing to cook healthy meals in advance and another thing to store them properly. How many times have you rummaged through your fridge to find a spoiled tub of what was supposed to be your salad lunch for last week?
Strategize your fridge and make sure to store leftovers and prepared meals closer to the door. This way, you won’t lose sight of your prepped food and thus reduce waste due to spoilage.
3. Get with the Season
Fruits and vegetables grow in certain seasons. When a seller at a farmer’s market or even a grocery store offers produce during a time of the year when they’re not in season, they can be priced twice or even thrice the actual cost.
That’s why you’ll notice that some fruits and veggies can become pricier or cheaper depending on the time of year you buy them. Familiarize yourself with the seasons and buy produce accordingly. This should help you plan your meals properly to use only the items that you can buy on a budget.
4. Mix Up Your Methods
Using the same old fry, boil, or bake technique could significantly limit your meat choices. Because some meat cuts can be too tough to eat when cooked with these usual methods, most of us tend to steer clear of them in favor of more tender (more expensive) selections.
Instead of shelling out more cash for expensive cuts, try mixing up your cooking methods instead. For instance, you can use a slow cooker for cheaper cuts of beef. This should allow you to enjoy tender meat without having to spend too much.
Healthy eating doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Try out these four tips the next time you plan and prep your diet meals, and improve your diet on a pocket-friendly budget.