When healthy salads and smoothies are too pricey, you're tempted to buy a cheeseburger for lunch. This might satisfy you in the short term, but you could suffer from health issues later on.
You can eat nutritious meals on a budget if you look for discounts and buy a few basic ingredients, plus sauces and spices for flavor. One smart shopping trip could feed your household for several weeks.
Add Filling Grains
If you still feel hungry after you eat, you don't have to spend more money on meat and vegetables. Instead, bulk up your meals with filling grains, such as oats and brown rice. They're affordable, nutritious, and easy to digest, giving you energy throughout the day.
For breakfast, try hot oatmeal with fruit, nuts, honey, or cream. Add rice to your lunch and dinner meals with portions of meat and vegetables. You don't need much rice, and it satiates you more than vegetables and protein alone. You can even make grain bowls loaded with your favorite sources of fiber.
Buy in Bulk
Grocery stores typically sell dry ingredients, such as beans, rice, and oats, in bulk. You can make hundreds of meals with these ingredients and save hundreds on your monthly grocery bills. Plus, these ingredients last much longer than perishable goods, so you can reduce your shopping trips.
Look for bulk perishable ingredients, such as chicken, fish, and vegetables, that you can add to your meals. They're more expensive than fillers, but they add flavor and nutrients to your diet and provide endless meal combinations. Just make sure that you don't buy too much so that you can eat it before it expires.
Make a shopping list before your trip, and stick to it so that you don't spend money on impulse purchases.