Staying on a budget can be difficult, especially if you’re trying to eat healthy. There are a lot of ways to save money, but cutting healthy food from your diet shouldn’t be one of them. Food is sustenance; our body needs the nutrients in food in order to carry out certain functions to keep us alive. Eating a variety of plant based foods is key. If you want to boost your immune system, avoid sickness, stay at a healthy weight and increase energy levels, then it is important to get in more plant based foods. Your health is worth investing in. Eating healthy takes commitment and dedication. Most of these ideas provided are what you can do to save money while eating a plant-based diet.
1)Make Your Own Meals
Making your own meals will save you money as long as you stick to healthy affordable recipes. Finding healthy recipes online is easy or you can make your favorite recipes into healthier cheaper versions by switching ingredients or even eliminating some. For example instead of using oil or eggs in a recipe you could use some water and ground flax seed. (3Tbsp. ground flax seed can replace 1 Tbsp. of oil. and 1Tbsp. of ground flax seed and 3Tbsp. water can replace 1 egg.) You don’t even really have to cook a lot if you don’t want to. Eating just raw fruits and vegetables or even a salad is an easy meal that is healthy too. Try adding fruit to my green salads to make them more appetizing.
2)Plan Your Meals Ahead
If time is an issue, then I suggest planning out meals for the week ahead. Whenever you have free time you can pre-make your meals now for later in the week, and just chill it until you want to eat it. If you’re always on the go just take some nuts or fruit with you. You can easily store an apple in your car or in a bag to carry around in case you start feeling hungry. Don’t skip out on meals just because you think you don’t need to eat. It is very important that you always keep your body well-nourished and hydrated.
3)Buy Only What You Need
Most of the foods I buy are things that I can make a meal out of. Such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and seeds. I get by with only spending about $10-$12 a day or roughly $70-$80 a week on food for myself if I buy what’s in season. Berries are high in antioxidants and one of the healthiest foods out there, but I’m not going to shell out $5 for a pint of blueberries in December; I can wait until summer rolls around. A bag of rice or lentils are super cheap…only a couple dollars. Also, never go to the grocery store hungry!
4)Buy Versatile Ingredients
Try a stir-fry. Stir-fries are fast, easy, and taste amazing. I never follow a strict recipe; I just heat some water in a pan and cook whatever vegetables I have on hand. Literally any mix of vegetables can be used in a stir-fry. The other great thing is that the same vegetables can also be used in a salad or they can be finger food. When I cook, I also use some spices too, but it’s usually the same spices in every recipe: black pepper, oregano, basil, and cayenne pepper are some of my favorite just because I can add them to anything.
5) Shop Around For Deals or Grow Your Own
Getting the best deals on food requires some shopping around at different places. Farmer’s markets usually have great deals on produce and the food is local; and if you’re up to a challenge, you can even grow your own garden outside or on your windowsill. Growing your own food, herbs and spices is a lot cheaper than buying them at the market, and growing your own food is very easy to do!
Written By Josh Reid, Kent State University Dietetic Student