February has come and gone, along with our attempts at keeping our New Year’s Resolutions in full swing. You, and everyone else under the sun, probably had “eat healthier” as your number one or number two to accomplish in 2017, but the sudden realization that healthy eating is more than ditching the soda and double cheeseburgers, it takes time, effort, and unfortunately…money. It’s not too late to revive your healthy eating goal! Here are some tips on how to eat healthy (or healthier) without going broke.
First, make sure you are satisfying almost every food group each day. You’re probably thinking, “Really? Food groups? Okay 5th grade health teacher…” but honestly, if you allow your body to take in the nutrients from each group, you’ll definitely more alive and energetic, not to mention full.
Second, switch out whites for wheats. This tip is so simple to follow, but when you sit down and think about what you’re eating, you’ll realize that the majority of your carbs and sugars are coming from bread and starches alone. Who knew two slices of white bread almost equal the same amount of calories in an ice cream sandwich? The whole grains and 100% whole wheat breads and pastas not only make you feel better about eating them, but the prices are within a few cents (higher or actually lower) than those of white breads and pastas.
Have you ever taken a trip through your grocery store’s produce? If you have, which you should, you’d notice that fruits and vegetables are relatively inexpensive. Now walk a little further until you get to the snack aisle filled with chips, crackers, cookies, etc. Notice how the prices for those are much higher? “Well yeah, but you get 10 zebra cakes for like $3.00” Okay, but you can get a multitude of fruits and veggies for the same price, less added inches around your waist, and for a healthier body all around. It’s pretty clear who’s the winner.
The easiest, and we mean easiest, way to save your money and be all around healthier, is to drink more water. You may even go for drinking water and water only. Water is free and free is always better. Doesn’t going to a restaurant and ordering an $8 meal and your check actually being something reasonably like $8 plus tax sound amazing? But no, we constantly buy beverages that can be roughly $3 yet we still get upset when we look at the check, knowing if water had been our beverage of choice, we could have saved a buck or two.
Another easy way to be a healthier eater, isn’t necessarily to watch what you eat, but to watch how much you eat. Portion control is everything. Like the food groups, you want to make sure you’re eating the recommended portions for each group. Instead of ordering the Caniac Combo at Raising Cane’s, go for the Three Finger Combo. Less chicken, and less high blood pressure too.
Lastly, something that most people don’t really give a second thought is brands. Brands do not define the ingredients that are in the foods we eat. If you’re really trying to save some cash, go for all things Great Value, and leave the name brands on the shelves. Go generic and you won’t be sorry.
Put these tips to the test starting now! After all, a new month is the perfect excuse to start over. Third month’s the charm, right?