Tips for eating healthy on a budget

By William Davis
Posted 4/28/21

CLAY COUNTY – As someone who works with hundreds of clients a year on both fitness and nutrition, I see a lot of different circumstances when it comes to budgets and food. I have some clients who …

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Tips for eating healthy on a budget

Posted

CLAY COUNTY – As someone who works with hundreds of clients a year on both fitness and nutrition, I see a lot of different circumstances when it comes to budgets and food. I have some clients who are very well off and can order extremely high-end food products for their diet. I also have clients who are on a budget that is so tight, any mistake can throw the family budget into disarray.

One thing I’ve heard since I started training clients was that it is “too expensive to buy healthy food.” Now on the surface without much work or investigation this seems to be the case. Unhealthy food is usually highly processed, with long shelf lives and is cheap. However, I have always lived on a budget and there were many times where that budget was razor thin and yet I remained able to eat healthy foods. So, it occurred to me there was a disconnect between perception and reality.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the average American family spends roughly $3,000 a year on dining out. This boils down to just less than $58 a week. So just in this statistic alone you can save money by going out once a week less than you currently do. Now let’s focus on tips to get you saving money at the store, including:

• Buy protein based on sale prices. If chicken is on sale, then buy more of that. If certain cuts of steak are cheaper this week pick it up. Price will change depending on date, supply and demand, and quality of the meat product. Local butchers can have great pricing depending on their supply. You can also save money by buying in bulk. One way is to have a membership to a store such as Costco, Sam’s or BJ’s. Another way is to invest in large portion buying. This could be done as a family or with multiple families in co-op fashion like buying a quarter or half of a cow for instance.

• Buy your carbohydrates in bulk. Many carbs such as rice, potatoes, oats etc. have a longer shelf life. Buying these items in large bulk at wholesale stores like Costco can save you tons of money and trips to the store. The more trips to the store you make the more likely you are to impulse buy things you don’t need. A five-pound bag of rice lasts a long time and saves money over buying smaller bags more often.

• Be smart with fruits and vegetables. Buy items that are in season such as berries and fruit. Fruits and vegetables can also be bought at reasonable prices from local farmers markets. These items don’t last awfully long so you have to be smart with them. Rather than letting fruit and berries go to waste, freeze them and eat them at a later time. You can also grow veggies in a small garden in your back yard. Choose veggies your family likes and buy those items.

• Don’t buy unnecessary items. A lot of buyer’s budget issues revolve around buying the wrong things. Cutting out access sugar and impulse buys not only saves money, but helps you on your way to a healthier lifestyle. Most people could trim 10% off their weekly food budget just by passing on the items they don’t really need in the first place.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to break the bank. You just must think the process through and realize you are replacing unhealthy items with healthy ones. You are not adding healthy items onto an already inflated grocery bill.

William Davis has been in the fitness industry for 10 years and he’s run Steel Mill Fleming Island for seven years. He’s also a USA weightlifting sport performance and USA powerlifting club coach, a CrossFit Level 2 trainer, PN nutrition coach, CrossFit powerlifting trainer, aerobic capacity trainer, movement and mobility trainer and rowing trainer.

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