“Eating healthy is way too expensive.” Do you know how many times I’ve heard that statement? Too many to count. Do YOU think eating healthy is impossible? I make a living teaching people how to eat nutritious and delicious foods to meet their budget needs. It’s not as difficult as you may think. However, saving money on your grocery budget does take planning, preparation, and a little creativity. I don’t walk into the grocery store without a grocery list and I try to eat a snack or a meal before I go shopping to stop me from buying unnecessary foods.
I’ve asked fellow registered dietitian nutritionist Ashley Smith MPH, RDN, LD to share her healthy eating shopping tips to get you started. Here’s what she has to say:
- Substitute beans for animal protein. Beans, aka legumes, are very versatile. They can be added to soups, salads, chili, tacos, and wraps or even roasted and eaten as a snack. Instead of a beef burger try a black bean burger. Instead of chicken salad wraps, substitute curry chickpea salad. Not only are they low in cost, they are high in fiber and a great source of lean protein.
- Buy vegetables that are in season. The vegetables that are in season are not only at their highest peak in terms of nutrition, quality, and taste, but they are also usually on sale. If they are seasonal, production and shipping costs are less because the produce is coming from a closer source. Thank your local farmers. Additionally, the optimal growing climate leads to an increased supply which drives down the price. Therefore, you see a lower price at the store. Here is an example of an easy, low-cost meal using both beans and winter squash.
Winter Squash Chili
*Follow Ashley on Instagram @ashleylauren_RD to see photos of her adorable dog and more healthy eating tips.