How To Eat Healthy On A Budget And Save $250 August 15, 2016 Aug 15 2016 If you’ve clicked on this post, I’m going to say it’s safe to assume that you want to eat healthier. But you probably think that being able to eat healthy on a budget sounds more like a pipe dream. Organic, grass-fed, wild-caught puh-leeze! Groceries are expensive enough as it is! And yes, you’re right. Those items are more expensive than their regular counterparts, but I’m willing to bet you’re already spending the equivalent of that amount right now. How so? If you’re a regular big city dweller who works a 9-5 job and eats most of their meals outside, you are likely spending an unnecessary amount of money on food as it is. Let’s take a look at the numbers: Daily coffee (grande from Starbucks) = $2.10+ tax Breakfast (sausage biscuit from Tim Horton’s) = $3.29 + tax Lunch (chicken bowl from Teriyaki) = $8.59 + tax Dinner (shawarma wrap) = $5.99 + tax Total Daily Expense: $2.10+3.29+8.59+5.99 = $19.97+ tax Total Weekly Expense (5-Day Workweek): = $99.85 + tax Total Monthly Expense = $399.4+ tax = $451.30 Note: the figures above are conservative. Not only are the items below the cheapest options, but most coffee drinkers have more than one cup per day, and will indulge in a snack or treat as well. Realistically, the monthly figures comes closer to $500 on food during the workweek. Keep in mind, this does not include drinks after work, does not include eating out over the weekend and socializing, and does not including any regular groceries you may purchase like cereal or bread. Want to slash that figure in half to $250 and still eat healthier? 6 Ways To Eat Healthy On a Budget Eat breakfast at home I know, I know. This requires waking up a whole 15 minutes earlier than usual, but eventually you’ll get the hang of it. Imagine if you had a work meeting or conference that required you to get up earlier that day…you would, wouldn’t you? All you really need is 15 minutes to eat some oatmeal, eggs on toast or make a filling protein smoothie. Bring your own tea to work Yes, that’s right. I said tea. For the coffee lovers out there, if moving away from coffee feels like an impossible feat for now, then sure, bring your own coffee to work. But if you’d like to wean off the caffeine addiction and opt for a healthier and much cheaper alternative, keep a box of black, green or herbal tea in your desk drawer at work. Seriously, you can either spend $3.99 on a box of 20 green teabags or $42 for 20 drip coffees! Bring your own snacks to work Ever been in a rush and grabbed a protein bar that came to $5 after tax and then thought “ahhhh what the heck did I just do?” Yep, I’ve been there, and felt extremely stupid afterwards. $5 here and there a few times a week can add up to $60-$75 per month. Don’t let that happen to you! Check out my post on the top snacks for work, and stash them in your office desk or fridge for the week. Prep the easiest meals in the world If you’ve never prepped meals for work before, then fear not. This doesn’t have to be complicated. Start out by keeping it as simple as possible. For example, keep a large batch of each of the following on hand for the week: 1) cooked, seasoned protein; 2) starch or whole grains; 3) roast vegetables or salad. Mix all three together the night before in a container and you’re done. If you need some more guidance, you can download my free ebook for starter recipes and shopping lists. Buy in bulk Have a friend with a Costco membership? If so, take them to dinner and ever so sweetly slip them a short shopping list at the end of the night 😉 Or if you have a car and live with a partner, then you may as well buy the membership! If not, there’s always bulk stores like Bulk Barn. Start buying nuts, seeds, nut butter, lentils, whole grains, teas, and oils in bulk or discounted prices.You’d be surprised by the healthier options that are now available at such stores. My husband and I buy all the following items in bulk from Costco: organic coconut oil, rolled oats, wild-caught salmon, organic eggs ($10 for 24 organic eggs? Jackpot!), organic chicken, gluten-free crackers, gluten-free bread, vegan protein powder, hemp protein bars, organic olive oil, nuts & seeds, and more. Make treats at home Some indulgences are pricey. A jar of almond butter is around $11-$15. A bar of good quality chocolate is around $4-$7. Good quality or dairy-free ice-cream can cost $5-$7 per pint. While I realize you may be thinking “I don’t have time for these Martha Stewart endeavours Alina!”, what if I told you they don’t take more than 5-10 minutes of active prep? Or use only a few ingredients? Check out the hyperlinks I’ve included above to see how I whip up a batch of delicious sea salt chocolate or a two scoops of creamy ice-cream in minutes! About Alina I'm a Holistic Nutritionist based in Toronto, Canada and my official title is Certified Nutritional Practitioner (CNP). I received my diploma in Applied Holistic Nutrition from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition. I'm a coach and an educator. Follow Alina on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for all of the latest updates.