Everybody is trimming back the budget these days, but that doesn’t mean your healthful diet has to suffer. In fact, tightening your grocery budget can lead to better eating as you cut back on extras and really pay attention to what you are buying and preparing.
Sometimes, this will include cutting some things out of your diet. Going vegetarian full- or even part-time can really make a difference in your grocery bill, and cutting back on breads and starchy snacks to opt for more filling, nutrient rich foods can help as well.
Dietary restrictions can play a significant part in grocery budgeting, as usually the cheapest available items are not an option. Tonight, at 8 EST, the Udi’s gluten-free community will be chatting about this very topic. Whether or not you have a gluten intolerance, I’m sure there will be plenty of tips and tricks for any situation.
While you wait for the chat to begin, here are some tips to get you started saving money and building healthy habits:
Planning in advance is incredibly important. Not only does it keep you on track when making your grocery list, but it keeps you on track during the week to use what you have instead of running out of staples halfway through the week.
Make (and Follow!) a Grocery List
Make your list based on your meal plan, and then stick to it! You will be surprised at how much you save by following a list. This can help you use coupons to your advantage, as well.
Prepare Meals in Advance
Nothing adds up quicker than pizza or fast food runs because you got caught up and didn’t get dinner going in time. Having plenty of meals in the freezer or ready to go into the crock-pot will give you a head start (or a back up plan) when the day gets away from you.
Choose Snacks Wisely
Opting for a handful of almonds instead of chips or crackers will keep you going longer and on less. It may cost a bit more to buy protein-rich foods, but you will be buying and eating less than if you try to sustain on “junk” foods.
Wherever you can, grow your own foods. This is, of course, limited a bit by time, seasons and locations, but even a single planter in your kitchen can yield a difference. Give it a shot! You have nothing but a bit of dirt and time to lose, and who knows- your thumb may be greener than you’d thought!
Stay Close to Nature
No one can deny that the closer foods are to their natural state, the healthier they are. But with some planning, list-making and possibly even growing, you may find that eating whole foods can also help your budget.
Do you have any tips for saving money, especially with diet restrictions being gluten free? Share here, and be sure to come back at 8 EST for the live chat!