March is National Nutrition Month, a great time to tune up your healthy eating routine! Keeping up healthy habits can certainly be a challenge, especially as healthy food can often be more expensive than its junk food counterparts.
But fear not! You can celebrate National Nutrition Month without breaking the bank with these tips for making budget friendly, healthy meals and choices.
Familiarize Yourself With Food Labels
Food labels aren’t the easiest thing in the world to decode, but spending a few extra minutes studying all of the ingredients and macronutrients can save you time and money at the grocery store.
Often, packaging can mislead consumers into thinking a food is healthy, when it’s actually filled with sugar, salt and trans fats. Learning which ingredients to watch out for, and what all those percentages mean on the back of a box, can help you separate the healthy foods from the junk foods, and make better choices.
Don’t Worry About Food Trends
The health foods landscape can often be confusing, with so many superfoods and trendy health foods entering the market daily. Certain foods are classified as superfoods because of their high concentrations of vitamins and minerals. They’re typically imported, and often found only in certain locations. Their scarcity and the excitement that surrounds a word like “superfood” means that these berries, seeds and powders fetch a pretty penny at the health food store.
Good news though - there are nutrient-rich foods available at the supermarket that aren't expensive. Superfoods like sweet potatoes, blueberries, broccoli, kale and pumpkin seeds are all incredibly nutritious, and budget friendly. Save those pricier options for a treat!
Buying produce according to growing seasons not only keeps your veggie routine exciting, but also allows you to save a little cash. Check out your local farmers' market for great buys! Many accept EBT. There is also a food assistance program for seniors purchasing from farmers' markets. Seasonal produce is often less expensive, due to having fewer transportation costs, and will be fresher than fruits or vegetables that have spent a week on a truck. Eating seasonally can also add some excitement to your meals, as you start to anticipate the foods of the upcoming months.
National Nutrition Month is the perfect time to look up what fruits and vegetables are in season in your area, and design your shopping list accordingly.
Spend Some Extra Time in the Kitchen
A 2014 study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine noted that individuals who spent more time preparing their food were more likely to eat healthy meals, as opposed to those who mostly ate out at restaurants. Cooking your own meals at home gives you control over the ingredients, preparation method and quality.
Of course, planning and cooking your meals at home requires quite a bit of time and effort, so if you’re looking for the same high quality healthy meals, without spending too much time cooking, try a meal delivery service.
For healthy meals that are perfectly portioned, nutrient dense and ready to go when you need them, try out a meal delivery service, like GA Foods. Having meals delivered can save you money by providing a variety of choices, without you having to buy all of those different herbs, spices, and vegetables, just for one meal.
Using a meal delivery service also ensures that your meals fit into your healthy lifestyle, whether you’re on a diabetic meal plan, cardiac meal plan or other special diet. And of course, a meal delivery service will save you all of that time you would have spent on food prep! What’s not to love?