Nutrition on a Budget

Mindful eating while working with a low budget may seem difficult, but it’s possible! Keep reading for tips on how to strategize your grocery shopping and maximize your budget while still eating what is best for your body.

Budget-friendly eating

The easiest way to save your budget is to cook from home. Refraining from eating out can save you tons of money. To save time, it may be best to pick one or two days a week to do all your meal prep so you don’t have to worry about setting aside kitchen time every day.

The Prep

First things first, plan ahead. Sit down once a week and plan out your meals, being sure to work around what’s already in the cupboard and prioritizing perishables. Sticking to your list while shopping is key to keeping within the budget. One of the easiest ways to do that is eating before heading out (grocery shopping while hungry typically leads to extra purchases!). 

Be sure to check your local grocery stores sales and coupons to stock up on your favorites and minimize costs without sacrificing quantity. Planning meals around what is on sale is another way to take some of the guesswork out of meal planning while also saving money.

When shopping

In the theme of cutting costs, try buying generic brands, buying bulk in what you can, and sticking to whole foods. Generic brands tend to have the same quality as leading brands, but it’s much cheaper. Buying in bulk when you’re able to means a bigger bang for your buck and fewer trips to the store. With sticking to whole foods, you are able to buy larger quantities and they tend to be less expensive than their processed counterparts.

Another easy way to save money while shopping is to keep an eye out for cheap cuts of meat like chuck steak, pork sirloin steak, whole chicken, or ground meat. These tend to be cheaper and are great for burritos, soups, stews and stir fries. Alternatively, replacing meat with other sources of protein can cut costs even further. Other sources of protein such as legumes, hemp seeds, eggs, beans, or canned fish are inexpensive, nutritious, and easy to prepare. 

As for produce, it’s best to stick with what’s in season or buy frozen. In season local produce is typically cheaper and at its peak in nutrition and flavor. If you buy too much, just throw them in the freezer for future use. Frozen produce is a great way to get your fruits and vegetables in without having to worry about it going bad on your counter. 

Be on the lookout for more nutrition centered content and programming from us this upcoming semester as we open the new Wolf Teaching Kitchen and our Nutritional Education program.