Eating Healthy on a College Budget

The number one question I've gotten since since starting my Instagram account is, “how can you afford to eat healthy while in college?”  I’ll be the first to admit it's not easy! When I walk into a Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, etc., I want to buy the whole dang store (I am sure a lot of you can relate to this).  Luckily I have found some ways to make it a little easier on my wallet.  Here are some tips that I hope help you too!

1.) Shop on the Perimeter Pre-packaged and processed foods are mainly in the center aisles and all your essentials are normally on the outer ring of your grocery store. By sticking to the outside, you avoid the temptation of buying foods that are almost always (not all the time) more expensive, have a ton of ‘extra stuff’ added to them and items you don’t necessarily need.

2.) Shop In-season Almost 100% of the time, in-season produce will be cheaper so find what is growing that time of year and stock up! You can always freeze what you do not use and just pull it back out whenever you need it again.

3.) Buy in Bulk/Frozen Buying frozen fruits and veggies can be a huge money saver. They are also almost always cheaper, they won’t go bad and they taste pretty much the same as if they were fresh. This is because they are picked at the peak of their season and flash frozen.

4.) Find the Sales and use Coupons! There are sales constantly going on throughout stores, so keep an eye out for sales when you’re grocery shopping! Also, there are a ton of stores that have coupon booklets at the front that save you A TON of money if you remember to use them!

5.) Plan your Meals Wisely Figure out how to repurpose your leftovers for another meal. For instance, let’s say I cook a big batch of quinoa and use it in a kale, black bean and quinoa salad. I can then use that leftover cooked quinoa in the morning to make quinoa porridge! (Pictured above; recipe using Wild Friends Creamy Almond Butter on my Instagram @BeazysBites)

6.) Bring in Cash Leaving your wallet in the car and only bringing in a set amount of money in cash forces you to only spend a specific amount of money. By doing this it helps you stick to your budget and helps you stick to the items you actually need!

7.) Stick to your List When you go to the store with a plan, it prevents impulse purchases.

8.) Use different Protein sources Meat can be one of the most expensive things you can buy at a grocery store. By substituting other options in place of meat in some of your meals can be a great way to cut down on the amount of money you spend. Some examples of foods with high amount of protein that are usually inexpensive are nut butters, tofu/tempeh, various types of beans, quinoa, lentils, canned tuna, eggs and greek yogurt.

9.) Farmer’s Markets If you can find Farmer’s Markets in your area, they are a great place to buy seasonal produce. You can often find produce for half the price and they will be a lot fresher than what the stores have.

10.) Treat Yourself It’s important to always treat yourself (in many areas of your life). By being able to limit those more expensive indulgences to 1 or 2 per shopping trip can save you a lot of money, but still give you something to look forward to! Ultimately you have to remember that you are investing in your overall health and well-being, which is a long-term investment. In my opinion it is totally worth the extra $$$ for a sustainable, healthy lifestyle, but you also have to figure that out for yourself!

Do you guys have any other awesome money saving tips?! I’d love to hear them!  Send me a DM on Instagram @BeazysBites