Emily Skye is a health and fitness expert, qualified personal trainer and fitness model. She is passionate about healthy living and overall wellness. You can find her website here.
When it comes to maintaining a healthy diet, the biggest obstacle for most people is the cost of food. But being healthy doesn't need to break the bank.
There are numerous ways you can save money on your monthly grocery bill while still loading up on clean eats. Here's how to make your everyday, healthy diet a lot more affordable.
Cook your food at home.1 of 11
This may sound like common sense, but you'd be surprised at how many people eat out on a regular basis. Even though healthy takeout is becoming more available, that doesn't mean it's necessarily affordable.
Take a burrito bowl for example. It's a pretty simple meal of rice, meat and vegetables, but it costs around seven dollars. Making a similar meal at home would be much cheaper, plus, there's usually leftovers.
Make your food in bulk.2 of 11
This is one thing I like to do on a regular basis. I'm a big fan of healthy, chunky soups. I'll buy some meat and a range of vegetables and cook up a big pot of soup that will last for about a week or eight to 10 servings.
It generally costs me around $30 to $40 to buy the ingredients for my soup. This comes out to around three or four dollars a serving.
Look for cheaper cuts of meat.3 of 11
Buying a pound of chicken breast can be expensive, but if you buy a pound of chicken thigh it can sometimes cut the cost in half. I'm a huge fan of chicken thigh and actually prefer the taste.
The same can be said for type of fish. Salmon is always more expensive than tilapia. Experimenting with these cheaper alternatives will save you a lot of money with your weekly haul.
Buy food close to its "best before" date.4 of 11
When food approaches its "used by" or "best before" date, the store will typically mark down the price. In my experience, you can find food with a reduced price that still has a number of days to go before you reach the expiration date.
Just make sure to use this food soon after purchasing and always heed the date listed.
Buy non-branded or generic brand food.5 of 11
Almost every major grocery store chain has their own branded products on the shelf. These generic brands usually exist for almost every type of food you can think of and are much cheaper than the big brands.
Just because it's a generic brand, doesn't mean that it's going to be any less tasty. Experiment with which generic brands you like the most.
Cut out the junk.6 of 11
Junk food can be very expensive, especially if you find yourself buying a lot of it. It may sound pretty obvious but something as simple as not buying those two-liters of soda or the half a dozen bags of chips will go a long way in saving you money.
Shop local.7 of 11
Shopping at your local grocery store and farmers markets can be a great way to save money. More often than not the local or family-owned store has cheaper prices, since they need to compete with the bigger chains—plus their fruits and vegetables are usually fresher.
I do a great deal of shopping at my local green grocer. Not only am I supporting a family-owned business, but I'm also getting fresh produce at a great price.
Don't shop when you're hungry.8 of 11
This can be an absolute nightmare if you're trying to stay on track and stick to a budget. You'll also be more likely to fall of the wagon when you walk past the "yummy food isle."
The best thing you can do is try to avoid shopping altogether when you're hungry, since you can quickly blow your food budget with all the additions to your shopping cart.
Plan your meals ahead of time.9 of 11
When I was a student, meal planning was a big part of sticking to my weekly budget. I would work out exactly what meals I would make ahead of time and budget the money accordingly.
Knowing ahead of time what your weekly shopping bill is will help you make any necessary adjustments.
Make a shopping list and stick to it.10 of 11
Sticking to exactly what is on your shopping list is really important when you're trying to save money. A little addition here and a little addition there will really add up when you get to the checkout.
Once you write it out, make your list non-negotiable. Don't forget to bring your store loyalty card for even more savings.