smoothie bowl with fruit and granola

13 Cheap Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget and Lose Weight

How to Lose Weight On a Budget

You can eat healthy on a budget and lose weight. Contrary to popular belief, weight loss doesn’t always involve buying expensive organic food at high-end grocery stores. Whether you’re a college student trying to lose weight or living by yourself or with a family, use these strategies to eat well on a budget and lose weight. In this article, we talk about money-saving strategies such as; buying meat and poultry whole, eating more vegetables, meal planning, cooking and eating at home, buying produce that is in season, meatless Mondays, among others. Besides, losing weight takes time and these strategies are designed to save you time as well.

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How to eat healthy on a budget and lose weight

  • Meal planning.
  • Buy cheaper cuts of meat.
  • Buy whole poultry.
  • Eat less meat with meatless Monday.
  • Eat more veggies to lose weight
  • Cook and eat at home
  • Buy produce that’s in season
  • Buy whole food
  • Shop in bulk
  • carry packed lunch to work
  • use the leftovers

Healthy meal plan

1. Meal plan.

Plan all your meal in advance to eat healthy on a budget and lose weight. The worst thing that can happen when you’re trying to lose weight is not knowing what to have for dinner or lunch. This can easily spiral into an easy decision to order your favorite food when you just can’t figure out what to cook. Avoid this common temptation and plan all your meals weekly or bi-monthly. Do this over the weekends when you’re less busy and come up with a meal plan for the week ahead. Once you have all your meals and snack outlined, check what you have available and what needs to be bought. This will save you money and also help you avoid the temptation to order food you have all ingredients for a quick meal even when your schedule gets busy.


2. Buy cheaper cuts of meat.

Good quality meat can get expensive. When you’re trying to lose weight, animal proteins such as meat are one of the best weight loss foods to eat daily as they keep you full for longer. There are several ways to get meat for cheaper. For starters, buy cheaper cuts of meats. Don’t let the toughness intimidate you, make use of your slow cooker. Also, a good overnight marinade will work wonders. If you have ample space in your freezer, why not buy wholesale? Buying meat wholesale is much cheaper due to the large quantities. This is the strategy most restaurants use to get quality meat at bargain prices.

oven roasted chicken

3. Buy whole poultry to save money.

The cheapest way to buy poultry products is to buy them whole. Instead of buying a piece of chicken breast or tight, buy the whole chicken. It will serve you for longer, and it comes cheaper than individual pieces. In addition, with a whole chicken, you can repurpose the leftovers and add on to another recipe. Also, consider visiting local farms near you to get a better deal on whole chicken or turkey.


4. Eat less meat with meatless Monday

High-fiber foods are great for weight loss as they keep you full for longer. They also cost less and can help you save money on your groceries. When you’re want to eat well on a budget and lose weight, fiber foods should be part of your daily diet. Besides, one pound of dried bean will serve you much longer than a pound of meat.  Start small with meatless Mondays, replace all your animal protein for high-fiber legumes such as beans each Monday of the week.  Gradually increase your fiber intake by making it part of your daily meal. Swap your sugar-filled cereal for some high-fiber oats. Instead of vending machine snacks, consider fresh fruit. These are some of the ways you can add more fiber to your diet.


5. Eat more veggies to lose weight.

While meat and poultry are often the most expensive items on most grocery lists with vegetables being cheaper. Non-starchy vegetables are great for weight loss as they add volume to your meal. Eat more of these without having to worry about the extra calorie. Unlike meat and vegetables, they won’t make a big dent in your budget if you eat more. Buy more vegetables and ensure that all your meals come with a side of vegetables. Follow the golden rule of portion control and fill half your plate with vegetables. You will notice the amount of carb and protein you eat reduce. Choose nutrient-dense vegetables such as; spinach, kale, asparagus, broccoli, celery, carrot to lose weight.

woman in kitchen cooking food

6. Cook and eat at home.

Cooking and eating at home is one of the best things you can do to eat healthy on a budget. Eating at home is good for weight loss as you control all the ingredients used in preparation. You don’t have to use as much heavy cream or cooking oil, unlike with restaurant food. Also, you’re in charge of the portion, serve just enough food for yourself.  Besides, it will save you money as eating out can be expensive. According to this report, on average, Americans spend $13 per meal in restaurants, compare that to $4 for a home-cooked meal. It is clear to see just how much money you can save by cooking and eating at home. If you do struggle with a busy schedule, consider meal prepping. This way, you can prepare all your weekly meals in advance. Pack your food in these meal prep containers to keep them fresh and tasty, week-long


7. Always make Use of leftovers

Another cheap way to eat well on a budget and lose weight is by making use of leftovers. Never throw away your leftovers as that’s your money down the drain. Do these instead to ensure your leftovers never go to waste;

  • have it for lunch the next day.
  • reuse it by adding it to other recipes.
  • make enough for what you need.

tuna salad in lunch box

8. Carry packed lunch to work

Carry packed lunch to work. Not only will you save money, but this is a great way to ensure that everything you eat is in line with your weight loss goals. Restaurant/cafeteria foods are prepared with a lot of high-calorie ingredients. Where a tablespoon of oil is needed, they might use double if not thrice the amount to make the food tastier. These are the small things that throw off all your gain. Avoid this by carrying homemade food for your lunch. You know all the ingredients used in the preparation, and you control the portion servings. Besides, this will save you money, why spend extra on lunch at work and groceries at home? If you love to snack, pack some healthy snacks for work too. Substitute high-sugar vending snacks for healthier filling options such as nuts and seeds.


9. Substitute sugary drinks with water.

Do you find yourself drinking several energy drinks in a day to stay energized? Or spend money daily for several cups of coffee at Starbucks? Consider replacing this with drinking water. These high-caffeine sugar drinks are what we call empty calories. They add no nutritional value to you yet are very high in calories. Not only are you spending extra money but also derailing your weight loss progress. On the other hand, water is much cheaper and comes with zero-calorie. Staying hydrated is a  great way to keep yourself energized without the extra calories.

fresh produce vegetables in basket

10. Buy produce that’s in season

Another cheap way to eat healthy on a budget and lose weight is to buy produce that’s in season. It is much cheaper due to the plenty of stock available. Another budget tip is to buy long-lasting produce in bulk rather than individual pieces. With proper storage in the fridge or in a cool place, fresh produce can last for very long. In winter, look out for apples, bananas, kiwis, lemons, onion,s, etc. In summer, opt for bell peppers, green beans, mangoes, strawberries, etc. Use this seasonal produce guide to determine what is in season in your area.


11. Shop in bulk to eat healthy on a budget.

Save money by buying food in bulk rather than individual portions. The best foods to purchase in bulk include; dried legumes, frozen fruit, and vegetables, nut butter, frozen meat and poultry, rice, oats, nuts. Besides, this is a great way to ensure you have food available to whip up a quick meal. Knowing you have some frozen chicken available at home is much easier than having to make a stop at the grocery store after a busy day at work.


How to eat healthy on a budget and lose weight