Since we are in college, eating healthy might seem unattainable because we are all on some type of budget. It might seem difficult to eat a healthy diet while saving money, but it is actually very easy. It is commonly unknown that most whole, unprocessed foods are the cheapest things at the grocery store!
When looking specifically at carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats, the cheapest options at the grocery store would be:
Carbs: pasta, oatmeal, potatoes, bananas, apples, whole wheat bread, and rice.
Protein: ground beef, frozen chicken, canned tuna, beans, dry lentils, and Greek yogurt.
Fats: olive oil, nuts, seeds, eggs.
Another important tip is to buy frozen vegetables and fruits. Buying frozen produce is a great idea because it doesn’t go bad as fast as fresh produce, so you don’t have to risk a whole bag of fresh produce going to waste. Since it is frozen it is also nutrient dense because it is picked fresh at its ripest point, and can contain more nutrients than fresh produce that may not be picked at its ripest. Also buying produce when it is in season is a cheaper option or going to a farmers market and buying local produce from farmers, it is more fresh and tastes better. A quick guide to in season vegetables is: root vegetables in the Winter, apples & squash in the Fall and broccoli & berries in the Summer.
Tip: The Oswego Farmers Market goes from May-October and is Thursdays 4:30-8:00pm!
Buying dry goods in bulk is also very helpful when trying to save money. Most health food stores have a bulk section where you can buy a lot of your carbohydrate options in bulk. Then when you get home you can store all of your bulk foods in mason jars which creates extra room in your pantry and is useful for easy to grab items.
Tip: Green Planet Grocery in Oswego has a bulk foods section!
Eating healthy on a budget is very easy and by buying things in bulk, frozen fruits and vegetables, and buying things in season are all helpful tips in order to eat healthy and not break the bank!