If you follow a lot of health and nutrition influencers, it's understandable that you might get the idea that you need a fair amount of disposable income to eat nutritiously. Trendy food, which often means expensive foods, commonly feature in attractive photographs and rundowns of how wellness influencers spend their days. But you don't have to purchase the latest meal kits, shop at the expensive organic market, or buy the most fashionable grains, fruits, or smoothies to fuel your body with what it needs. The tips below can help you eat right even when you don't want to spend a lot.
Consider Seeing a Dietician
While you can learn a lot about nutrition on your own, plenty of misinformation is circulating. Even most physicians don't get much training in the subject, and if you try to stay on top of news about it, you may start to feel like each week you read something that contradicts the previous week. Just because plant based eating is a current trend does not mean it’s what’s right for your body and goals.
One way to get a good base of understanding of what you should be eating is to consult a dietician. Nutritionists are another option, although they are less regulated in some states than dietitians. This doesn't necessarily mean that you can't get good advice from an individual nutritionist, but you should first find out their qualifications. Your insurance may cover visits to a dietician for a specific medical condition, but you might otherwise have to pay out of pocket. Either professional can help you figure out how to eat nutritiously within your budget.
Learn to Cook from Scratch
Learning to make appealing and nutritious meals from such inexpensive staples as beans, rice, and whatever vegetables are in season can transform your ability to eat with both wellness and your wallet as priorities. There are numerous websites and videos aimed at the novice cook and some books that can help you get up to speed. First, try to come up with just a handful of meals you can cook regularly. You might fall in love with cooking, but you don't have to to produce nutritious meals. Setting aside part of one day per week to batch cook can ensure you always have something to eat when you're hungry.
Consider Your Equipment
Being able to prepare your own meals regularly will be easier if you have the right equipment to do it. Perhaps two of the best items you could add to your kitchen are an air fryer and a slow cooker. The former allows you to replicate some of that fried, fast-food essence without all the fat and oil. The latter makes eating wholesome, home-cooked meals easy even if you work long hours.
It is also worthwhile not to purchase the cheapest models to get the extra features that higher-end ones offer. A slow cooker that switches to warming your food instead of cooking it will allow you to use it even if you're out of the house at work for 10 or more hours daily. Depending on your lifestyle and needs, you might want to buy other items, such as suitable containers to take food to work in or a salad spinner.
Although this article is about eating nutritiously on a budget, there are suggestions below that do involve an initial expenditure, buying more kitchen equipment and seeing a dietician. They are included here because over the long term, they can save you a great deal of money. However, if you're on a tight budget, you may run into the common problem of not being able to take advantage of that savings opportunity because you don't have the money to hand.
One way to pay for items you do need to get started might be to take out a personal loan. These often offer reasonable interest rates that make it easy to repay what you borrow over a relatively short period. You can look online for lenders. Once you've paid off this initial amount, you may see your food bill drop substantially as you substitute quality home-cooked meals for takeout, restaurant food, and expensive convenience items from the grocery store.