Ayesha Qureshi
Ayesha Qureshi, MPH

This article was made possible through the support of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, which has sponsored Qcitymetro’s Health Page since 2010.

Ayesha Qureshi
Ayesha Qureshi, MPH

These days, it may seem a bit tasking to plan healthy eating on a budget, especially when a ginormous hamburger with multiple patties, cheese slices and bacon may cost so much less than a healthier meal. With careful planning, however, it is possible to eat healthy while not eating out your budget.

Here are some 7 tips:

1. Eat at home. This is always a great option – not only is it healthier for you but it is actually more cost effective. Also, you won’t be tempted by the aforementioned hamburger tower.

2. Meal Plan. Planning your meals prevents you from becoming overwhelmed when deciding what to eat. According to the Mayo Clinic, you’ll tend to eat healthier because you have a guide to help you stay on track of what you eat every day.

3. Buy frozen produce. Frozen fruits and vegetables, without added salt or other flavorings, are just as good for you as their fresh counterparts. Buy and stock up for your meals.

4. Buy in season. When you buy fresh produce, go for those that are in season. These fruits and vegetables are readily available and often cost less.

5. Buy whole grains foods. Not only are they better for you, as compared to white bread and pastas, they fill you up more.  There are good snack options, too, such as whole wheat cracker and air-popped popcorn.

6. Buy store brands. Many times they offer the same great quality products at a lower cost.

7. Buy and freeze. When buying meats, go for the family-size packs. In the long run, this cost less because you can freeze the meat for later use.

What you eat now will affect you later. Healthy eating habits can prevent issues such as obesity, which is the leading contributor to heart disease. An investment in your health is one of the biggest you can make. So eat smart and save!

Ayesha Qureshi is a certified health and wellness coach and has a background in health behavior and health education.