Evolve Guide: Eating Healthy On a Budget

Eating Healthy on a Budget is Challenging, But Totally Possible. 

You have two bucks in your pocket and a belly full of ….nothing. You are both starving and poor. I was a student for many years, and now I am a freelance artist. Believe me when I say, I have been in this predicament more than once. Funds are tight, and your belly needs nourishment. What to do?

While it seems like all the other professionals out there are perusing the aisles of Whole Foods and upscale food boutiques, you are left with two options: go hungry or resort to Ramen noodles (blaak!)

If you are a poor girl with a large appetite- let me give you a few pointers on how to eat right and still fit into your yoga pants while living on a tight budget.

1. Veggies, Veggies, and more Veggies!

Cut up celery, avocados, and an heirloom tomato, add some balsamic and olive oil, and voilà!, you have found yourself a snack for fewer than 3 dollars.

The Secret: Typically an avocado will be your most expensive vegetable, costing anywhere between .50 cents to a dollar. I always recommend going organic, but if you are on a serious budget, try places like Food City, or Bargain Grocery Outlets that provide their produce at a discounted price. Typically, these stores get the run-off of vegetables that don’t look “pretty enough” for the higher-end grocery stores. Load up on tomatoes, cucumbers, and celery-pile onto a bed of greens and lather in olive oil and balsamic to taste.

2. Day-old Bread.

Why are we so scared of things that say, “day-old”? Let’s keep in mind how much bread products are likely to be tossed from grocery stores on daily basis and reconsider this notion. A loaf of bread is cheap! cheap! cheap! A day-old loaf of bread is even cheaper! Most grocery stores will mark their day-old products up to 50% off helping you save up for those Teeki hot pants you’ve been eyeing!

The Secret: Day-old bread goes fast. Ask the bakery where they display their, “Yesterday’s baked goods Rack”. If it has retained moisture you can freeze it up to three days. If it’s hard, toast it and slab a spoonful of peanut butter on it. Or cut it up into croutons and throw into a can of chicken broth.

3. Peanut Butter. A butter type of protein.

When I am poor, peanut butter is a staple in my cabinet. If you are meat-eater and you can’t afford to buy that juicy grass-fed burger at the deli, turn around and walk towards the peanut butter aisle. It will give you the protein and energy needed for your hot yoga practice while keeping you looking lean and cute in your new workout clothes.

The Secret:  Spend a pretty penny on peanuts, meaning, don’t go for the brands that are loaded with sugar. Not only will these keep you full temporarily, they are generally just not good for you and add too much fat to your diet.  Some markets have peanut grinders in the store that allow you to get as much, or as little of peanut butter as you want. A healthy spoonful of peanut butter on your day-old bread will be a perfect little pick-me-up for a poor girl’s diet.

Stay Nourished & Healthy

These are just three ways a poor girl can stay nourished during times of economic stress. If you stick with simple, easy snacks as opposed to intricate hearty meals, you will stay full and feel light until your next paycheck. Eating on a poor girl’s diet isn’t so bad, you may find yourself more aware of eating habits, and in create less waste in the end!

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