how to eat healthy on a budget

How to Eat Healthy on a Budget: A Simple Guide

Erin Schnittker

With inflation and other economic issues at hand, grocery prices are at an all-time high. Unfortunately, they've already increased by 10.8% from last year, and the problem is only expected to get worse.

For those of us trying to eat healthier, it's important to find ways to achieve our goals without breaking the bank. Luckily, there are ways to do that. Let's talk about some money-saving tips and how to eat healthy on a budget in 2022!

Staples of Healthy Eating

Whether your food budget is $40 or $400 a week, there are a few important staples of any healthy diet. First, you want to get the vast majority of your calories from whole foods, particularly plant-based foods. That's true regardless of what kind of diet you follow.

Did you know that humans ate over 100,000 different foods over hundreds of thousands of years as hunter-gatherers? Now, the majority of us rely on only 3 crops for nearly half of our calories. Getting a wider variety is essential for our health!

Also, it's important to avoid certain foods. The more processed, the worse they are for you. Excessive sugar, fats, and simple carbs should be avoided for a healthy lifestyle.

Timing isn't the most essential part of a diet as some may tell you, but it is important to eat more meals throughout the day. Whether you practice intermittent fasting or eat throughout the day, try spreading smaller meals out instead of eating excessively during a couple of meals.

Lastly, don't forget to fill in the necessary gaps. If you are low on calcium, iron, or any other nutrient in your diet, it's okay to use supplements, but remember; whole foods first!

Buy in Bulk

While your grocery haul will be more expensive when you shop in bulk, they will be much less frequent. Always have a "per pound" or "per ounce" mindset rather than "per dollar". You may save 20% on a smaller package, but it may have 50% less food.

Always look at the bulk items or consider shopping at a bulk store. Compare the prices based on the amount of food you receive from each quantity. Always go with the cheaper option, especially for staple foods you eat regularly.

Stick With Seasonal

We mentioned the importance of eating a variety of whole foods. Generally, you want to consume at least 20 different plant foods every week. This includes everything from fresh vegetables to garlic, lentils, and seeds!

However, achieving this variety can be expensive. It's always best to have some more affordable staple foods like brown rice, lentils, and beans. For the rest, try to stick with seasonal produce and other whole foods, as they will be the freshest and cheapest!

Buy More Non-Perishables

Non-perishable items can keep for longer, which makes them perfect for bulk items, allowing for better savings. Fortunately, healthy non-perishable items are becoming more widely available, and they can make great replacements for your favorite snack foods. You can even build your own snack box full of healthier alternatives to your favorite goodies!

Also, for ingredients that keep for a while, try using more oats, legumes, and other dry ingredients in your meals. For foods like bread, feel free to stick them in the freezer to help them last longer! Food waste is a major savings-killer, so use it or lose it!

Frozen Is Better Than Canned

If you want to save money on fruits and vegetables, you have two options; canned or frozen. In that case, always choose the frozen option, and make sure there are no unwanted additives.

Believe it or not, when it comes to berries, frozen can actually be better than fresh! This is because the berries are picked at peak ripeness and frozen right away instead of picked early to ripen during transport.

Buy Off-Brand

You don't have to pay for expensive ad campaigns to eat healthily. If you want to buy healthy foods from a local off-brand grocery store, that's perfectly fine. As long as the ingredients are similar and you enjoy the taste, why not save money?

Plan Ahead for Meals

Meal-prepping is essential for saving money, especially if you work away from home. If your choices are to spend $2.50 per meal that you prep at home and $12.50 for eating out, that's $300 per month that you save per meal. If you stop eating out twice a day, then you're saving $600 each month.

Using foods that keep for a long time and preparing them in bulk is the best way to save money. Just remember to prep foods that you enjoy and that you are willing to eat for multiple meals each week. Try to switch them up as much as possible!

Drink More Water

Water is essential for life, and most of us don't get enough of it. The average man should consume around 15.5 cups of water a day, and the average woman should consume 11.5 cups. Try to aim as high as possible.

Not only can you get water for free, but it's extremely beneficial to our health, it aids in digestion, and it helps us feel full throughout the day, which can reduce our food consumption!

How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

Now that you know how to eat healthy on a budget, start saving on groceries and eating healthier today. Just remember to prepare foods that you genuinely enjoy or else you won't stick to your plan. Dieting shouldn't be too hard because adherence is key!

Stay up to date with our latest health and wellness tips, and check out some of our healthy snacks and foods to try adding to your diet today!

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15 Healthy Snack Options That Can Help You Lose Weight | Garcia Weight loss

15 Healthy Snack Options That Can Help You Lose Weight

Erin Schnittker

In a recent survey, more than 25% of Americans reported snacking multiple times a day. Snacking is great, but if you are trying to lose weight, it can be hurtful to your goals. 

If you choose healthy snack options in moderation, then you can still meet your weight-loss goals without getting rid of your snacking habits.

Here are a few of our favorite nutritious treats to help you snack smarter and live a healthy lifestyle.

1. Apples and Peanut Butter

Apples and peanut butter is one of the most classic snacks around. You can't go wrong with this duo.

Apples are high in fiber, which is good for the digestive system. Peanut butter is not only delicious, but also high in healthy fats and extremely satiating. So, a little goes a long way.

2. Mixed Nuts

Nuts are a great choice if you need a quick boost of protein. One serving of mixed nuts can pack in 5 grams of protein

When it comes to nuts, the options are endless. Some popular varieties include almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, cashews, almonds, and pecans.

It is important to note that nuts are not a low-calorie choice, so you need to be mindful of your portion size.

3. Celery and Cream Cheese

Calling all celery juice fanatics! Celery is a low-calorie vegetable that is great for the digestive system. Paired with cream cheese, it makes a delicious and healthy treat.

You can even spice this snack up by adding some "Everything But the Bagel" seasoning.

4. Popcorn

If you like volume in your snacks, then popcorn is the way to go. There are many delicious low-calorie popcorn options on the market today that allow you to eat a large amount while still staying under your daily caloric intake goal.

Be mindful of how you are making popcorn. Cooking popcorn in oil can add extra unwanted calories.

5. Protein Shake

Protein shakes make for an excellent nutritious and filling snack option. For those with a sweet tooth, protein shakes can easily be made into milkshakes by blending them with some ice.

If you are looking for a delicious and satiating protein shake, then check out our Hunger Control Shakes in both chocolate and vanilla.

6. Greek Yogurt with Berries

If you want a decent ice cream substitute, then greek yogurt with berries is a great option. It generally has less sugar and more protein than the average bowl of ice cream.

There are dozens of greek yogurt flavors to choose from and many different types of berries to top them with as well.

7. Watermelon

Because watermelon is made up of mostly water, it makes for a yummy, low-calorie treat that can also help you stay hydrated.

One serving of watermelon is made up of 91% water and contains only 30 calories. While fresh watermelon is amazing on its own, it is also delicious when frozen or added into shakes.

8. Carrots and Hummus

If plain carrots just don't cut it for you, then try dipping them in hummus. You will get your veggies in with the carrots while also taking in healthy fats from the hummus.

Hummus comes in a variety of flavors, so you can change it up whenever you want.

9. Tuna Salad and Crackers

Tuna is an excellent source of vitamin D and protein. Pairing it with crackers will be sure to leave you feeling full for hours.

If you want to make your tuna salad healthier, you can substitute the mayonnaise for plain greek yogurt or avocado.

10. Cheese and Crackers

If tuna isn't your thing, then cheese is also a great topper for your favorite cracker. When eaten in moderation, cheese can help to lower blood pressure while also increasing your protein intake.

Some of the healthiest cheese options are Mozzarella, Ricotta, and Parmesan. 

11. Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is high in both protein and calcium, which is excellent for bone health. While cottage cheese is delicious on its own, some people love to add in extras such as pineapple or toasted nuts.

If you can't get enough of cottage cheese, then try out this cottage cheese protein pancake recipe.

12. Granola Bars

If you need a quick and easy snack on the go, then granola bars are a great option. Many granola bars are full of unneeded sugar, so it is important to read the nutrition label before you buy them.

In addition to granola bars, protein bars are also a great quick snack. Click here to check out a few of our protein bar options.

13. Dark Chocolate and Almonds

If you are looking for a sweet and salty snack, then try pairing dark chocolate with almonds. In moderation, dark chocolate can be highly beneficial. It is rich in minerals such as magnesium, zinc, and iron.

This snack is not low in calories, so it is important to moderate your intake.

14. Chia Pudding

Chia seeds are a superfood that is high in protein, calcium, and zinc. They are also known to increase "good" cholesterol and reduce spikes in blood sugar.

To make chia pudding, all you need to do is combine chia seeds, milk, and honey (or another sweetener) and let them sit in the fridge for two hours. The chia seeds will soak up the milk, creating a pudding-like texture and a tasty snack.

15. Roasted Chickpeas

If you love salty chips, then roasted chickpeas may be a great alternative for you. Chickpeas are very high in fiber and can also help prevent constipation and control blood sugar. Roasting chickpeas gives them a crunchy texture that makes them an excellent option for chip-lovers.

All you have to do is rinse your chickpeas, season them, and then dry them out in the oven. You can make this snack in bulk and store it in the pantry.

Try These Healthy Snack Options Today

So, if you want to start your healthy eating journey, then we hope these healthy snack options give you some inspiration. Eating healthy doesn't have to be a bore. There are many delicious alternatives for you to consider.

If you are trying to lose weight, then feel free to check out all of our healthy snacks and weight-loss supplements today.

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