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Fit & Frugal: Tips for Healthy Eating On A Budget

Eating healthy doesn't have to be expensive, you just have to shop smart! I have had one hell of a time learning this myself just from experience. My budget really became a major roadblock when I moved to L.A. for several years in my early 20s; money was tight. I had roommates, I had several jobs, I downsized, I budgeted, and I still could barely make ends meet. I had to be strategic, especially because I was exercising 6 days a week, and training heavily as a professional dancer. Health was, and still is, a priority.

The cheapest healthy meal I prepped in those days was a light fried rice. It had day old brown rice, lots of scrambled eggs, peas, onions, and honestly any other veggies I had laying around. It wasn't much but it did the trick for the time being. If I had a few extra bucks I would sauté chicken and put some pieces in. I also lived off of canned tuna, and lots of beans and lentils.

Thankfully, I grew out of my early twenties, I moved back to Washington, I have a much more stable income, and I have years of practicing healthy habits (financially and nutritionally) under my belt to keep me going. I have since become vegan, which is a whole new challenge in itself. At first I wasn't sure how to eat vegan, hit my ideal macros (carbs, protein, fats), and stay within my budget, especially as a new mom.

One of the major misconceptions, specifically with vegan and healthy eating, is that it is more expensive. To a point, that can be correct, if you're not spending all your money on pre made meals, meat substitutes, fancy supplements, or shopping at luxury health stores. You can find everything at your local grocery store, farmers market, and discount/bulk item store.

Instead of substitutes, look up recipes and make things from scratch. Instead of things like frozen burger patties, turn to google and get to work! Make sure your cabinet is stocked with plenty of flavorful spices, thats the key! (Spices are really cheap in the bulk section of your store, just bring your own container.)