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Use a Food Tracker to Eat Healthy on a Budget

February 02, 2016

Grocery money

One of the biggest concerns we hear from users who are trying to change their lifestyle is that they can’t afford to get healthy.


Nothing is more valuable than your health, so eating nutritious foods should be a priority. But it’s actually a common myth that a healthy diet has to cost a fortune.


You don’t need a fancy five-star chef to stock your pantry with delicious and nutrient-rich foods, and by using a food tracker like Mealviser in your efforts, you can actually save money on your quest toward a healthier lifestyle.


Track Your Food Intake


When you don’t pay attention to what you’ve eaten throughout the day, it’s easy to overeat and overspend. Using a food tracker can help you make an informed decision about what to fuel your body with next.


For example, when you track your foods using Mealviser, the app will instantly update your fat, carb and protein counts for the day. If you see you’re getting close to your recommended daily carb limit, for example, it’s much easier to say ‘no’ to drive-through French fries and instead reach for some carrots from the fridge.


Make a Plan


Plan ahead for both your budget and your grocery list—then stick to it.


Plan your meals for the coming week using common ingredients. For example, you might purchase two pounds of ground turkey, which could be used in morning omelets, lunchtime tacos and turkey burgers for dinner.


For every item on your shopping list, ask yourself, can I think of at least three different ways to incorporate this into my menu? If the answer is no, you may want to re-think your recipe lineup. Your food tracking app can also help you stick to your recipe plan for the week.


When you hit the grocery store, stick to your list. It’s a lot easy to avoid impulse buys when you have a spending limit in place.


You’ll find several yummy, budget-conscious weekly menus here.


Cook at Least Two Meals Per Day From Scratch


It’s incredible how fast dining out can add up; bringing your lunch to work instead of buying it will save you around $200 per month!


Aim for cooking at least two meals per day from scratch. Helpful hint: when you’re putting in effort in the kitchen, you’ll be a lot less likely to let leftovers go to waste, meaning lots of second portions you can refrigerate and eat another day.


Shop Smart


Save money by buying non-perishable items, like beans and rice, in bulk. You can also buy larger quantities of expensive grocery items like meat and freeze portions to use later.


When you eliminate processed food from your diet and start replacing it with real foods, for example swapping a handful of blueberries in place of chips form the vending machine, you’ll notice something fascinating; the amount of money you spend on food naturally drops. Many fresh foods, like produce and basic cooking ingredients, are actually much cheaper than buying pre-packaged, processed meals and snacks.


Buy In Season


Save money on nutrient-rich produce by buying what’s in season: potatoes, butternut squash and broccoli in the winter, and berries, tomatoes and cucumbers in the summer.


You can learn more about what’s in season and how to shop smart year-round here.


Eat Smart Even When Dining Out


We often recommend sharing a dish when dining out or pre-packaging half of your dish before digging in. This will not only save your waistline, but your wallet, too!


With a bit of pre-planning and smart use of a food tracking app along the way, you can save money and get healthy at the same time.