Eating cheap and healthy can be a difficult thing. At times a cheap microwavable meal or the ease of ordering-in can be to tempting to pass up. The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported that a Harvard study found eating on a junk food diet can save up to $1.50 a day. However if one shops intelligently and cooks efficiently there are ways to navigate the price gap between healthy and unhealthy eating habits.
Try the occasional vegetarian meal
Produce is cheaper than meat, and dropping expensive proteins from your cooking a few times a week can save hundreds per year, according to Eatingwell.com. You can even do your part in saving the environment by going vegetarian periodically. A United Nations study showed that the meat industry produces one-fifth of the world's man-made greenhouse gas emissions. When you're shopping for your vegetarian meal, remember to shop for fruits and vegetables that are in-season. They'll usually be more affordable than those out-of-season, as stated on Goodhousekeeping.com.
Canned fish is cheaper than its fresh counterpart
Canned fish will provide the same omega-3 fats as any other fish you'll find at your grocery story, but at a fraction of the price, according to Eatingwell.com. These fats will lower triglycerides and blood pressure, which will keep your heart healthy. Replacing one pound of fresh tuna with a pound of canned tuna can once a week can save over $200 per year.
Pack lunch every day
Grabbing food locally on your lunch break can take a toll on your budget. Eatingwell.com states that by packing a lunch instead of eating out five days a week, you can save more than $1,300 annually. Goodhousekeeping.com lists several cheap, healthy alternatives to eating out that can easily be prepared at night for lunch the next day. These include grilled chicken and greens, vegetarian chili or omelettes.