Sometimes you just want it fast, cheap, easy…. and healthy right?!

Your food that is.

This is the whole reason fast food chains even exist. They cater to our need to have fast, cheap and easy but they often leave out the healthy part. Life is busy. So often times we don’t always have time to sit down and eat a well-balanced 3 course meal but we can do things to eat healthy for less and make it convenient for our busy everyday lives. It’s so important to take care of ourselves while we’re young. You only get one body so make sure you’re giving yourself the best care possible including eating healthy foods.

Here are 8 tips I’ve found useful to for eating fast, cheap, easy but most of all healthy.

Eat Less Meat

Meat is expensive. Have you ever noticed that on menus vegetarian and vegan meals tend to be cheaper than their meaty counter parts? Not to mention meat can be filled with harmful chemicals and fillers that can cause numerous diseases. Try taking one day a week to go meatless, like meatless Mondays. Your wallet and your body will thank you.

Cook

I know. You’re thinking ‘you said this was going to include ways to eat fast and convenient.’ Coming from someone who hates to cook I get it, but cooking not only saves money but can do wonders for our health as well. Using fresh or frozen produce in your meals add nutrition and not to mention cooking your own food is way cheaper. You can make simple recipes like sandwiches, salads, and even mock chipotle bowls and they all take less than 10 minutes to prepare.

Meal prep

This is the process of planning your meals for the week, usually by cooking a large dish and dividing them up into smaller servings in Tupperware etc. This can be a huge time and money saver. Even if your version of meal prep is having frozen meals or saving half of your take out from the night before. Just getting in the habit of thinking ahead about your meals will help you be more mindful when buying food and you will often find yourself not wasting as much food either. If you know your team at work is having a celebration lunch next week, take that into account when buying groceries for that next week. The same thing applies if you’re going out of town as well so you don’t overspend and end up wasting food and money.

Freeze your food

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to go to the pick your own fruit and vegetable farms to buy produce by the pound. It’s usually so much cheaper and you can keep them for an extended amount of time when you freeze them. It’s a great way to save money and be healthier.

Package your own snacks

Sometimes you just need a quick fix in the office or while running errands. Keep nutrition bars in your work bag or portable fruits like apples, bananas and oranges to give you a cheap, healthy and convenient snack on the go. You can also use Ziploc bags to keep things like nuts and popcorn on hand if you get hungry between meals.

Use coupons

Who doesn’t love discounts! You google everything else, so google yourself some food savings by finding coupons for food online. You can also join your grocery stores customer loyalty service and they will usually send you coupons in the mail too. Those BOGO deals and dollar savings do add up.

Tell your friends ‘No’

We all like to eat out and try new restaurants but going out all the time can get expensive. Sometimes you have to let your friends know that you can’t go to happy hour or brunch this week and be ok with that. Suggest something else to do like a dance class or having a kickback where you don’t have to feel pressured to overspend on food or alcohol.

Stop over buying food

Take an inventory of your kitchen. How many old salad dressings, cans of beans and bottles of ketchup do you have lying around? Many people waste a lot of food each week by buying more food than they actually need. After you take an inventory of your kitchen decide what items you actually use and how often you use them. Maybe some things should be purchased every other week or once a month to eliminate costly extra items. Buy produce that you know you will use this week. If you don’t think you’re going to eat something within 7 days chances are you can wait to buy it and use that money for something else this week. Figure out what works for you and stick to your budget.

What fast, cheap & healthy food tips do you have? Leave a comment and share with us!