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  • reillybrophy03

How to Eat Plant Based on a Budget

College students, listen up! There is a way to eat plant-forward on a budget and still eat a diversity of foods and nutrient dense meals. In this post I will share my top three tips on how to eat a well-balanced plant-forward diet for little cost. Let's dive right in!


 

1. Don't waste your money on all organic produce

That's right, you heard me, eating organic produce is not a hill you should die on when trying to eat more vegetables and fruit. According to Mayo Clinic, the term "organic" refers to the

methods farmers use to grow produce, which regulate the growing conditions. Although there is no doubt that 100% organic produce has some health benefits over non-organic, those benefits are not worth the increased price. Plus, according to the USDA, produce only have to be 95% organic to be labeled100% organic and can be labeled as made with organic ingredients when only 70% of ingredients are organic. In conclusion, when you are on a budget, there is no reason to waste money on paying for organic produce.


2. Meal Plan and Meal Prep for the Week

This is VERY helpful for saving money and time. Meal planning is very important because it can help you choose meals for the week that require similar ingredients, so you don't waste any food or buy too many groceries for the week. I recommend choosing one meal for lunch and one meal for dinner that you know you'll want that week and then write out the ingredients for each of those meals. Once you have a list of the ingredients, one other recipe that uses similar ingredients and boom, all of a sudden you have 3 meals planned for the week.

For breakfast, I recommend keeping things simple. Oatmeal with fruit and seeds, eggs with sprouted toast, or a nutrient dense smoothie are great options that you can buy ingredients in bulk. Check out some of my easy breakfast recipes for ideas!

Finally, buy the ingredients for the week and set aside 1-2 hours over the weekend to prep/cook your meals.


3. Eat What's In Season!

This might take a quick google search to find out what is in season in your region/state, but once you find a list of produce in season, plan your meals around those produce! Why will this help you save money? Well, produce that is in season is typically less expensive than out--of-season produce because of supply and demand principles. The demand for out-of-season produce may be the same, but the supply is not, so grocery stores will charge higher prices. So before you plan your next meal, look at what's in season and try to buy those ingredients instead.


Here is a good website to use! Seasonal Produce Guide | SNAP-Ed (usda.gov)






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