Balance scale showing healthy fruits and veggies on the heavier side, and a dollar bill on the lighter side.

Eating Healthy Without Breaking the Bank!

Last updated: June 2021

Many people living with HIV change their diets as a way to adopt healthier habits. Fueling your body the right way can greatly affect your overall health.

Barriers to eating healthy

Although many of us have a general idea of how to eat better, it can be overwhelming when looking at the sometimes steep prices for healthy foods!

Not only can eating healthy seem like too expensive of a task, but it can also consume a lot of time to prepare healthy meals.

However, these simple tips and tricks may help you move towards eating nutritiously without breaking the bank.

How to save money

While good food can come at a higher price, adjusting your budget or the way you shop may free up some extra wiggle room to spend a little more.

Some of these simple adjustments may free up more money than expected to put towards higher-quality items:

  • Shop at budget-friendly stores and buy generic or the store brand.
  • Go grocery shopping alone and stick to a preplanned list. Stock up when something you frequently buy is on sale!
  • Buy items in bulk that do not spoil easily. Opt for frozen produce when possible.
  • When buying fresh produce, buy what is in season. Frequenting local farmer’s markets can be a great way to get a good deal. Sometimes farmers are more willing to negotiate on price if you arrive at the end of the market hours.
  • Take advantage of store reward points, sales, and coupons. There are also many money-saving apps, such as Ibotta and Checkout51.

Invest in nutrient-dense foods

While fast food can be inexpensive and quick, many of the additives and processes used to make these items may do more harm to our bodies.

For example, junk food serving sizes are typically very small, which may make you feel hungrier soon after eating. This can lead to more spending because you keep buying another meal when you are hungry again!

More energy and strength

Junk food, particularly when it contains a lot of sugar, can also make you feel sluggish. On the other hand, fruits and veggies are much more nutrient-dense and will keep you fuller for longer.

Eating a large serving of fiber-packed produce and grains may actually fill you up longer and give you more energy than eating a bag of chips would.

Only you know what your time and budget needs are. But if you feel like you are picking convenient options because you are exhausted or not feeling up to making a meal at home, it could be time to invest in options that will give you more energy and strength to get through the day!

Resources for eating healthy

Did you know that there are governmental and other sources of support that can help you purchase healthier options?

Some programs can even assist you in making meals if you qualify. Check out some of these options below to see if they could work for you:

Long-term benefits

While healthier foods may seem more expensive, often the long-term benefits greatly outweigh those of cheaper processed foods. Not just in terms of saving money, but also in terms of increasing energy, enjoying larger portion sizes, and enjoying overall positive health effects.

Only you know what you have the time and budget for, but eating healthy does not have to be a scary or overwhelming feat.

What are your tips on eating healthy without breaking the bank?

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