Eating Healthy on a Budget - Not So Impossible After All

By KBJR News 1

July 19, 2013 Updated Jul 19, 2013 at 2:18 PM CDT


Eating healthy on a budget can seem like an impossible task.
See how some people are working to make it a bit easier.

Not many can deny the positive effects that come with healthy eating.
However, in hard economic times some say eating right is even harder on their wallet.

"It's so hard especially if you're a college kid on budget," says Briana Engh, a college student trying to eat right.

Engh attends classes, and waits tables part time, to help pay the bills.

"The biggest obstacle is how available it is. Fast food is everywhere and even at the grocery store saying oh do I want to buy Ramen for 26 cents or do I want to buy fresh vegetables?"

Raised with her biological sister and at least three foster children at a time, Engh knows first–hand the effects a small budget can have on diet.

"My parents never were very wealthy people and we knew that but we didn't know how it affected our diets."

Now a senior in college and a month into her health journey, she says eating right is hard, but worth it.

She offers advice to those worrying about affordability.

"Budgeting. I set aside at least twenty dollars out of my tips for food. And do not buy food in the car, that's the biggest thing. If you're driving you don't need to eat food, you don't. And if you're eating food and you're driving...it's bad food."

But in the day of the dollar menu... is healthy eating really an affordable option?

Essentia Health dietician Bonnie Brost says with a few lifestyle changes, it is.

"I think frozen vegetables are easy to keep and they don't go bad. People think that oh I have to get fresh produce and it'll go bad. I buy it and it spoils and I'm throwing away money. Buy more frozen vegetables.

Pasta can also be an inexpensive option.
But make sure to look for the whole grain symbol.

"This is a white whole wheat pasta so it's as high in fiber as the really dark pasta, but it's white so it's a lot more acceptable to kids and other family members," Brost advices.

Brost also gave advice on how to get the most from you meat purchases.

"Making more soups and stews. Because in a soup you might use a pound of meat but you're also going to be putting a lot of other vegetables in it and a pound of meat could go over ten servings possibly."

Think Sloppy joes...with lentils. Brost explains the benefits of the recipe.

"It uses a pound of ground beef but with a half a cup of lentils that you put in it and cook it expands the volume and you get 8 servings out of a pound of ground beef with this recipe where as if you just took a can of Manwhich and a pound of meat you'd probably maybe get 5 servings,"

Eating healthy on a budget leading to great results.

"I love it. People have been telling me I look good and I'm like, thank you," Engh says proudly.

Dietician Bonnie Brost says loin cut or round cut meats like sirloin are more healthy and less expensive than their counterparts.

Posted to the web by Gabrielle Ware