Frugal Diet Tips

Christy | 1:08 PM |

Have you made some New Year's resolutions to lose weight or to eat a healthier diet? You don't have to sign up for expensive weight-loss programs or buy gourmet pre-packaged meals to stick to a new diet or to adopt healthy changes. Losing weight can actually be quite inexpensive if you purchase healthy foods and practice some good habits. Here are a few frugal diet tips to help you lose weight and create a healthier lifestyle:

Buy in Season

Simply altering your shopping habits can make a bit impact on your health and your budget. Fruits and vegetables that are in season are less expensive. Expensive techniques don't have to be used to grow and preserve these foods when they do not naturally thrive, and they do not have to be shipped from half way around the world. Fruits and vegetables that are in season are also fresher and can be purchased free of preservatives and other growing chemicals. You get more nutrients for a healthier diet.

Shop at Farmers' Markets

You don't have to shop at expensive organic food stores to get quality food. Local farmers' markets offer naturally grown foods for lower prices. You can find meats that are raised without hormones or unhealthy feed, as well as fruits and vegetables that are raised without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. All the food you purchase at these markets will also be fresh and in season. You will save a lot of money and create a healthy diet.

Grow Your Own Food

If you have a green thumb, you can grow your own food to save even more money. You don't have to own your own home or have extensive acreage on which to grow your own produce. Even a square-foot garden in a small plot of land or on an apartment balcony can allow you to grow staples like greens, tomatoes, onions, herbs, or other produce. You will save a lot of money on your weekly grocery budget, and you will ensure a steady supply of fresh, healthy produce.

Cook at Home

Eating out can add up quickly -- both in dollars and calories. Even if you're eating out at "healthy" restaurants or choosing lighter fare, portions are generally larger than you need, meaning you get far more calories than you need, and the processed foods have a lot of added sugars and fats. Diet programs that offer home-delivered meals are also quite expensive. Anything you can purchase already made can be cooked at home for far less. You can also oversee the quality of the ingredients you use, making sure that they are all natural and that no hidden sugars or fats are used.

Practice Portion Control

Americans have become used to larger and larger portion sizes as "super sizing" has become a more popular option. By learning to limit your portion sizes, you will eat less food, saving yourself hundreds or thousands of calories and significantly reducing your food budget each week. Try using a smaller plate when preparing your meals to limit your portions. When you use a large dinner plate, you are likely to fill it with food and to eat all of it. Also, get in the habit of reading food labels to determine practical portion sizes.

Drink a Lot of Water

You don't need expensive protein shakes or gourmet sparkling waters to lose weight. Drinking a lot of plain tap water is a great way to promote health and weight loss -- and it's totally free. Water helps to make you feel full longer, increases your metabolism, aids digestion, and helps your body function more efficiently. If you worry about the purity of your tap water, install a filter on your faucet. If you don't like the taste of water, try flavoring it by adding small pieces of fruit like strawberries or blueberries, or add a splash of fresh fruit juice like lemon or grapefruit.

Eating a healthy diet does not require that you buy pre-packaged "health foods" at organic grocers or that you sign up for exclusive diet plans with home-delivered meals. Making simple choices like shopping for foods that are in season at local markets, cooking at home, and practicing portion control can help you to lose weight and to save money.

About the Author:

Bridget Sandorford is a grant researcher and writer for Along with her passion for whipping up recipes that incorporate "superfoods", she recently finished research on florida culinary schools and culinary schools in new york state.

About is a collection of frugal-living articles and resources for women trying to save money- while still being able to enjoy the luxuries of life.