With grocery prices rising it can be hard to maintain a budget. Not only that, but juggling classes, jobs, and extracurriculars can make it easy to slide into a routine of irregular eating habits. Eating healthily, and regularly are important to ensuring success in your life, as it provides you with the energy and nutrition you need to take on the day. Here are 5 ways that have made eating healthy easier for me.

1. Planning Meals & Making a Grocery List

Be realistic about how often you eat everyday, and make grocery lists based on the meals that you eat. By creating a list, you are more likely to stick to the budget you set out, and also you tend to use your groceries more often rather than letting them go to waste!

2. Buy Frozen Fruits & Vegetables

Frozen fruits and vegetables can be bought in larger portions and can stay fresh for much longer. Most vegetables and fruits provide the same or better nutritional value compared to their fresh counterparts and can be heated up by simply microwaving them shortly or can be blended into a smoothie.

3. Find Alternatives to Eating Out

If you are someone who eats out a lot, figure out what exactly it is about eating out that appeals to you and mimic that in your grocery shopping. Like trying new cuisines? Build in experimenting with new foods into your grocery budget. Like the speed? Buy frozen meals or meal prep so you can have something ready and quick to eat. Like the convenience? Plan on swapping meals with friends, so you can enjoy a home-cooked meal without having to cook every day.

4. Buy Seasonal Produce

Learn when certain produce is in season, and aim to buy them during that time. When produce is in season, it tends to be much cheaper, easier to find, and always much tastier. Most New England produce are in season in early fall and late summer, so try something new around that time and you may find something both delicious and cheap!

5. Grow Your Own Food

Even if you don’t have access to a full garden, there are some produce that can be grown within your kitchen. One of my favorites is scallions, as all I do is cut the stem off once I am finished with it and place it in water and sunlight and can use the scallions regularly in my meals. Experiment with different produce to find out what is best for you.

6. Buy at the Farmers Market

There are a variety of local farmers markets in the area, and they often sell fresh and delicious produce at much cheaper prices. If you receive SNAP benefits, they also provide up to 15$ in matching and you can receive further benefits depending on household size.

Over time these tips have saved me countless trips to the grocery store because I forgot something, and have helped me save money while also enjoying cooking and eating more. These aren’t the only tips however, and if you have some ideas feel free to leave them in the comments!