Eating Healthy on a Budget during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Meal planning is very difficult in the face of the coronavirus pandemic — especially if you have a family to feed. That can pose problems if you are currently short on funds needed to buy essential food items since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended stocking up on food that is good for two weeks if possible. Together with lack of funds, food scarcity creates a huge headache of those struggling to survive the pandemic because healthy food sources are needed to keep the immune system going, which is key to reducing the possibility of a coronavirus infection. If you and your household are planning to eat healthy on a budget during this crisis, Get Healthy, East Harlem has some dietitian-recommended tips that should help you get started:

Plan Your Grocery Shopping
The CDC recommends going to the grocery store only when absolutely needed. The problem is that it varies from household to household — for example, those with little space for extra provisions may have to go more than once a week or may find a large grocery haul so expensive that they opt to buy essentials little by little. We recommend sticking to a grocery list that is “intentional and purposeful with the money you have and planning ahead as much as possible” whenever you need to go grocery shopping. Take advantage of best deals while receiving more savings. When at the store, check out the sales flier or any coupon booklets.

Buy Low-Cost, Highly Nutritious Food
If you have little money on hand and are wondering what you should buy, Get Healthy, East Harlem advises really looking at what is key, which includes following dietary guidelines and recommendations for nutrient-dense protein, whole grain. Junk food full of processed carbs may be hard to avoid during stressful times, but there’s no monetary room for discretion and there’s no discretionary money for discretionary calories, so make sure that everything you purchase and eat is as nutrient dense as possible.

Eggs, dry beans, wheat bread and peanut butter are among the excellent food options that offer high nutritional value at a low price. They have a good shelf life. If you’re able to plan ahead, they’re pretty versatile and you can use them in different ways. Almost at every meal you could incorporate those items.