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Intuitive Eating on a Budget

Written by: Brianna Hanson

When it comes to being an intuitive eater, cost can be seen as a potential barrier. How is one supposed to eat intuitively, with respect to their body’s signals, if they have a tight budget? From my own experiences as a college student, I can confidently say that not only can intuitive eating on a budget be accomplished, it can actually be enjoyable! 

In this blog post, I will share with you practical tips that I use to eat intuitively, even when on a budget.

  1. Eating Seasonally

I don’t know about you, but I often get in the habit of picking up the same foods every time I go to the grocery store. Fall is just around the corner and this is the perfect time to start saving some money by purchasing what is in season. In the upcoming fall season, foods such as  pears, apples, potatoes, zucchini and obviously many more will be in season. Personally, I try to eat seasonal food because it will last longer in the refrigerator, taste more flavorful and helps add variety of food and therefore, nutrients into my diet that I might not get otherwise.

For more details on eating seasonal food, visit https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org 

Eating Seasonally — Spade & Plow
  1. Sticking to the Staples 

Learning to cook using the foods that you can find in almost any pantry is key to saving money as an intuitive eater. I like to make sure that I always have foods on hand that will go with any meal. This eliminates food waste so you are actually getting your money’s worth. Take chickpeas for example, they can be used to make a hummus, roasted for a crunchy snack, tossed in pasta for a good protein source, and the list goes on. Pantry staples are the base for a countless amount of meals. 

If you are interested in learning more about cooking with pantry staples, check out The Kitchen Shelf by Eve O’Sullivan! 

3.  Preparing for food cravings

The fact of the matter is, we are going to crave food that we don’t have in our pantry or fridge. We don’t have to feel guilty for it either. There are two things I like to do to ensure that I have a little bit of room in my budget to but foods that I didn’t necessarily plan for. Number one, I always have something sweet in my house. The beauty of intuitive eating is that I control the food, it doesn’t control me. I can keep sweets in my house and not be constantly thinking about them due to deprivation. Number two, I set aside money out of my budget every week in case I want to go grab that food I have been craving. 

Intuitive eating can be done on a budget by eating seasonally, learning to cook using pantry staples and preparing for food cravings. This is by no means an exhaustive list but I hope it gives you some good ideas! A grocery budget does not have to hold you back from eating foods that satisfy and nourish your body. 

Are you interested in learning about eating intuitively? Check out Elizabeth Beil Nutrition for individualized sessions to help you break free from diet culture and learn how to listen to your body verses diet culture.

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