Ironic as it sounds, diet plans can be heavy on the budget. Most of the time, these diet plans follow strict guidelines by eliminating certain food groups or requiring you to eat specific food only. In case you plan to or are currently using nootropic foods and supplements, you might find yourself in the middle of the supermarket wondering how to maximize brain health while sticking to your budget.
Don’t worry. Eating a high-quality, nootropic filled diet is possible even if you are on a budget. All you need is proper planning, a little bit of cleverness during your grocery shopping, and of course, these 10 tips to help you stay intact:
Say Yes to a Nootropic Diet even If You’re On a Budget
Best Whole Foods for Brain Health & Nervous System Function
Essential fatty acids (EFAs)
- Must be obtained from your diet
- Omega 3s
- Cold water fish; salmon, trout, walleye,
- Dark leafy greens; romaine, spinach, arugula (optimal omega 3 to omega 6 ratio)
- Nuts and seeds; flaxseed, walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, hemp & chia seeds
- Beans: mung beans (15:1 O3:O6), navy, kidney, stem green beans
- Cabbages, winter squash
Foods high in B vitamins
like folate/folic acid(B9), pyridoxine(B6), and cobalamin(B12); these b vitamins lower your risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s, and convert potentially harmful homocysteine into usable cysteine preventing blood vessel damage, and low levels of B6 are also linked to Alzheimer’s suggesting a relationship between Alzheimer’s, homocysteine, and B6
- B9; navy and pinto beans, broccoli, brussel sprouts, oranges, beets
- B6: fish, beef, liver, organ meat, non citrus fruits, starchy vegetables
- B12: red meat, beef liver, mackerel, sardines, salmon, yogurt, milk, swiss cheese
Best brain health nootropic foods in general
- Berries: blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries
- Dark chocolate
Momental Mind is a nootropic supplement loaded with dementia and Alzheimer’s fighting nutrients. It happens to fit the mold of the MIND diet(mediterranean-DASH intervention for neurodegenerative delay, coined by Dr. Martha Clare Morris, which is a hybrid diet that takes advantage of brain nutrition to slow and decrease the effects of cognitive decline. In a study conducted in Neurology in 2014, 800 elderly subjects from the Memory and Aging Project has significantly lower rates of cognitive decline when taking advantage of a nootropic diet. 
Tip No. 1: Always buy nootropic foods in bulk.
When it comes to budgeting, buying in bulk is always in.
Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and even your local grocer may be your go-to when it comes to food shopping. Sadly, they could charge an arm and leg for what you can buy at a cheaper price in wholesale stores, which means bigger savings in the long run.
The next time you go to the grocery, try wholesale stores like Costco, Walmart, and BJs Wholesale, which often have great deals when it comes to beef and chicken. You might also buy directly from farmers who deliver locally-grown farm products. You may check out Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) local food directory here.
Since you are already getting a good deal, make sure to stock up. You might be paying more upfront, but if you compute it, you will be able to save more. Just make sure you’ll eat them because any food wasted is also similar to money wasted.
This leads you to the next tip.
Tip No. 2: Cook in bulk – then freeze.
You stock up on food and that’s the first step. The next thing you need to do is to prepare and cook these foods to make sure they won’t go to waste.
You might ask why.
First, it will save you (a lot of) time. Instead of preparing your food every meal time, which is time-consuming, you can just thaw your already prepared food and eat. Second, it makes sure that you have food and snacks on hand. This will keep you from reaching for those not so healthy quick snacks that can really dampen your mental performance. You won’t be tempted to eat unhealthy meals since you know that there is food prepared in the freezer. Lastly, you can dedicate your time to equally important things, like working out. You’ve just created an extra hour in your day for some much needed you time, or more work, whichever you prefer.
Here’s what you can do to maximize nootropics on a budget:
- Research ahead of time on what to prepare. If you are looking for recipes, the web is littered with them to help you get started.
- Set aside one day every week for meal preparation and cooking. It can be any day of the week, but make sure you choose a day where you don’t have much to do.
- Portion your meals. You can buy containers in several sizes where you can place your food. If it helps, buy clear containers and add labels so you can easily see what you are looking for. This way, you can easily grab-n-go your meals and have it anytime, anywhere.
Additional tip: Always cook food by yourself. It may be tempting to buy meals to make your life easier, but preparing your own food will minimize spending. Plus, you are sure of its safety as well.
Tip No. 3: Have a shopping list on hand.
Going back to grocery shopping, preferably in wholesale stores. When doing your grocery shopping for a nootropic filled diet, make sure that you have a list of the things you need to buy on hand.
It happens all the time. When you don’t have a list of what needs to be bought, there is a 99.9% chance that you will buy more than what you planned. This also means you are most likely to go beyond your budget, which is not the purpose you are aiming for.
Therefore, have a list and stick to it. This ensures that you will be able to buy everything you need and at the same time, helps you stick to your budget.
Oh, and something to remember: make sure you don’t shop while hungry. Even if you have a list, your grumbling tummy is stronger than your brain at that specific moment and there is another 99.9% chance that you will give in to temptation.
Additional tip: Try doing your grocery shopping in the morning. Several grocery stores sell clearance items in the morning, so make sure you’re friends with the butcher to get the details.
Tip No. 4: Look for offers, discounts, and coupons.
Fine, it is time consuming, but believe it or not, it can be worth it especially when you scored the right deals. You might be surprised to find yourself saving a few dollars, which you can use for equally important expenses.
Here’s what you can do:
- Consider buying meat that is close to its expiration date. Many supermarkets sell this with as much as a 20 percent discount, which is not a bad bargain. Just make sure you prepare, cook, and freeze afterwards to prolong its shelf life.
- Look at the “Buy One, Take One” aisles or in-store offers. You could find foods on discounts, which could help you save more since you are buying two items for the price of one. Don’t forget to look at the expiration date since you definitely don’t want to end up with a bad stomach and countless trips to the bathroom.
- You can never go wrong with coupons. There are several couponing websites that help you save, so watch out for those.
Or, you can also try this next tip.
Tip No. 5: Online shopping is the newest thing.
Are you always online? Instead of regularly checking your Facebook or Instagram account, make use of the World Wide Web for online shopping – nootropic shopping, that is.
You might ask why.
Looking for coupons can be time-consuming since some coupons are intended for specific states and stores only. At times, the in-store deals your grocer is offering might not have what you need. In that case, you can turn to online shopping.
Online shopping websites like Amazon sell items such as chia seeds, coconut oil, or almond flour at cheaper prices, shipping included. If you sign up for Amazon Prime, you can enjoy free two-day shipping. Nuts.com is another online store that sells nuts in bulk at discounted prices.
In other words, if you land the right website, you will be able to do your grocery shopping with just a few clicks and in the comfort of your own home. There is no need to waste money on gas or commute or spend considerable amount of time in traffic or roaming around the grocery store. This could equate to bigger savings in the long run.
Since you’re still in the topic of budgeting for your nootropic diet, check out the next tip you need to remember.
Tip No. 6: Don’t go for expensive veggies.
Unlike meat, vegetables have shorter shelf life. Store them the wrong way and you will often find yourself throwing wilted or saggy veggies a few days after you bought them. Again, wasted food equates to wasted money.
What should you do? Stick to cheap vegetables.
Still, it’s not enough that you buy veggies using your coupons. You also have to be wise with your purchasing by making sure that your choice of vegetables can be used in variety of ways. Spinach and broccoli are good choices since you can easily incorporate them in your favorite dishes. Cauliflower may be expensive compared to other veggies, but its versatility is worth the price. You can turn it into rice or even pizza crust without compromising your diet.
Additional tip: Never buy frozen vegetables. Stick to organic veggies since their nutritional content is more intact compared to the frozen ones in the supermarket.
Tip No. 7: You can never go wrong with water.
Do you remember that scene in A Cinderella Story where Shelby went to the diner and asked Sam, played by Hilary Duff, to give her something that has no sugar, no calories, and is fat-free?
When it comes to a nootropic diet on a budget, water can be your best friend. It can be tempting to drink coffee from Starbucks, alcohol, and even “diet drinks,” but the truth is these drinks hurt not just your health but also your pocket. Say goodbye to these pricey drinks and switch to water (or make your own tea and brew your own coffee, if you want to add more flavor to your palate).
If you really need your cup of Joe in the morning, then make your own cup of coffee to help you save more. There are so many convenient ways these days to brew your own coffee, from Keurig machines to Chemex sets, there’s a solution for you. Tea can be a good alternative for your caffeine fix as well. It comes in variety of flavors, so make sure to choose flavors that you truly enjoy and can drink regularly. The caffeine content in green tea is also more mild than that of a cup of coffee. We use L-theanine in Momental Mind to eliminate any anxious, jittery feelings so you get all of the focus and benefits of green tea EGCG without a caffeine spike and crash.
The best part is you can buy these items in bulk at a cheaper cost.
Tip No. 8: Try a FoodSaver.
You will never run out of items that were invented to make humans’ lives easier and more convenient. One of them is the FoodSaver.
Why should you buy one?
FoodSaver vacuum seals the food you prepared, thereby making meals last longer. Since it vacuum seals your foods, you can have more room in your freezer, thereby giving you more space inside. This allows you to buy more items in bulk since you don’t have to worry about space, but also keeps your food far fresher. It’s really a two for one deal here.
Tip No. 9: Make it a habit to cook food for yourself.
How can you say no to restaurant food? The presentation of food will surely entice you to take a bite.
Here’s the thing: it is crazy expensive. You’re helping to pay for the cook, your server, the hostess, the transport of food, the real estate, and don’t forget the owner’s profit. This makes eating out one of the easiest ways to waste money. Why not bond over cooking a meal with your significant other, and taking the time to learn new recipes together while enjoying each other’s company without awkward interactions and inflated prices.
If you are serious about a nootropic diet without burning a hole in your pocket, then it is best to cook food instead. You will need a blender or food processor, a cast iron pot and pan, additional stainless steel pans and pots, a good knife set and a large cutting board, and containers to store your food. Those are my essentials, and any little utensil that makes your life easier in the kitchen, go for it. Lime/lemon squeezer, peeler, tongs, spatula, thermometer, and garlic press are musts. Make sure you can easily access these items to make food preparation and cooking fast and easy. When you have the right tools, every job is exponentially easier, and it’s no different with cooking.
Also, take advantage of the Internet and look for recipes to help you get started with nootropic foods and supplements. It requires a lot of time and effort up front to learn, but you will be able to save more if you start preparing your own meals.
What are you waiting for? Bring out your inner kitchen wizard and discover the joys of nootropic foods and supplements like Momental Mind and Mend. Your brain deserves it.
Tip No. 10: Calculate your return on brain health with nootropics.
This is the most important budget tip you need to remember when going for a nootropic diet. More important than the coupons and deals you seek to allow you to save more, are the long-term mental and physical health benefits. You can’t just plan for today and tomorrow. You need to plan for a lifetime, and if some of the foods mentioned seem expensive to you, start adding up the cost of prescription drugs and medical bills from metabolic disorders. Even if you don’t have them now while you’re young, you’re only going to get older. You don’t want to be looking back 20 years from now and saying to yourself, “if only I spent a little more on quality, nutrient dense foods and supplements that were known to improve cognitive health and prevent mental and physical decline.” These ultimately preventable diseases stem from a poor diet, and neurological deficits are also linked to inadequate brain nutrients. So invest in yourself, and your health, because at the end of the day it’s all you really have.
Here’s how you should go about it:
Part 1: Quantifiable return on Nootropics
Answer the following:
- What do your meals consist of; nootropic vs. non-nootropic? What is the volume and frequency? What would it cost to add a little nootropic density to your current diet?
- What are your current favorite beverages? Do you mix pre-workout powder in a drink and caffeine or are you consuming more or less alcohol?
- What are your snacks? Do you eat fewer snacks because of blood sugar spikes and crashes?
Use your answers to help you compute how much you are spending as opposed to one scoop of Momental Mind Complete Nootropic Blend. Since Mind uses substrates to improve cognitive and physical health, your brain and body will never be lacking for nutrients. What is good about eating an apple? Is the whole thing good for you, or is there a specific part of the apple that delivers the benefits to your health? Fiber is good for digestion and regularity, but won’t do a ton to decrease cognitive decline.
My point being, is that you know an apple is good for you, but never stop to really ask what about the apple is good for you. Metaphorically, Momental only uses the beneficial part of the apple, and the beneficial part of algae, and the beneficial part of spirulina. This is what makes supplementing for a nootropic diet so beneficial, is that no matter how you are currently eating, you can improve your nutrient profile with specificity, and take advantage of nutrients known to improve cognitive performance and memory.
Part 2: Go deeper into qualitative returns
Aside from the money you will save, a nootropic diet offers the following benefits:
- Clarity and focus
- Emotional balance
- Increased fat-burning
- Sense of well-being
- Increased satiety or the feeling of fullness
- Boosts energy for exercise
- Disease prevention and longevity
The Bottom Line for Nootropics in Your Diet
It doesn’t matter what type of diet program you’re in. Your budget will always play a crucial role to ensure that you get what your health deserves while making the most out of a nootropic diet. It may be challenging at first like all changes of habit are, but take advantage of these 10 tips –and with the help of Momental Mind and Mend –you’ll find a life with nootropics to be wholly beneficial.