While living a healthy lifestyle is important, it can be very expensive and not budget friendly.
You will want to plan your meals around the weekly deals from the grocery stores that you picked out.
As I often say, eating as healthily as possible now is far cheaper than trying to fix medical problems down the road. And for the sake of your budget, buy things like meat and seafood in bulk packages (just don’t go crazy on the 12-packs!) and freeze them to thaw and eat as needed.
Here are some practical tips to keep in mind particularly if you’re keeping a tight watch on the bottom line:1. Shop the Produce Aisle Like a ChefLook for fresh, local, in-season veggies and fruits, which are often considerably less expensive than those flown in from another hemisphere or trucked across the country. Shop several types of stores, from supermarkets to farmers markets, to green grocers, to the corner store to increase the odds of finding good deals on healthy, fresh foods.2.
Kick ‘Convenience’ FoodsStudies show that convenience foods cost more than whole ones and are less nutritious – so steer clear! All that manufacturing, packaging, trucking, shipping and advertising doesn’t come cheap, you know. 3.
Keep It RealHealthy foods are real foods – and none of them come out of the ground with nutrition labels! If it comes in a box or bag labeled with more than 3 – 5 ingredients, leave it on the shelf. Also, if you can’t pronounce or easily identify the ingredients (no matter how few or many there are), you’re better off without them.4. Mix It UpIf eating all-organic, all-the-time is too pricey, then eat of mix of organic and non-organic foods. The list lays out which fruits and veggies you should always buy organic and which ones you don’t need to.6. Embrace the Frozen Food AisleA great place to pick up fruits and veggies is in the frozen food aisle.
Frozen foods, be they organic or otherwise, are picked at their peak so they retain much of their nutritional value and are ready anytime to toss into stir-fry dishes, soups and casseroles.
Fortify Meals Frugally With Inexpensive Fermented FoodsLike their frozen food cousins, fermented foods are fantastic money savers because they last for months in the fridge, so there’s little spoilage or waste. Better yet, fermented foods are excellent for supporting the health of your gut, are simple to make and taste delicious – they’re the total package!8. Shop AroundLike the song says, ‘you gotta shop around’ to get the most nutrition for your buck. To keep costs in check, track the cost of your go-to foods and staple items with help from a shopping app so you can easily compare prices between local supermarkets, farmers markets, green grocers and ‘big box’ stores.9.
Share the Good StuffAnother way to get your share of healthy produce for less is to join a food co-op. You can also buy a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) membership and split costs with a neighbor. For low-income individuals, many CSAs offer low-cost memberships, making access to healthy food easier regardless of income. 11. Even if it’s the dead of winter or you’re a pressed-for-space apartment-dweller, it’s still possible create a small indoor garden. Mind Your MeatsOne simple way to keep dollars in check is to eat less animal protein and buy it in smaller quantities, because no matter how you slice it, it can be costly. But look for 100% grass-fed meats from animals that have been humanely-treated, pasture-raised, without hormones or antibiotics, from organic or small local producers at the farmers market. Manage Your MeatsBuy cheaper cuts of high quality meats and stretch them by using them as an ingredient in stews, soups and casseroles, rather than being the centerpiece of the meal.
Try eating half an organic chicken breast instead of a whole one, or use shredded chicken as a tasty add-in to soup, salad or grain bowls.
With less animal protein on your plate, there’ll be more room on your plate for plants, which is great for the health of your gut. 14, Slip the No-meat CheatsIf you’re cutting animal protein consumption, try to avoid swapping them for processed meat substitutes.
Mock meats tend to be loaded with sodium, preservatives and anything-but-healthy ingredients – so you’re far better off eating a small amount of the real stuff instead.For more ideas on how to make room on your plate for foods that truly enhance and support wellness, check out my healthy eating tip sheet.
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