When people hear the words “eating healthy” often times the reaction is that it is too expensive. To help dispel this worrisome myth here are 10 tips to help you enjoy more quality foods.
- Meal Planning
Planning your meals in advance will allow you to make foods ahead of time and have them ready for lunches and re-purpose for other meals. It also will cut down on prep time. A good solution is to come up with 14-28 recipes that are healthy (and also inexpensive) to make and figure out how many ingredients each takes to prepare. This way you can come up with a quick list of items to buy (or just check off what you already have) that are needed to make the recipe. This will allow you to stick to a list and ensure that you have the food prepared or ready to. This will also help cut back on impulsive eating and purchases.
- Prepare Foods in Bulk
This works very well with meats. Prepare large less expensive cuts and use in various ways during the week. Look for sales on items such as turkey, ham, brisket, etc. Buy them in bulk and then prepare and you can use the leftovers for lunches as well as dinners. To further stretch your budget, you can use the bones to make bone broth or stock.
- Follow the Seasons
Vegetables can range in price dramatically depending on the season. Purchase vegetables that are in season as their costs will be less. Also, you can purchase frozen vegetables as they tend to be cheaper, and in some cases, more fresh than some vegetables depending on the source.
- Bulk Orders
Find a co-op or a store that you can buy in bulk non-perishables such as coconut flour, olive oil, herbal teas, etc. You can even find local farmers that will allow you buy items such as cheese in bulk but this can be tough but well worth the time. Keep in mind there is more cost upfront.
- Buy Local
Use websites like Local Harvest or Eat Well Guide to find farmers, Community Supported Agriculture’s, or farmers market in your area.
- Green Thumb
Grow your own food. Even in a big city it is possible to have a small garden for vegetables. For those that have more space you can expand to fruit trees, grape vines, and so on. For those looking to use the most of a small area a good place to start is Square Foot Gardening.
- Raise your Own
For the truly adventurous (and those definitely not limited on space) you can get chickens to provide eggs and/or a cow. Backyard Chickens provides info on raising chickens in smaller yards. For most a cow isn’t exactly feasible but you can look into cow-sharing or a farmer that offers beef in your area.
- Save and Preserve
Canning can help to cut down your food bill and provide a wealth of items for your family. Freezing is also another solution to save meats and vegetables. Lastly, dehydrating can provide yet another way to save foods and cut down on waste.
- Avoid Drinks
Don’t buy soda, canned drinks, processed juices, etc. Not only will you be helping your budget but you will notice a difference in your health. Sodas and fruit juices case a insulins spikes and provide little to no nutrition. Alternatives such as kefir and kombucha (which can be made at home), herbal teas, as well as homemade coconut and almond milk.
- Find Savings Elsewhere
If you really want to cut back in other ways to be able to spend more on healthy foods or just allow you more variety you can cut back in other ways. Here are some examples:
- Don’t eat out, eating out can take a toll on the wallet and the waistline.
- Make your own cleaning products.
- Make your own cosmetics/beauty products.
- Exercise at home.
- Cut back on entertainment costs.
- Cut back on vitamins/supplements (if you’re eating healthier you will more likely than not no longer need these)
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