How To Eat Healthy On A Budget
The biggest hurdle most people have to clean eating isn’t the food. Fresh, homemade, organic food is delicious! And when we really get honest with ourselves, it often isn’t really giving up those unhealthy foods that stops us either. Yeah, maybe there’s that one food that you just can’t let go of… but when you are truly honest with yourself, it’s fear.
The bottom line is, that when you try to switch it all to clean, organic, GMO-free food, you feel like you’re breaking the bank. You hit the checkout line with a cart full of ‘healthy’ groceries for the first time, and almost faint when the total comes up. Maybe you didn’t even make it that far. Maybe you picked up the package of organic baby greens or cereal, and took one look at the tag on the shelf and put it down thinking, ‘It’s so much more expensive. How do people afford to eat this way?’
Unless you have a whole lot of extra income, overhauling the way you eat and shop doesn’t usually happen overnight. Take it one step at a time. Make small changes and keep looking for ways to eat clean on your budget. You can also find clever ways to funnel more money over to the food budget. It’s a transition (and investment!), but it’s is one well worth making.
7 tips for eating healthy on a budget:
Make it from scratch
Cooking at home saves money over eating out any day. You can even take it one step further and start making food from scratch, which is even cheaper than buying those fancy, boxed sides and mixes. You will save money and, better yet, you will know exactly what’s in the food you’re eating. Try just mastering one new dish a week!
Plan your meals and shop with a list
It is always a good idea to have a plan. You will save money by knowing what you need and making less trips to the store.
Buy in bulk
If you can, purchase larger quantities, and freeze and store the extra for another week. Stores always have bigger packs that cost less per unit. Be wary, though: sometimes the big package isn’t less. Be sure to check the unit price and be an informed shopper.
Shop local and in season
Foods that are in season are generally cheaper than the foods that have to be shipped from halfway around the globe. Also, it pays to know your farmer and buy directly from the source.
Use discounts or coupons if you can find them
Sometimes, you can find a deal or get a coupon on healthy snacks and some of those great, organic convenience foods.
Join a group
There are plenty of local groups that share in the savings by pooling their buying power. Check out a local co-op or CSA or start one in your area. You can find them at coopdirectory.com, or localharvest.org.
If you haven’t cut meat out of your diet yet, you can start by eliminating it from a few meals a week. Beans, tempeh, and other plant proteins are cheaper than meat.
Do you have any resources to share, or tips that help you save money?
Leave them in the comments below.
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