How To Afford Healthy Food Within A Budget?
In my role as health coach, this is a question I hear often. It’s no surprise why. I know that in my home a sizeable chunk of our income pays my family’s monthly food budget, and let’s just say we’re no Rockefellers. Sometimes I wonder myself how we can afford to eat mostly organic produce, grass-fed beef and organic chicken.
You Can’t Really Afford ‘Not’ To!
Eating healthy really is the best way to save money. Proper nutrition keeps you from being sick thereby preventing visits to the doctor, eliminating the need to spend money on medicine and so forth. And if you splurge anywhere, why not on the food that fuels your own body, the thing you rely on the most? Aren’t you worth it?
However, it can be difficult to get started and the general perception of organic food products is that they are very pricey. By the end of this article, I hope you’ll learn that in general, eating whole, un-processed foods is cheaper than buying a lot of pre-packaged snack foods.
You Will Soon Be Saving With These Simple “S” Tips:
Stir, Simmer, Saute and Serve at Home:
Because you control the ingredients, the seasonings and the portions, home cooking will always trump restaurant meals or prepared foods. Most restaurant portions could feed two adults and you have no idea how much salt or preservatives are in that dish. One of the best fringe benefits of cooking at home is the leftovers. They get a bad rap, but they’re a great way to stretch the food dollar. Throw an extra piece of meat on the grill and use it for fajitas the next day for lunch. The roast chicken can be picked clean for tomorrow’s chicken salad. Plain buttered noodles from last night’s pasta can be a hearty addition to a soup or mixed with cut up veggies for a pasta salad.
Stick with the Seasons:
Use simple, fresh, in-season ingredients in your dishes. Pay attention to how a store’s produce section is priced. Summer in the northeast means low prices on peaches, blueberries and tomatoes. But come winter, the numbers go up. If you must buy off season, go to the frozen foods section where prices are lower, but the nutritional content and health benefit is virtually unchanged.
Skip Snack Foods:
We are conditioned to think, food in pretty packages tastes better. The grocery store may run specials on chips and make them like a bargain. But what are you really saving?
Snacks are not designed to keep us healthy – many in fact, are filled with empty calories, preservatives and artificial ingredients. Healthy snacking can happen on a budget. If you’re feeling hungry in between meals, choose wholesome foods. Go for a piece of whole grain toast with peanut butter, a piece of fruit, cheese and crackers or hummus on a pita. Eat something that provides nourishment for the body – the definition of a good value.
A co-op or CSA or even a group of like-minded neighbors can join forces and buy as a group. I have found such a solution through a mom’s group and together we buy fresh organic milk, eggs, meat and produce from a farmer. We contribute to the delivery costs and the farmer is thrilled that they have regular customers. If this situation is not available, try a CSA or farmer’s market. Buying in bulk also helps reduce costs.
Remember that changing your eating habits won’t happen overnight. Consider logging your food purchases in a journal or spreadsheet. You’ll be able to see each month where your money has gone and can make adjustments. Small, gradual changes, like bringing your lunch to work or school instead of buying is one area that can have a major impact and is relatively easy to execute. Remember a $6 sandwich eaten 5 times a week adds up to over $1500 a year!
How Do You Eat Healthy And Stay Within Your Budget Too?
Well everyone wants to eat healthy to remain fit and fine, but keeping in view the cost of organic and other healthy food it becomes difficult to manage healthy food within a budget. We have discussed few points above to help you guide to have healthy food within a prescribed budget.
Do share your tips on how do you eat healthy and yet manage to stay within your food budget.
If you like this post and want to have top health tips, fitness tips, health care tips and fitness regime tips, you can subscribe to FREE Health n Fitness Care feed via EMAIL to get instant updates on health and fitness information.