“Healthy foods cost too much!”
When talking with the busy women in my world about switching their diets from the pre-packaged processed food diet to the healthy food diet, their number one complaint is “I can’t afford healthy foods.”
I understand your pain, I felt the same way, especially the first time I encountered a $20 chicken at the Farmers Market. You may not eat a lot of pre-packaged processed foods, but I did. I’m all about quick and easy and a pre-packaged meal suited me just fine, a $20 chicken did not. When your life is on a roller coaster and time is of an essence, we’ll choose quick over healthy most of the time. I did, that is until my health began to show signs that all was not well with my body.
Let me spare you the struggle and tell you that your complaint “I can’t afford healthy foods” is just not true?
You can afford to eat healthy. In fact, it is costing you more to not eat healthy. There are so many ways to enjoy healthy foods without spending your entire paycheck. In fact, the pre-packaged, processed foods that aren’t improving your health are more expensive. They cost more per serving, and they certainly cost more in the long run if we’re factoring in your long-term health and doctor bills.
The good news though is with a few tricks up your sleeve, you can make healthy eating happen, and for much less than you think.
Let me share 6 tips that will have you eating healthier without straining your budget…
Tip No. 1: Buy Frozen Berries
I love fresh berries. I buy fresh berries. I throw away molded fresh berries.
Fresh berries are notoriously expensive, even when they’re in season. With the frozen ones, the nutrients are locked in at the peak of freshness. They don’t spoil, and you can toss them in with spinach and fresh bananas for a simple smoothie, add them to your oatmeal or cereal, or snack on them.
My freezer stays stocked with organic frozen berries and their cost is relatively low and I don’t have to throw them away.
Tip No. 2: Choose Oats
I enjoy my oats in the morning, and would buy those little microwave packets of oatmeal for breakfast. Then I read the ingredients and the nutrition label and realized that my health was not in their best interest.
Morning breakfast can still be fast without those pre-packaged oatmeal packs which have additives and sweeteners. Buy rolled oats instead and pour boiling water over a serving and let them sit a couple of minutes to absorb the water. Breakfast is done. Add some of those frozen berries for a sweet touch.
Overnight oats are my favorite quick breakfast and cost next to nothing to enjoy.
Tip No. 3: Have Some Kale
Okay, before my transition into healthy eating, I’m not sure I had ever heard of kale. How life changes when you begin to eat healthy. It is has now become an addition to my “greens” shopping list.
Most people only use ice-berg lettuce to make salads. And those same people, despite their best intentions, become tired of those salads a few days into the week. I’ve also thrown away unused lettuce at the end of the week due to lack of salad enthusiasm.
Here’s my tip: buy kale instead. Kale is less expensive and more nutrient dense. You can make it into salads, bake it into chips for a fantastic snack, or even saute it like spinach. I make power bowls for dinner and often use kale due to the nutrients it adds to my meal.
Tip No. 4: Buy From Your Local Farmers Market
There’s just something about the Farmers Market. We have large ones and small ones and each one offers a wonderful variety of fresh vegetables and fruits. Not only do you benefit from the nutrients found in your local soil, you’ll find they’re considerably less than those you’ll get at the supermarket and much fresher too. Plus, many local growers will discount bruised produce even further. Don’t be afraid to check it out and score an even better deal.
Tip No. 5: Plan You Meals in Advance
This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you’re not planning your meals for the week, then you’re going to be throwing money away. Sit down and get organized, prepare for leftovers to be incorporated and stick to the plan. You’ll find you’re saving a lot more if you do!
When my house was full of children I had my week-night menu planned for the entire month. This saved a lot of time and money when I went grocery shopping. I challenge you to sit down and give it a try.
Tips No. 6: Incorporate Seasonal Items
One area where you can and should be flexible is with incorporating seasonal items. If a recipe includes asparagus, but it’s not in season or costs too much, replace it with something that is in season and costs less.
Here’s a tip: not sure what to substitute an ingredient with, do a quick Google search for a substitute and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at all your options. I do this often and my recipe turns out great.
If you look around your kitchen, you’ll likely find even more ways you can save on eating healthy the next time you go grocery shopping. Try out these tips, and you’ll be well on your way!
Back to the $20 chicken, I didn’t buy it, but have since learned that you get your money’s worth because you use the entire chicken – down to the bones (make your bone broth). My challenge to you – start small and build toward eating healthier each and every day.
What are some cost saving tips you use to buy healthier foods? Share in the comments below or in our members group Healthy Living for Life. I’m always looking for ways to save on my grocery bill