Isn’t eating healthy food expensive? A healthy diet has been given a bad reputation as being the most expensive way to eat. Like most families, they don’t have an unlimited food budget and their grocery bill can add up. When you consider the value of whole foods in terms of nutrients, the servings it provides, and how long it lasts, you are getting a lot of value for your money. Here are some strategies that will allow you to continue eating healthy without breaking the bank.
1.Buy in Bulk
Buying in large quantities may be sound expensive initially but when you break down the price in terms of how much you are paying over time, you’re actually saving money. You will get more bang for your buck with whole foods (grains, beans, nuts, seeds) and in return you will receive more nutrients for less cash. Another benefit of buying in bulk is that you are cutting down on waste. By purchasing items in large amounts, less or no plastic is being placed back into the environment.
2. Carb it Up
Carbs are getting a bad reputation by fad diets. Foods such as brown rice, quinoa, oats, sweet potatoes, etc. are relatively cheap and they fill you up. Plant-based eaters cannot sustain a sufficient caloric intake without these types of foods. These carbs provide us with energy that our bodies require to get us through our day.
3. Buy Generic Brands
Although the goal of eating whole and plant-based foods is to limit or avoid processed foods altogether, if we do need to buy them, don’t go for the fancy packaging. Instead buy a ‘no name’ brand which are much cheaper than the big brands. For instance, if you are looking for oats, buy the generic option instead of the fancy coloured packaging that contains all the little extras such as dried fruit, nuts, seeds, etc. You can easily add your own toppings at a much cheaper price.
4. Discount Table
Almost every grocery store has an ‘out of date’ table. The prices are generally 50% cheaper and if you are looking for something to use that night or the following day, there is instant savings. I find much of the produce on these tables have not fully ripened yet so you are getting produce as its prime ripeness for half the price. Many people like the shiny, perfect apples or bananas without the bruises. I have news for you, those shiny apples are most likely covered with a wax to preserve them to look nice, and those bananas, if they still are slightly green, they are not at their peak ripeness so you are not benefiting from all the nutrients.
Instead of buying items like trail mix or cut up vegetables or potatoes, just do it yourself. These overpriced items will increase your grocery bill when you can actually do it cheaper on your own. All you need is a small amount of time to set aside to prepare some food. You can get twice as much food (or even more) by cutting up fruit and vegetables, and creating your own snacks with the same amount of money.
6. Keep It Dry
For dried goods, especially legumes and rice, it’s much cheaper to buy a bag of beans and rice than the canned or microwavable counterpart. The only downfall is having a little extra time for the extra step of cooking the food. Dried items not only last longer, but it’s inexpensive, there is less packaging which in turn is less waste for the earth. From a health perspective, canned and packaged food contains high amounts of salt and preservatives which are very unhealthy for our bodies.
7. Freeze It
Sadly, frozen food gets a bad reputation. Next to fresh produce (picked the same day), frozen fruit and vegetables are the next best thing when it comes to nutrient value. Freezing product allows the nutrients to stay locked in until you are ready to use it. Many people keep their produce in the fridge for up to several days or even more. By this time, the nutrient value has depleted. Buying fresh produce especially in the ‘off season’ can be quite expensive. If you purchase frozen fruit or even freeze it yourself, you will save large amounts of money when that fruit or vegetable isn’t in season.
Eat Well – Move Well – Live Well
Your Compassionate Coach,