Eating well often means more expensive food choices. When you’re on a budget, you often forego the organic options for the non organic choice, because organic and fresh produce can come with a much higher price tag than fast food or foods that are packaged and pre-made. This is particularly hard when trying to feed a family. A meal at Taco Bell or McDonalds can feed your entire family for less than $15. What justifies paying more for organic milk, grass-fed beef, and organic fruits and vegetables that cost more?
The justification lies in our health- current and future. If we invest toward improving our overall health now, we can delay or remove the possibility of having to pay later in life through high healthcare costs and hospital visits. With a bit of creativity there are many opportunities to eat healthy without destroying your budget.
Buy raw ingredients. Purchase the produce and the raw ingredients that are in your favorite packaged foods. If you like granola, you can buy grains, nuts, and dried fruits to create your own granola. The items that are prepackaged and processed- like a tub of minced garlic- cost the most. For a fraction of the price you can, for example, buy a clove of fresh garlic and mince it yourself. It takes a little bit more planning on your part to recreate, but it can save your budget immensely.
Eat foods in season. Have you ever noticed how certain foods, like peaches, are more expensive or might not even be available in the winter? In season foods are typically cheaper because they’re readily available and it requires less fuel to get them across the country. Stick to buying fruits and vegetables in season and you’ll be purchasing more food for a cheaper price. Also, these fruits and vegetables will be at their peak flavor.
Buy meat in bulk. If you’re looking for antibiotic-free chicken or grass-fed beef, buy in bulk. You can freeze what you don’t need and you’re providing your family with healthier cuts of meat. Bulk meat is typically cheaper than non-organic meat per pound.
Eat more vegetables. Meat is often the most expensive food item on your grocery list. If you’re trying to stay on budget but still have healthy options, cut back on the amount of meat you buy and increase the amount of vegetables you buy. Not only will you improve your family’s fiber intake (from the vegetables), but you’ll be saving on your wallet too. Vegetables provide key vitamins and nutrients, hold essential cancer fighting antioxidants, and helps reduce the risk for many cancers and deadly diseases.
Remember, investing in the health of yourself and your family in the present, saves money on potential health risks in the future. With a few adjustments to your grocery list, you can get the healthy meals your body deserves. We only shared a few ways to eat healthy and save; there are many more opportunities to eat healthy without breaking your budget, share your favorite ways to eat healthy on a budget in the comments!