Many people believe that eating healthy is expensive and time consuming, but that’s not necessarily the case. The reality is that healthy eating can be cheap and even quick too! Processed or convenience food can sometimes seem easier on the wallet, but you have to remind yourself why. They’re often using cheaper ingredients that provide less nutrition, less sustained energy, and therefore you often end up eating larger quantities and more often to feel fulfilled!
Some easy tips to avoid tipping the bank balance when shopping for healthy food on a budget:
• Buy fresh fruit and vegetables that are in season – be mindful of this when planning meals and looking through cook books as often you don’t realize you’ve chosen ‘off season’ vegetables until you’re gulping at the price in the checkout line!
• Buy generic ‘no name’ brands where possible – when it comes to standard items such as oats and rice, there is often next to no difference in quality.
• Don’t buy groceries when you’re hungry or rushed – you’re more likely to throw the ‘baddies’ in the trolley…
• Write out a list, and stick to it!
• Shop the perimeter of the store first – it’s where all of the healthier choices usually are; you’ll avoid all the more processed, costly items on the inner shelves.
• Shop at markets – your local produce stand or farmer’s market can be a great source for healthy bargains. For the best deals, shop often and look for reduced produce or end-of-the-day specials.
• Grow your own herbs and vegetables – start a plot in your backyard or a container garden on your patio. Grow your favorite herbs in small pots by the kitchen window, and take a snip whenever you need it.
• Look low for inexpensive items – I mean this literally. Most grocery stores purposely put the more expensive items at eye-level. So, look a little lower for the cheaper or generic brands and save a little money. Some stores also post the cost per unit on the shelf, so look closely at this to see what the best deals are.
• Buy in bulk – bulk dry goods such as beans, whole grains and oats are inexpensive while being super nutrient-dense. Opting for these unprocessed, bulk foods will save you a lot of money when compared to processed oatmeal packets or rice mixes. Buy meat in bulk too and freeze in smaller portion sizes to use as required.
• Don’t buy juices or flavored drinks – drinks, especially those loaded with sugar and artificial sweeteners, are not only unhealthy calories, but are also a drain on your wallet. Even that expensive fruit juice should be omitted from your cart in favor of healthier and less expensive fresh, whole fruit.
• Flavor and prepare food yourself – avoid buying pre-seasoned or marinated meat or fish, because that means paying for someone to do that for you. Season and marinate the cuts yourself for an economical and healthier way to add flavor to your food (you also control the amount of salt, fat and sugar you’re adding). Pre‐cut fruits and vegetables, instant rice and hot cereal are convenient, but usually cost more than those that require a bit more prep time.
• My top 10 healthy food choices that won’t break the bank – brown rice, eggs, chickpeas and lentils, bananas, oats, sweet potatoes, canned salmon, lean beef mince, spinach and frozen peas.
Live well, live long, live naturally© source korablog