Updated: Feb 28, 2021
I hear it all the time, "if eating healthy wasn't so expensive I would do it!"
Eating healthy is too expensive? Try paying for health problems later down the road! Increased medical costs, missed work, etc. Obesity is the leading cause of many health problems. You can't put on a price on good health.
Plus, it is absolutely possible to eat healthy on a budget. Here are some tips to make it easier:
✅ Shop seasonally: Fruits n veggies in season are much cheaper, taste better & have more nutrients! This is also good because getting a wide array of colourful fruits and veggies is optimal for gut health & getting in all the different micronutrients you need.
✅ Plan ahead: There are a few money saving bonuses when planning meals ahead of time.
1) If you cook your own meals you tend to eat out less or order last minute skip the dishes.
2) When you plan ahead, you can use your grocery store’s weekly specials to help make your choices. It’s also a good idea to stock up on foods you use often when they are offered at a lower price.
3) If you take one day to plan all your meals for the week and go grocery shopping for everything you need, you will have less trips to the grocery store, so spend less money on gas, impulse buys and save more time.
✅ Buy and cook in bulk: Buying your staples in bulk saves money (and the planet). If you plan ahead, you can cook multiple meals for throughout the week at once using the same foods. Even if you prefer variety - you can still make different meals by using different spices and sauces to mix it up. Ex. Maybe for dinner you have chicken curry and you make extra chicken for lunch the following day for on top of your salad. You can always buy meat in bulk and freeze it too if you prefer to cook it the day of. Which leads me to my next tip...
✅Buy frozen: Frozen veg/fruit have lots of nutrients and are convenient for things like smoothies and cheaper then buying fresh produce, they also last a lot longer so you…
✅ Waste less: If you buy fresh produce and it is starting to go bad before you have the chance to eat it, freeze it! Frozen fruit works great in smoothies and veggies work great in soup. Bananas can be used for baking, and grapes are just a great snack frozen! You can also freeze other food too, like cheese, yogurt, or bread before it goes bad. I have even frozen fresh herbs in ice trays before with a bit of oil, and used them for cooking. Bring the produce front and centre of your fridge in clear containers so it doesn't get forgotten shoved in the back.
✅Compare stores/brands: compare prices at different stores and test out different brands of your favourite products if they are offered at a cheaper price. You can also check out the weekly specials at different stores and compare those.
✅To avoid spending money on impulse buys:
1) Stick to your shopping list.
2) Do not go to the grocery store hungry.
3) Shop online.
✅ Priortize what foods you splurge on: You do NOT need to buy “organic” or “natural” foods to be healthy.
✅ Eat out less: this one is pretty obvious, but save your money and cook for yourself at home. Fast food isn't actually that cheap either. Costs add up and you could buy whole food that lasts a lot longer and gives you a lot more health benefits.
✅ Join a CSA (community supported agriculture): credit for this tip given to some of my clients who join up with their local farmers to have fresh produce! Research local CSA's in your area! It doesn't only have to be produce either. I buy eggs local and I feel a lot better knowing the hens are raised with no added hormones and most of all - treated good. Better yet, grow your own produce if you have the space!
Healthy food can be expensive but with some planning and budgeting you can definitely make it work.
Consider healthy eating your personal health tax! It is worth the money and time invested.