I often hear people say that eating healthy is too expensive, but I
disagree. Sure, some fast food costs less than a dollar. But it’s not worth
it to eat all that heart-clogging fat and high calorie food, especially when
there are some easy ways to make healthy foods fit your budget. Here some of
my favorite tips:
1. Buy in bulk. I buy whole grains, nuts, dried beans, oats, dried fruits,
and organic brown rice in bulk at places like Costco, Sam’s Club, and B.J’s.
Because you’re not paying for extra packaging or marketing, your price per
pound is a lot cheaper.
2. Don’t buy small packages. It may be easier to buy portion-size packages
of food, but those little bags are often more expensive. Instead I suggest
buying the large package and then dividing it into small portions in
individual plastic bags when you get home.
3. Shop locally. I buy local produce and very reasonably priced olive oilat
a store in my area called the Mediterranean Bakery because it offers great
bargains. I also go to my local farmer’s market on Saturday mornings. It’s
fresh and wholesome, less expensive, and you’re supporting local farmers.
4. Buy seasonally. I plan my recipes and weekly menus around what’s
currently in season. These foods are lower in price and typically have much
better flavor, too.
5. Grow your own. Homegrown is always best. I have my own herb garden in my
kitchen. I can take snips of what I need like fresh basil, thyme, parsley,
and rosemary, and it costs me just pennies.
6. Cook yourself. Restaurant meals tend to be pricier than what you’d eat at
home, plus you don’t know exactly what goes into it so it’s harder to track
fat and calories. I love to cook at home because I can control exactly what
ingredients are in my food—such as how much salt or oil is used —as well as
7. Pick inexpensive edibles. Foods that give you more nutritional bang for
your buck include potatoes, beans, eggs, milk, and canned tuna and soups.
These foods have low price tags, but are high in vitamins, minerals, and
other healthy compounds.
8. Split costs with a friend. Sometimes the food at those warehouse stores
is less expensive but comes in huge packages that you can’t possibly finish.
Instead, find a friend to split some of these items with.
9. Make restaurant meals more cost efficient. Today’s restaurant meals are
bigger than ever. Instead of eating too much and regretting it later or
wasting food, have your waiter put half your entrée in a To Go box before he
even brings it to the table. For one price you get dinner today and another
meal for tomorrow!
10. Cook in bulk. Once you’re chopping, dicing, and cooking, why not make
more than one meal at once and then freeze it or put it in the fridge for
another day? This saves time and money since all those perishable items you
bought won’t go to waste.
11. Brown bag your lunch. Even if you do have a healthy place to buy food at
work, it’s always cheaper to bring your own. This way you’re not paying
marked up prices for something like a sandwich or salad that you could
easily make yourself.
12. Practice good food storage. There’s nothing worse than spending good
money on healthy foods only to toss rotten, unused items like fruits and
veggies at the end of the week. Use your refrigerators crisper drawers for
vegetables and when you freeze foods make sure the containers you use are
made for the freezer (this helps ward off freezer burn and loss of flavor).
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