Most people want to eat healthily, but making the switch to whole foods and ditching processed foods can feel hugely challenging. Then add eating healthy on a budget, and it might seem almost impossible. But wait – its simpler than you think, and with some planning and great information, eating healthy on a budget is within pretty much everyone’s reach.
The first thing to realize is that you can do this! With some planning and a little bit of creativity, you will soon be eating healthier. You might even find that you are saving money, and let’s not forget that you are building your health and energy by eating cleaner, whole foods instead of processed foods filled with unpronounceable ingredients.
Here are four tips for smart shopping for healthy whole foods on a budget:
1. Planning your meals for the week may seem like a huge chore, but it will save you a fair amount of stress and money. Shopping with your weekly meals in mind ensures that there is nothing wasted or unnecessary in your cart…or your fridge.
2. Purchase inexpensive, healthy food options e.g., frozen organic veg will save you money, as will some grocery store brands own organic lines e.g., Wholefoods 360, Safeway’s Open Nature. Check out your favorite grocery store and find their brand name natural and organic foods. Beans and lentils, brown rice, and gluten-free or organic pasta are other inexpensive, healthy options.
“When it comes to healthy eating, making small changes over time will add up to better health for the whole family. Celebrate your progress and enjoy your food! “
3. Shop around. Some good online stores sell pantry staples such as coconut oil, nuts and nut flours, olive oils, canned fish – at a discounted price. Also, bulk buying stores such as Costco are carrying quite a few organic items, and sharing a bulk buy with a friend can save a lot of money. CSA (Community-supported agriculture – go online for a CSA near you) and farmer’s markets are excellent sources of inexpensive produce. Also, farmer’s markets sell the freshest in-season fruit and veg at really good prices.
4. Get creative with sourcing your meat, chicken, and fish. Most regular grocery stores sell grass-fed meat and organic chicken. Try an online source like ButcherBox or US Wellness Meats. If you are fortunate to live near a farm that has pastured cows, you can often go directly to the farmer. I used to share a half pastured cow with a few friends, and that brought the price way down and provided a lot of meat for the freezer. When it comes to fish, fresh is good, but canned wild-caught salmon and sardines are a cheap and great tasting alternative.
When it comes to healthy eating, making small changes over time will add up to better health for the whole family. Celebrate your progress and enjoy your food!