One of the common complaints I hear from people who are trying to eat healthy is that eating well is too expensive. It is true that some foods that we think of as being nutritious or low in calories/fat do cost more money. However, there is hope! Here are ten tips to help you satisfy your taste buds and keep your body happy while not emptying your wallet!
1. Buy fruits and vegetables that are in-season. This will not only be cheaper, but also insure that you are getting the freshest and best tasting produce. It is also wise to shop produce that is locally grown!
2. Look for excellent sales on chicken breasts, lean red meat, and fish. Don’t just buy enough for the week! Stock your freezer so that you can enjoy lean meat and healthy fish at a great price.
3. Stock up on frozen fruits and vegetables when they are on sale. Frozen fruits and vegetables are highly nutritious and can be a fast and inexpensive way to get more produce in your diet. Don’t forget to bring your coupons so that you can really get an awesome deal on those sale items!
4. Look for BOGO deals! You can often find your favorite healthy cereals and breads on a buy-one-get-one deal. When this happens, use coupons to lower the price even more. Remember to stock up and freeze your bread.
5. Don’t be fooled by large discount stores. Although Wal-Mart and other wholesale stores do have regular prices that are lower than supermarket regular prices, you will almost always do better at regular supermarkets. Why, you ask? Wal-Mart has “Everyday Low Prices”, meaning that things don’t go on amazing sales! At supermarkets, as long as you are shopping the sales, prices go much lower than the “Everyday Low Price” at Wal-Mart!
6. Designate one night per week as “vegetarian night”. Legumes are a very inexpensive food from which you can get a nice variety of nutrients including protein and fiber! Start experimenting with new recipes and you may just be surprised at how yummy this can be!
7. Invest in a salad spinner and start buying fresh greens. I did this about a year ago because I was so tired of buying bagged salad that went bad quickly, or was already bad when I opened it. I figured that I was spending the same amount of time weeding through the bag to salvage any good lettuce that might still be there as I would to clean lettuce leaves and spin it to remove excess water. Fresh greens are about half the price of bagged salad, so it doesn’t take too long to make up the price of the spinner. Plus, I found that much more of my fresh romaine lettuce was edible than what I was getting in the bag! Lastly, the fresh stuff lasts longer than the bagged!
8. Pick fruits and vegetables at a local farm, or grow your own! Having your own is a great way to teach children a great skill and makes them more likely to eat fruits and vegetables. If you don’t feel that you have the time or green thumb, visit your local farmers’ market.
9. Remember that although we want to keep the grocery bill low, sometimes we have to pay now or pay later. Sometimes you have to weigh your options because an item that is a lot healthier but a few pennies more may be worth it. Eating well over the years will lower your risk of being on expensive medications, paying copays for frequent doctors visits, and even lower the possibility of expensive procedures and hospital visits.
10. Be sure to stay tuned to my blog. Sometimes the “low calorie”, “low fat”, or “organic” options aren’t the best choices anyway. Why spend extra cash when the better nutrition is in the regular product!