Whether or not you track your expenses, you can bet you spend a good portion of your income on food regardless of whether it’s from groceries or eating out in restaurants. There’s an interesting argument that states eating healthy is more expensive, but we disagree.
Here are our top 5 tips for eating healthy on a budget that prove it doesn’t have to cost your whole paycheck, and is likely much less expensive than take away meals.
1. Don’t Purchase Organic for Everything The cost of organic food is part of the reason why it seems so pricey to eat well. Fortunately, it’s not necessary to purchase every piece of produce organically. This is because some foods are more highly sprayed with pesticides (and should be purchased organic) while others are not (and do not always need to be purchased organic). If you’re on a budget, you can make your grocery list according to the Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen guides and save yourself some coin.
2. Eat With the Seasons Not only will eating with the seasons positively impact the environment, but it will also have a positive impact on your health and your wallet! Nature is intelligent and knew exactly what seeds to harvest for your body’s needs each season. By purchasing produce that is in season, you won’t spend nearly as much money as you would on food that is imported. Ever notice the price of berries when it’s not summertime? And in all seriousness- who would prefer a tropical fruit over some satiating, comforting squash in the winter? By eating with the seasons, you’ll also be supporting your local farmers. This tip is a win-win all around.
3. Shop in Bulk Skip the packaged and canned lentils, grains, nuts and beans and head over to the bulk section where you can get these items for a fraction of the price (and this usually still applies for organic!) Grains such as brown rice, quinoa, oats, millet, barley, and buckwheat can be found in the bulk section, along with all kinds of nuts, lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans and black beans.
4. Make Your Own Nut Butter If nut butter is the most expensive thing in your grocery cart, why not make your own at home in a food processor or Vitamix blender? All you need are two cups of nuts and a little bit of patience.
5. Swap Meat with Vegetarian Options Since quality should never be overlooked when it comes to meat, it can greatly help your budget to consume good quality meat fewer times per week while replacing it with vegetarian ops such as veggie curry or homemade quinoa burgers. Good quality meat can be extremely expensive, so if you’re serious about eating budget friendly, you may want to experiment with a predominantly vegetarian diet. Chances are, you’ll feel great too!