Updated: May 9, 2020
There are countless reasons I hear for not eating healthy foods -- a hectic day at work, no time to shop at the supermarket, not sure how to cook healthier meals, or even not being able to afford healthy food options. These are real concerns, and with a few tweaks and understanding, you can soon realize these are quite easy to fix. And best of all -- healthy food does NOT have to be more expensive. Most of the time, it's actually the least costly option.
The US Department of Agriculture even took it to heart to show those on a budget how making healthier choices with food is not more expensive. In the study, things like carrots and pinto beans are much less expensive per portion that things like ice cream and sweet rolls.
Foods that are high in protein, saturated fat, added sugars, and sodium all clocked in as being more expensive than vegetables, fruit, and grains. So that myth about healthier foods being too expensive is now officially busted. Great news, right?
If you've been making these same justifications, there is no better time than right now to explore healthier options at your supermarket. No time? Order it online. Even if you can't afford a delivery service, many supermarkets offer the chance to simply pick it up at your convenience at no additional charge.
Plus, it may even help you avoid impulse purchases for junk food. Let's face it…it's tasty, but it's not healthy. Need some help eating better on a budget? Follow these tips!
Budget for meat and fish
Lean meats and fish will always fetch the larger cost in your cart. Look for sales to stock up and freeze it for later use, or factor in mostly meat-free meals for the week and only splurge 2-3x a week on fish or organic lean meats.
Choose beans and legumes
For protein without going over budget, choose beans and legumes instead. You can make plenty of tasty meatless meals which are even better for your overall health. Buy the dry kind to avoid excess sodium and to save even more.
Buy fresh, local, and seasonal
If you really want to save money, buy what's fresh, in season, and local. There are so many superfoods out there, but the best way to nourish your overall health on a budget is to make use of the bounty of freshness around you. As long as you're eating more fruits and vegetables, you're improving your health and reducing your risk for expensive long-term illnesses.
Buy frozen or canned to round out your meals
Whether you're too far from the store or have a tight budget, stock up on frozen or canned vegetables. Frozen is ideal since they lock in all the vital nutrients, but either one can be used in tasty soups, stews, and for side dishes that come together in just minutes when you're in a pinch.
Once you leave the excuses behind and start making your own healthy meals, you'll start seeing those savings. And with those savings and better health, you might just be ready for an epic vacation when summer rolls around!
Design your life for wellness…
Simple changes for sustainable results!
Laura RDH, CHC
Certified Health & Lifestyle Coach
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