Tips for Eating Healthy Food on a Budget

by admin on June 11, 2010

healthy eating on a budget

Eating healthy doesn't have to be expense. Learn how you can eat healthy on a budget.

I know, I’ve heard it a million times before: Eating healthy is so expensive I can’t afford it.  Well, I’m here today to show you about  how you can shop smart.  These are ways you can eat healthy without breaking the bank and you don’t have to frequent the ninety-nine cent menu.

Money V. Convenience

Now let’s not confuse expense and inconvenience, because let’s face it, it’s very convenient to go to the restaurant or drive through the drive-thru and pick something up and not have to cook anything for dinner, but the point is, is that it’s more expensive if you eat out than if go to the grocery store and buy the raw ingredients and cook something at home.  Restaurants will drain your bank and you typically will eat stuff that you normally wouldn’t eat if you prepared something at home.  You’re going to maybe be tempted to get that fried food or that creamy dessert, or something that you wouldn’t normally eat.  And then, not only that, but you will tend to eat more at the restaurant than you would at home.

Use Coupons

Use those coupons!  I have a quick story for you.  Last week I went grocery shopping, and stocked up after Thanksgiving.  My kitchen was completely empty.  So I spent some time cutting out coupons, looking at websites for products that I needed and got to the register and saved $22 with all my coupons.  So it is possible to shop at an expensive grocery store and save money to fit it in your budget.  Not only that, these health food stores are now carrying coupon booklets right at the front door, so you walk in and you get your coupon book. And then also, companies are now putting coupons on their websites so that you’ll try their products.  And here’s another tip:  don’t cut your coupons out before you have your grocery list, because if you are cutting coupons out for stuff you didn’t need, you’re not saving money, you’re actually spending more money.  And then, last but not least, use your coupons at stores that will double or triple coupons because then you’re saving even more.

The Farmers Market

Frequent your farmers market.  I actually go to the farmers market to purchase a lot of foods and you may not even know that this exists or that it’s even worth going, but a farmers market actually has booths and rows and rows of local growing companies, or farmers that will bring their products and sell them to you.  So one of the benefits of that is you’re actually getting local products and local produce, so you’re supporting the economy, but then also, there’s actual benefits from eating the foods that are produced in your region.  Like if you consume honey that is from the geographic area that you live in, you actually can alleviate some of your seasonal allergies if you consume the local honey.  So, not only does farmers markets provide produce, which a lot of people just associate markets with produce, but actually they now carry a lot of meats, raw meats, spices, seasonings, milk products, dairy.  I mean it’s really kind of bigger and bigger as the years go on, more and more is added to these farmers markets.  So the food is cheaper and it’s fresher so frequent your farmers market.

Don’t Buy Prepackaged Foods

Don’t purchase conveniently packed foods.  Okay, a lot of people complain, you know I just can’t spend that much money on healthy foods.  OK, well, here’s an example for you.  If you go to the grocery store and you want to have hamburgers for dinner.  A lot of people will go purchase the prepackaged, round, flavored, seasoned hamburger patties and all you got to do is throw them on the grill.  Well, you’re going to pay $1-$1.50 more than the raw hamburger meat, and it’s only going to take you 30 seconds to maybe a minute to throw in some spices and mash the meat down and make your patties.  So if you’re purchasing those prepackaged, pre-made hamburger patties and complaining about the expense of eating healthy, well, you need to think again, because I think you are confusing cost and convenience.

Buy In Bulk

Buy in bulk when possible.  So if you’re at the grocery store and, say, you want some yogurt.  It would be really easy to reach for the six-pack of individual yogurt, but if you look at the price and then you look at the big container, the 32 oz., plain or vanilla yogurt compared to the price of the individual yogurt.  You’re going to pay so much less if you buy in bulk, and that applies to a lot of different types of food.  So when you’re in the grocery store, try to buy bulk whenever possible, but don’t buy bulk and then buy more than you need because then you’re going to end up wasting it and  wasting your money anyway.  So pay attention to what foods are offered in what quantities, because you’re going to pay more for if it’s smaller packaging.

Eat in-season Foods

Eat foods that are in season.  Now this is a really great tip, because if you pay attention when you’re in the grocery store to the advertisements and the prices of, especially produce, you’ll see, that’ll give you hints as to what’s in season.  So right now we’re in the winter months, if you buy winter squashes, the butternut squash, the acorn squash, pumpkin.  Those types of things are in season right now, so they’re going to be lower in price.  So if you’re looking at advertisements or walking through the grocery store just be mindful of what food are on sale, because, typically that does mean they’re in season.  And then when you are eating foods that are in season, typically they are higher in nutritional value, they taste better because that’s when they’re supposed to be produced, and then you’re going to save money as well.

Plan Ahead

Plan your menu’s in advance.  So before you go to the grocery store make sure you know what you’re going to be cooking that week and then write up your grocery list.  And then when you have your grocery list, you better eat before you go to the grocery store because if you’re hungry and you’re walking through that grocery store you’re going to throw all kinds of stuff in your basket.  Then you’re going to get home and realize-I didn’t need all this stuff!  But it was because you were hungry.  First-eat before you go to the grocery store.  And second-buy only what is on your grocery list, because if you’re going to the grocery store and, you’re like, ok, I only need five things, but then you come home with 20 things, well, not only did you spend more money, but you might even spoil some of the food you bought because you didn’t need it in the first place.

Buy Whole Foods

Buy more whole foods.  Now, I did make another video going into more detail about it.  It’s called “Whole Foods versus Processed Food,” so please watch that video, it’s really a great video.  And then, the reason you want to buy whole foods versus processed foods is because you’re going to save money.  If you stay on the outside of the grocery store, you’re going to hit your produce, your fruits and vegetables, your raw meats, your dairy products, and those types of things, yeah, they’re going to be a little bit more inconvenient, because you may have to chop that potato or dice up the tomato, or something like that, but you’re going to save money because you can buy in bulk, you can buy exactly what you need.  You’re not paying for advertising costs, packaging costs, all those types of things that are associated with packaged and processed foods.  And then, not only that, whole foods are way more healthier than if you buy processed foods.

Conclusion

Now the point of all this information is, is your health worth it?  I can talk to a guy in the hospital, just had a heart attack, on his deathbed.  His doctor says ‘if you don’t change something, you’re going to die soon.’  That guy is a lot more willing to do whatever it takes, regardless of his budget, to change his diet.  So really what it boils down to is, what is your priority, what is important to you?  And if you’re making the excuse that eating healthy is too expensive, yeah, you may have to cut expenses somewhere else, you may not be able to go to Starbucks every day like you want.  You may need to downsize, or buy a cheaper car, because food is a necessity and there are other things in life that aren’t a necessity but we spend a lot more money on those things.  So, my message today is eating healthy does not have to cost you an arm and a leg.

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