If I had a quarter for every time someone told me eating healthy is expensive, I could pay for this week’s grocery bill. Since money doesn’t grow from comments, I decided it would be best to set the record straight. Yes, healthy food choices can seem more expensive and if not done the right way could cause your monthly grocery budget to bust. Before you break the bank or jump back to your unhealthy habits to save a buck, we encourage you to give our way a try. Here are several ways to save big by going healthy.
Tis’ the season to get close to your farmer! I have been preaching this since I first started working as a health coach. Your local farmer’s market is the place to save! My husband and I try to utilize our farmer’s market for most of our produce, and I’m here to tell you why. You can get everything from fresh vegetables, fruit, honey, eggs, meat, and even non-perishable items for much cheaper. So, why is it cheaper? It’s cheaper because the farmer from around the corner can simply grab his goods and make his way to the market, which means you are paying the farmer and not the big companies who raise the prices. Can you say SAVINGS? What’s even sweeter about this money saving tip is you are supporting the local economy while saving the environment from carbon emissions that come from transporting goods. Oh yeah, don’t be afraid to ask the farmer if they have organic crops. Often times, farmers will refrain from spraying but aren’t able to spend the big bucks to carry the USDA label.
STICK TO YOUR GROCERY LIST
Before you head to the grocery store, eat! When hungry, we are definitely more willing to grab the sugary snacks winking at us on the shelves. So, eat a healthy snack or meal before entering the kingdom of food. Be sure to sit down and plan what you will need for the week ahead. If you know what you’re having, then you can buy what you need, saving you from spending on the extra. This will also help use up the food, rather than allowing it to go to waste. Also, say no to the extra snacks, drinks, and treats that might sneak onto your list for pleasure. YOU DON’T NEED IT! If you don’t spend the extra money on soda, pretzels, and other snacks then buying the organic options can be feasible. Those extra treats really add up! One last thing, use up what you have in your cupboards and refrigerator before you buy more. As we mentioned in kitchen post, keep things organized so you know what you have, and don’t end up buying more of the same thing. Unless you are the Duggar family, you don’t need to buy 20 pounds of salsa, and keep half of the farm in your freezer. Buy what you need, use it that week, and return to the grocery store for what you have run out of.
BUY IN SEASON
I don’t know about you, but fresh berries in our city are extremely pricey. In fact, we have refrained from buying fresh berries for most of the winter because who wants to spend $6 on a tiny container of raspberries? Not this girl! Produce tends to be more expensive when not in season. Knowing what produce is in season can help you determine what prices are higher than normal. There are ways to get out of season produce so you can ensure you’re getting your favorite fruit, vegetables, and nutrition too. We opt for frozen organic produce when the goods we want are out of season. The food is picked and frozen rather quickly to seal in the nutrients, so you are still getting the benefits. Another option is to stock up when produce is in season and freeze. Not to mention frozen berries and spinach really add a thick and delicious consistency to smoothies. Try it out!
Spend a little more now and save on your medical bills. It honestly amazes me when people have serious health issues, spend big at the doctor’s and pharmacy, but won’t invest in the one area that could prevent or improve the illness. I’m not saying we don’t need doctors or medication, because we do. I’m saying we often have the ability to prevent or improve our conditions with the foods we eat, and how we live our lives. Here it is plain and simple, food is medicine. We all know when we eat better, we feel better. It’s because food has the power to give our bodies what is needed to thrive. If you are one of the lucky ones thriving off of processed foods, you now have the chance to make a change before it’s too late. While your body may be functioning the way it should now, don’t be surprised if you run into complications down the road. So, spend the extra $10 at the grocery store. What you don’t pay for now, you could pay for later!
JOIN A CSA
A CSA, also known as Community Supported Agriculture is when one invests in a share from a local farm, and in return receives local produce each week. This is definitely becoming more popular, as people are finding they can receive delicious goods picked within the week. This means more nutrients, because produce is usually picked and handed over within the week. There are many different shares you can take part in, different prices ranges, and ways to get involved. My husband and I did one last summer and each week we would head to our pick up location, and the farmer would have our produce and eggs ready. We would take our container of goods and return for the next week. Keep in mind you don’t always know what produce you will be given each week, which mean you need to be prepared to find some recipe ideas and get creative.
You see, eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to spend a ton of extra money. There are plenty of ways around it, if you plan and shop wisely. We understand that the price of some healthy options can give you the ol’ sticker shock. Remember, if you aren’t spending on the extras it should balance out. So, start planning, get creative, and don’t be afraid to think outside of the grocery store!