How to eat healthier, on a budget
I know that with the cost of food today, for many of us, it is a struggle to try and eat a healthy diet. Everything in the stores, just seems to escalate in cost. Here are some suggestions about how to eat healthfully without it costing you a fortune!
Many people today are opting for more organic choices, organic fruits and vegetables and meat that is free range.
The good news is that there are many more organic and hormone free options out there today! In most cases, you don’t need to go to the health food store to find healthy food. Many of the major grocery stores have added a health food section, or isle to their grocery stores, full of organic healthy foods.
If you already shop at one of the bigger grocery chain stores, then you can probably find most of the healthy foods that you are looking for there. If you shop at a smaller more local grocery location, then you may have to consider going to a health food store, farmers market, growing your own, or having home delivery of the healthy organic foods that you are looking to purchase.
I personally shop at a larger grocery chain store, I find that I can get most of my healthy food needs at the grocery store.
I grow my own vegetables during the summer months and preserve or freeze vegetables for winter usage.
During the winter months I depend on delivery of my weekly organic fruit and vegetable order from an organic supplier, which offers free weekly deliveries of food “baskets” full of fresh organic produce.
Grow your own
It may take some work, but I have found that growing my own fruits and vegetables is worth the work that you put into it. Nothing tastes quite as good as vegetables straight from your own garden. The other advantage to growing your own, is knowing what is in and on the vegetables and fruit.
Another way of finding quality organic foods is to go visit your local farmers market. Obviously not all of the produce there will be organic, but you should be able to find at least a few vendors that provide organic options.
Amazon can be a useful resource for purchasing healthy organic foods. Especially if you have a prime account, that gives you free shipping on most items and timely delivery, often within 2-3 days. I use Amazon to purchase organic dry goods in bulk such as; cocoa, coconut, raisins, vanilla and gluten free flours. Many of these items are less costly bought in bulk or larger sized packages from Amazon. I also love the fact that you can shop and have prime delivery of items within a few days, right to your door.
Health Food Store
I purchase the items that I cannot find in the grocery store, at my local health food store. I find that things can be expensive in the health food store, so I try to limit myself to getting only the items that I absolutely need.
A strategy that you can use for your health food store shopping is to look for items that you use on sale and stock up on them. If you can afford to, buy multiples of the items that are on sale, while you are in the store. Make sure that they are items that either have very long expiry dates or are frozen or canned.
Organic produce home delivery
As I noted above, many communities have access to an organic food delivery business. How do most of these companies work? The organic delivery company that I use works like this;
You have many different baskets to choose from, all at different prices. First, choose the size of basket, that you need. Then you choose whether you would like weekly or bi-weekly deliveries. Delivery is free, in most cases. Often you can modify what is contained in your basket, as long as you do so by the day before, the scheduled delivery date. Have a look around your local community, many communities contain businesses like this one, which offer home delivery of organic foods. Local organic choices are always more economical than organic produce coming from other countries.
I often freeze some of the contents from my “basket” that I receive on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Often there is a vegetable that I don’t think I will get to eat within a few days. Or I will order multiples of the items that I use, when on sale. Frozen produce is just as healthy for you as fresh produce is.
Can preserve it
I use my pressure cooker to can preserve beans, spaghetti sauce, relishes and pickles. During the winter months when produce prices are high, I then have my own source of organic vegetables to rely on. If you don’t have the time to tend to your own garden, you can look for organic produce at your farmers market to stock up on and preserve yourself.
Not everything you eat has to be organic to be healthy! Check out EWG's clean fifteen list here to find out what produce is safe to buy non organic! https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/clean_fifteen_list.php
Check out EWG's dirty dozen list here: these are the fruits and veggies that you definately want to try and buy organic! https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty_dozen_list.php
Eating organic meat is extremely important if you don’t want to be consuming any excess antibiotics or hormones the regular meat is exposed to. For me it seems to be harder to find the organic meats than it is to find, organic produce. Recently my grocery store has started supplying frozen organic poultry products and some fresh as well. I chose poultry over red meats anyway, because the fat and cholesterol in red meats is not good for you or your heart! Finding organic beef, doesn’t seem to be quite so easy. I often opt out on the beef because organic sources are not readily available. Hormone free hamburgers seem to be more easily found in the last year or so. Some of the major meat processing companies have started producing hormone and preservative free versions of their products such as; hot dogs, luncheon meats and hamburgers. You may pay a dollar or two more for these products, but I think the price difference is worth it. After all it is your future health that is at risk when being exposed to antibiotics, hormones, and chemical preservatives in normal meats.
I hope that this helps you to eat a little bit healthier and to save a few dollars, while you are improving your health and wellness.