The desire to eat healthy is often tempered by the cost of healthy foods. It is a sad fact that processed foods are cheaper both due to the quality of ingredients used as well as the fact that they are mass produced. During the winter when the desire to eat healthy is often the strongest the price of healthy foods can be even higher. These tips can help you to eat healthy foods year round and still stick to a budget.
Cut the Junk Out
The first thing to look at is what you can cut out to make room for healthy foods. If you are stopping for coffees every morning, buy sodas for your lunches, or have boxes of cookies and crackers in your pantry the extra money you spend on these can be used towards the purchase of healthy foods. Avoid chips and replace them with fruit, exchange the morning donut for a whole wheat bagel.
Eating healthy means consuming more plant foods such as fruit and leafy greens, it does not mean buying expensive ingredients or preparing complex meals. Many of the new healthy recipes contain expensive, hard to get ingredients or have a long list of ingredients needed to make them. This can really add up and does not really add to your health or enjoyment factor.
Keep things simple by purchasing fresh ingredients and using herbs and spices to enhance flavors. Simple foods like potatoes, carrots, greens, and fruit can be purchased inexpensively and can add plenty of variety to your diet.
Shop Locally and in Season
There are foods for every season and these are the foods you should focus on. In the winter you may need to purchase other foods as well, but look for the foods that are abundant and on sale for the bulk of your meals.
Look for markets and butchers local to your area. You can often save a lot of money, and get better quality food by shopping local. The food is typically fresher and you will often find a wider array of choices than what your grocery store might have.
Cook From Scratch and in Bulk
Look to purchasing some things in bulk such as brown rice which is both nutritious and an inexpensive whole grain. Buy potatoes and make your own oven fries, they are cheaper than French fries, and contain only a small fraction of the fat. Avoid convenience foods, and find recipes for the things you like to eat most. Cook extra when you do cook and use it for another meal. This will save you time and money, and give you plenty of extra room to eat a healthier diet.