I get it: healthy eating can seem expensive but there are some great ways to save money at the store! Here are my top tips for eating healthy on a budget!
1. Be prepared for upfront costs // When you are ditching the white pasta and sugar-filled spices, you'll feel overwhelmed with the upfront costs of buying new oils, spices, nut butters, and staples. That first grocery trip can feel extra pricey so save up some cash for a few extra weeks to offset the sticker shock.
2. Don't buy single use ingredients // This might sound familiar from my #MealMethod post, but avoid buying single use ingredients that you would only use in one or two recipe. If you only need a tablespoon of an expensive oil or product, do a quick Google search to see what you can replace it with or leave it out of the recipe altogether. If the recipe can't live without it, go ahead and pick it up but then find other creative uses for that ingredient so it doesn't go to waste.
3. Ditch the pre-made condiments // Healthy staples like ketchup, mayo, and BBQ sauce come with a hefty price tag so either learn to make your own or live without dousing your food in condiments. Instead, use quality spices to add flavors and cooking methods that don't dry out your dish.
4. No pressure to buy organic // I'm a huge advocate for local, fresh, organic produce and locally raised grass-fed meats but I understand that it's not always plausible for each family. I think it's better to eat a healthy diet of meat and lots of vegetables, even if they're not the "cleanest". I like to stick to the EWG's lists for produce and buy the best meat I can find. You can read more about that here.
5. Shop the sales // My local Sprouts carries a really high-quality grass fed ground beef and every few weeks it goes on sale for $3.99 a pound. If you're not sure how that compares, I pay about $8 a pound from my local rancher. I love to support my local ranch, but can't beat 50% off! When you see items on sale like this, stock up on freezable or shelf-stable products! You can often find good sales at Kroger, Sprouts, Natural Grocers, Amazon, or the online retailer.
6. Weigh the cost + adjust your perspective // Healthy eating can seem overwhelming on your budget, but I'd encourage you to run the numbers of what you spend on doctor visits, over-the-counter medications, eating out, grabbing Starbucks, etc and see where you can cut back or move funds around. In 2015, Americans spent only 6.4% of their income on groceries -- the lowest amongst the 85 countries studied. We also have the highest healthcare spending in the world with an estimated 277 billion spent on chronic and preventable disease in 2013 alone. What if we viewed our grocery bill as the new healthcare? What if we viewed our health as an investment, not an expense?
Do you have any money saving tips or questions? Leave a comment!