We all know it’s important to eat healthy, but how do we do so on a budget?!! I’m repeatedly asked this question by family, friends and clients. Here are a few tips:
- Buy organic and conventional produce following the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen. Last week my blog listed the EWG’s list of foods with the highest and lowest pesticide loads. Refer to this list when buying your produce.
- Buy Local. Summer is the best time of year to explore local farmers markets. This food not only tastes delicious and is more cost effective, but it supports our nation’s gems, the small farms and farmers. Also, buy local produce when it’s in season and freeze it!
- Order local and organic produce and meats directly from the source. Many small farms have online websites where you can get fresh foods shipped directly to you. Do a little exploring and checkout Farmbox Direct for a terrific produce resource. You can also join a local Farm Share or Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).
- COOK!!! By far the biggest way to eat healthy on a budget is to cook and prepare your meals. Hear me out before you role your eyes ;). Do you go to Starbucks daily? Do you buy your lunch daily? How often do you eat dinner out? Now sit down and tally the dollar amount up for one week. I guarantee, you spend a lot more money than you would if you went to the grocery store and bought fresh food to cook for yourself and your family. Make cooking a fun experience and get your whole family involved. Kids love to cook and its super great to teach them about healthy eating from a young age!! And for all you worker-bees, cook dinners you can take or modify as left-overs for lunch. Check-out my website recipes for ideas.
- Make big batches of food at once and freeze prepared meals. This not only saves you money, but time in the kitchen as well. You can also freeze daily left-overs so food never goes to waste.
- Meatless Mondays. Experiment with cooking vegetarian and vegan dishes. Canned beans and grains are less expensive than meat and very heart-healthy too!
- Buy frozen vegetables and fruits. Studies have shown that frozen produce still retains all its nutrients and it can be less pricey than the fresh variety.