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I cannot express to you how many times I’ve heard the sentence “I can’t afford to eat healthy foods.”  This couldn’t be further from the truth — there are so many ways to enjoy healthy foods without spending your entire paycheck.  In fact, the pre-packaged, processed foods that aren’t improving your health are more expensive.  They cost more per serving, and they certainly cost more in the long run if we’re factoring in your long-term health and doctor bills.  The good news though is with a few tricks up your sleeve, you can make healthy eating happen, and for much less than you think.

I’m going to share some of my tried-and-true tips on how to eat healthy without breaking the bank.  Take these tips and make them habits in your life, and you’ll soon find you can successfully have a healthier kitchen without sacrificing a large chunk of your bank account.

Shop the Perimeter.  Think about it — all of the healthy items are on the outside perimeter of the store.  For the most part, the inside aisles are the pre-packaged, boxed foods that typically aren’t ideal for a healthy lifestyle. – and they’re more expensive per serving.  There are certainly some items you’ll need from the inside aisles, but the majority of the cart can be filled with items from the perimeter.  So always start by shopping the perimeter of the store before you dive into the inside aisles.

Don’t Get Pre-cut Items.  Yes, it takes extra time, but buying pre-chopped onions or cut up fruit costs a significant amount more than buying a full cantaloupe and cutting it yourself.

Shop at Different Places.  Wholesale stores such as Costco or Sams Club may be most beneficial to shop at for some healthy items, but probably not your entire grocery list.  Scope out where you can get your staple items weekly.  Are your veggies most affordable at the Farmers Market or Trader Joes?  Is it most economical to get your grains and beans in the bulk aisle at Whole Foods?  Shop around and find the best deals for what you need on a weekly basis.

Buy Fresh From the Farmers.  Check out the produce from your local farmer’s market. Often, the fruits and vegetables you’ll find there are considerably less than those you’ll get at the supermarket and much fresher too. Plus, many local growers will discount bruised produce even further. Don’t be afraid to check it out and score an even better deal.

Grow it at Home.  Are there some items you frequently eat that you can grow in your backyard or on your balcony?  There are a tremendous amount of foods that you can easily grow at home, many of them you can even grow from scraps.  Free is always great, right!?  And when you grow it yourself, you know your food isn’t laden with harmful chemicals.  So, what can you look into growing yourself?

Buy in Season. One area where you can and should be flexible is with incorporating seasonal items. If a recipe includes asparagus, but it’s not in season or costs too much, replace it with something that is in season and costs less. In season vegetables and fruits are far less expensive, more nutritious and easier to find.  Fruits are almost always on sale at conventional grocery stores – so check online to see where you can get berries half off or where you can stock up on fruit for the week.

Some produce costs more than others.  Making the bulk of your produce the least expensive ones can keep your grocery bill down each week.  Greens, carrots, apples, bananas and celery are among a few very inexpensive options.  Balance those out with some more expensive broccoli, Brussels sprouts or berries, and you’re well on your way to eating healthy on a budget.

Utilize the “Clean 15” Produce Options. Pesticides are a big problem with non-organic food and that can be really bad news from a health perspective. The “Clean 15” is a list of produce that has the least amount of toxins and therefore not necessary to purchase organic which is more expensive. 

Plan Your Meals in Advance.  This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you’re not planning your meals for the week, then you’re going to be throwing money away. Sit down and get organized, prepare for leftovers to be incorporated and stick to the plan. You’ll find you’re saving a lot more if you do!

If you look around your kitchen, you’ll likely find even more ways you can save on eating healthy the next time you go grocery shopping. Try out these tips, and you’ll be well on your way!  Do you have any more tricks up your sleeve that I didn’t mention here?  Hit reply and let me know in the comments below, I’d love to add any tips to my list.

If you are looking for more tips and support, join me over on my group page, The Village – A Natural HEALing Community, to get tons of information and tips to help you take your HEALTHY EATING and ACTIVE LIVING to the next level.

HEAL GOOD. FEEL GOOD. DO GOOD.

 

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