I know what you are thinking: “aren’t those two ideas mutually exclusive?” Actually, after 35 years of advocating healthy eating (and at the same time having to watch our family’s food budget), I can honestly say, “they are not!” Here’s why: When you take a portion of your hard earned money & invest it wisely in foods that provide superior nutrition, you are sick less often which translates into spending less on doctor’s visits, prescriptions and over the counter medications. You’ll also miss fewer days of work which may result in promotions & career advancements. Best of all, you’ll be more productive, have more energy to exercise and do other activities that you love which adds up to keeping you healthier longer.
Don’t let the societal myth that you have to spend a lot of money in order to eat healthy stop you from trying these:
Tips for Saving Money and Eating Healthy
Buy in Bulk: Packaging food in fancy boxes and bags is costly. If you don’t mind scooping up your own spices, nuts, flours &, grains, you can save a considerable amount. If your grocery store doesn’t have a bulk section, try a local food co-op (coopdirectory.org)
Buy local: Many communities now have farmer’s markets that sell locally-grown eggs, beef, chicken and seasonal vegetables & fruit. Since the farmers are selling to you directly, the food is less expensive often saving you up to 25%. Another option is to join a CSA farm (community supported agriculture). You pay one lump sum per season and each week pick up your produce directly from the farmer who only grows according to how many families buy a share in his farm.
Make Food in Batches: Whether it’s loaves of whole grain bread, a pot of soup or a healthy snack such as homemade humus….take a couple of hours on a weekend, invite a friend over and cook big batches of your favorite recipes together. Then freeze them… and voila’, that mid-week dinner practically makes itself! Just add a fresh green salad and you’ve just quelled the temptation to go out to dinner and spend more money.
Grow Some Food: Whether it’s a pot of fresh herbs by your windowsill, a small backyard garden, or a row in an inner-city community garden, growing even a small amount of food can save you a considerable amount of money.
Buy Organic: “How can buying organic possibly save our family money ?” Consider these two facts: food grown in non-organic soils do not contain anywhere near the nutrient content of food grown in organic soil. So although you might be paying a bit more, your body is receiving higher levels of health promoting nutrients. Secondly, conventionally- grown food is sprayed with chemicals that cause a burden on our health. If you can’t afford all organic foods, try and stay away from the fruits and vegetables with permeable skin. For a full list of these check: foodnews.org
So with finances being a major concern for all of us, healthy eating not only adds years to your life and life to your years, but now more than ever, it just makes good economic sense!