Just eat more fresh foods. Don’t eat junk or packaged foods.
It sounds easy, but then you begin to look for all kinds of excuses not to do it. One of the big mindset excuses is that eating cleaner & healthier is too expensive.
If you’ve experienced that feeling, then hopefully what I’m going to share with you will shed some light on this common misconception…
Not Eating Well – the REAL cost
Before I talk about ways to save some cash, I want to first say this:
Eating well is the ultimate investment in your health.
It is not an expense. Before we set food into a store, we’ve got to shift our mindset about this.
Now, I know it can be tough to eat fresh foods if you’re living on food stamps but, (we as a society) need to change the way we look at food.
Food not something that just fills our stomachs
Food is nourishment. It will determine whether you’ll be healthy and vibrant or sick and fat. That’s not harsh – but it is the truth.
Look at the top 3 major diseases in our country: heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. These are lifestyle-based diseases based mostly on how poorly most people eat.
So its not a surprise that many immigrants from other cultures that live on natural foods who then migrate to North America, eventually end up packing on excess weight and developing the same health issues as they adopt our junk food lifestyle.
Yes, our society has traded our health for convenience!
So even IF eating clean (emphasize IF) is slightly more expensive than the processed junk, aren’t you worth it???? Isn’t your health & the health of your family worth it?
Nugget of wisdom: Pay a farmer a little more each week now, or pay a doctor a lot more later.
Now that you’ve shifted your mindset around food, we can talk about how to lower the cost!
FOUR NEW WAYS TO EAT WELL ON A BUDGET!
- Don’t Buy Everything Organic
Not all foods are grown & contaminated with pesticides. In general, choose organic meats & eggs so you’re not ingesting hormones and other bio-accumulated crap.
When it comes to fresh produce, only fuss going organic with fruits & veggies that you eat in their entirety – basically, the skin and all.
After all, if you’re only eating the inside & not eating the skin (like a bananas & melons), there is no need to pay more if you don’t have to!
There exceptions though. Look at the Dirty dozen list below, which are the 12 fruits and vegetables that are the most contaminated!
Take notice if they are foods where you would eat the entire fruit/vegetable.
- Shop Around
Not all stores charge the same prices for the same foods! Find the stores in your area that provide the value and do most of your shopping there! Also take note of when you go shopping too. I find that many of the organic meats are marked 40-70% off on Wednesday night & Thursday as the stores want to clear it quickly to stock up for the upcoming shopping weekend. I save a bundle by buying up as much as I can and freezing it.
Even check out Costco! They’ve started to carry some great organic options at significant savings compared to most grocery stores. I’ll purchase frozen berries from Costco since we can easily by a bunch and keep them in the freezer until we need them! I’ll get 4 times as much for only double the cost (when you break it down a 50% savings compared to regular supermarket prices).
- Buy Online
Check out online shopping options! Thrive Market – is making healthy foods available to consumers at a substantial discount (25-50% off retail). If you’re buying non-perishable items like nut butters, gluten-free grains, or even your favorite healthy chocolate, you can save quite a bit of cash by shopping at Thrive Market!
- Join a Local Food Co-Op
Food co-ops provide fresh, high quality meats, produce & dairy at the best value to their members. They are voluntary, non-profit organizations that are formed for members’ mutual financial benefit and are owned and controlled by their customers. They can operate in buying clubs, small retail stores or large supermarkets, and many specialize in natural, organic and locally grown foods.
The best part is that the food co-io members get access to quality produce at lower prices than traditional supermarkets, fresh from a local farm while enjoying the convenience of shopping at a store. And any profit that the co-op makes might be refunded back to you based on your patronage to the store!
There are hundreds co-op food stores across the country. Look for your local food co-op using the Co-op Directory Listing, or try Googling it for one in your area.