10 Simple Ways To Eat Healthy And Save Money.

10 Simple Ways To Eat Healthy And Save Money.
10 Simple Ways To Eat Healthy And Save Money.

There is this common misconception that eating healthy has to be super expensive and that’s really just a myth that convinces people that they have no choice but to opt for trans fat laden, sugar and sodium loaded foods. With the right information and proper planning you can make healthy eating a regular, affordable part of your everyday life.

If you follow these 10 easy tips, you can eat healthier and not break the bank while doing it. And as I’ve said many times, if you invest in your heath now, you’re more likely to avoid extremely costly medications and hospital bills in the future.

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DRINK WATER

Yup, pretty simple right? Drink more filtered water and skip the sugary drinks. The benefits are two-fold here. Not only will your wallet thank you, but your booty will too. Many bottled iced teas and sodas are full of calories, high fructose corn syrup and chemicals. Not to mention that they’ can run you anywhere from $1 – $4 for just one bottle. Multiply that by 2 a day, 7 days in a week, and 365 days in a year and you’re looking at HUGE savings from making this one easy swap.

 

SHOP FROM THE BULK BINS

Pre-packaged seeds, nuts, beans, and dried fruit can cost a lot. If you go to the bulk bin section of your grocery store, you can find pretty much all of these staples at a fraction of the cost. Many grocery stores will also have organic options, which I highly recommend. I used to buy my nuts and seeds pre-packaged containers and I can personally attest to the savings I’ve had by making this switch. You can find grains, seeds, nuts, dried fruit, trail mixes, and much more in this section.

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BUY PRODUCE AT THE FARMER’S MARKET

Most towns and cities now have farmers markets. And if yours doesn’t, you can bet there will be one in the town over. The fruits and vegetables at the farmer’s market are much cheaper because you’re avoiding the middle man cost. The produce is coming straight from the farmers themselves. In addition, the quality of the fruits and vegetables are going to be much fresher, which brings me to my next tip…shop seasonally.

 

SHOP SEASONALLY

You can shop seasonally at a farmer’s market or regular grocery store. However, I’d recommend choosing a farmer’s market if you can. Seasonal produce is much more affordable because there is so much more of it to sell. Many times produce that is out of season has to be flown in from other locations, which hikes up the cost a substantial amount. In addition to saving you some money, if you consume fruits and vegetables that are in season, they contain more nutrients and will taste a lot better too. Notice the difference in sweetness of a strawberry in the Winter and then in the Summer? There is no competition. You can even buy extra and then freeze it for months when the price might be higher.

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CHOOSE DRIED BEANS AND LENTILS OVER CANNED AND PRE-PACKAGED

Yes, cooking dried beans will take a bit more time, but once you realize how easy it is, and how much more economical, you won’t ever go back to the canned stuff. You can buy dried beans and lentils in bulk as well and have them on hand for whatever recipes you might need them for, so you don’t have to run to the grocery store for that one can of black beans for your tacos. These are great items to stock up on. Once you have them prepared you can use the in a variety of recipes so you don’t get bored of the same meal over and over again. Get creative and have fun with it!

 

EAT LESS MEAT

There is no question that good quality meat can be pricey. If you reduce the days that you eat meat, it not only will give your digestive system a break, but your bank account too. If you’re used to eating meat as your main source or protein everyday, try a vegetarian alternative such as beans, lentils, quinoa or tempeh a few times a week. And don’t forget, greens, vegetables and nuts are a great source of protein as well.

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COOK AT HOME

A night out can easily cost you $50 these days and if you’re used to eating out often, that’s going to add up quickly. Cooking at home will save you a ton of money and will also be much healthier because you’ll be in control of the ingredients and portion sizes. Bringing in your lunch to work is also a great way to save. I’d also recommend making double or triple the portions and refrigerating or freezing the leftovers to have during the week. It might seem like you have no time during the week to deal with all of this, but that just brings me to my next tip.

 

PLAN AHEAD

Planning your meals ahead of time will prevent you from making last minute decisions that will cost more. Choose a day of the week that you have some down time. For most people, Sunday is the best day to go grocery shopping and set up your meals for the week. Get out a calendar, journal, or even your iPhone and figure out what you want to eat for the week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Make sure to factor in the days you won’t be home for dinner or at the office for lunch, etc. Then create a grocery list and stick to it. If you have a list, this will prevent you from being tempted by other foods at the store. Don’t go to the store when you’re hungry because you will be more likely to grab unhealthy foods not on your shopping list and rack up your bill.
You can prepare meals for the week or even just a few days so that you don’t have to worry about it every morning. You can also prepare ingredients ahead of time to save you time when cooking – chop your veggies, cook beans and grains and store them in the refrigerator for when you’re ready to cook.

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EAT LESS

This one seems pretty obvious, but there is truth here. The typical American portion size for a meal is way larger than it should be. Put less on your plate and you will pull less dollar bills out of your purse. In addition, more nutrient dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds will actually fill you up faster than heavy, greasy meals and you won’t feel the need to serve yourself an extra large helping.

 

MAKE ADJUSTMENTS IN OTHER AREAS

If you want to start eating healthier, you have to know that you may be spending a little more at times. Everything is about balance. If you want to eat healthier foods, cut back on some other areas of your life that you can afford to, such as eating out, drinking, shopping, etc. And remember, you’re investing in your health and there should be no price on that.

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