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Are you trying to eat healthy, but just can't afford it every week? We get it. That's why this guest post from Catherine Palmer is right on the money. Catherine discusses 3 budget friendly tips that will keep you healthy. Let us know your thoughts and experience in the comments. Enjoy (or should I "bon appetit"?).
Most of the time, healthy food isn't cheap at all. But it doesn't mean you should settle for any less than your family deserves. Throughout the world, people are coming up with various ways to get to healthy food without damaging their budget too much.
After all, your well-being and well-being of your family IS the most important thing there is. Money is just means of achieving it. So, let's see how we can use as little of that money as possible and provide our family with all the nutrients they need.
Many people who read blogs about healthy eating believe that it is quite easy to eat healthily if you are well-off or at least you can afford it without bigger sacrifices. This is why some bloggers tried to prove them wrong, showing them that a family can live and eat healthy food without breaking the usual budget, as one American blogger did.
Of course, pure organic products, gluten-free food, and products free of any additives are not always easy to find, or they are within the reach of many households, but only if they are bought and spent without a plan. Most of the time, these prejudice habits about healthy food being reserved only for the wealthy can be broken.
There is a strategy you could develop and stick to it - over time, you can keep the list of expenses and see if it's really possible to save some money while buying healthy food. Sometimes you won't manage to save it, but in general - it's worth a shot.
Choose staple ingredients
Most of the time, it's cheaper to buy individual components than to purchase the prepared item - it's the opportunity for a quick and simple meal that's costly. Choose the aisles where the fresh meat and other individual food items are and you will notice the difference at the end of the month.
What about the staple ingredients price?
Well, it's not always the smartest solution to choose the cheapest staple ingredient there is. You don't have to save money at all costs, but again - it is your choice. There are always ingredients that cost a little bit more but have fewer pesticides and hormones in it. You can always research some more on this subject, but the decision is yours.
Plan your meals according to sales
If you regularly check what is on sale that week, you can save quite the amount of money every month, and it will also force you to get creative with what you're going to purchase. Once you figure out which grocery stores have the lowest prices, you can start checking their flyers and be ready every time.
Another trick is to regularly check online coupons from the manufacturers - there are always healthy groceries that can be purchased for a really low price. The success will maybe differ from week to week, but you’ll save money in the end. Just be careful not to buy useless products just because they are on sale or to use coupons that won't actually help you save any money.
Grow your own food
Do not be afraid of this challenge - having a garden of vegetables actually isn't that difficult to achieve. You can opt for simple vegetables in the beginning. Not only that you will manage to produce cheap food of your own, but you will also get a nice hobby.
First, let's start with the obvious fact - people today live fast, work hard and don't have a lot of time for preparing every meal of the day properly. But just because something was made quickly doesn't mean it is poor in nutrients. For example, smoothies with a carefully chosen protein supplement are really easy to prepare and they give our bodies almost everything we need to stay healthy because a lot of breakfast meals fall short on protein. If you are a family that happens to be always in a rush, then opt for simple meals that can be made quickly, but are full of nutrients nevertheless. Here are some suggestions that don't have to be costly:
Breakfast: Eggs, cooked any way you like; sugar-free yogurt or kefir; any type of natural meat; hot or cold cereal with nuts.
Lunch: Whole wheat tortillas with peanut butter; tuna salad with carrots; brown rice with soy sauce; smoked salmon and cream cheese.
Dinner: Organic chicken with couscous and green beans; tofu with mixed vegetables and sesame seeds; quesadillas with chopped vegetables and cheese.
None of these meals sound too complicated, right? Also, not every ingredient is exotic or costly, meaning you can make a well-balanced meal, both in nutritive and financial terms.
So, healthy eating doesn't sound so unachievable, right? The secret is to realize that, as with any other aspect of life, managing to save while eating healthily means planning a lot of things in advance and sticking to the plan. In time, this will become a routine job.