It’s a common misconception that eating healthy food is expensive. In reality, healthy eating is cheaper than eating junk food -- that is, if you know where to look.
For those of you looking to stick to healthy food while also sticking to a budget (which is most everyone!), here are some great tips:
- Skip prepared or pre-cut foods, which can cost far more than unprepared versions.
- Plan your meals ahead of time (including cooking large batches and freezing some for later) so you don’t have to splurge on expensive, unhealthy fast-food at the last minute.
- Pass on costly junk foods like potato chips, soda, cookies and other snacks.
- Buy lots of fresh veggies. They’re usually less expensive than canned versions.
- Only buy what you need. Keep track of what’s in your pantry so you don’t double-up on foods unnecessarily.
It’s true that shopping at trendy food stores can easily cost your whole paycheck, but taking advantage of sales on healthy items and clipping coupons, as well as looking for fresh, locally grown foods at a farmers’ market or a CSA, can all add up to big savings on your food bill.
Prepared foods can cost up to double the unprepared versions, so looking buying whole foods that you can make into meals, rather than prepared foods in a box, can actually lead to great savings. And if you plan your meals ahead of time, you can get exactly what you need, when you need it, and prevent yourself from buying too much and wasting some of it when it goes bad.
If you still don’t buy the notion that your family can afford to eat healthily, take a look at this breakdown of how your family can eat organic foods for the same price as processed ones.And of course, there are even bigger, indirect savings that come with eating whole foods. Consider, for example, the difference in medical care needs between those who eat whole foods, and those who instead eat processed and factory farmed foods containing MSG, carcinogens or nerve poisons such as pesticides, trans-fats, massive amounts of sugar, and artificial synthetic sweeteners.