When it comes to eating healthy most people are under the impression they can’t afford it. This however is completely false.
Eating healthy is more affordable than some of the big pharmaceutical companies want you to know. Not trying to sound like conspiracy theorists here, but there are things in place designed to keep you from eating healthy.
Why you ask? Because you eating healthy is not profitable for the big pharma companies.
How Much Does It Really Cost To Eat Healthy?
According to a study done by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, eating a healthy diet, one that consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish, will cost you around $1.50 more per day than a diet that consists mainly of processed foods.
Based on that study, its easy to see that eating healthy isn’t as expensive as we have been made to believe.
With that being said, here are 5 things to remember when trying to eat healthy on even the tightest budget.
Organic Isn’t Always Better
If you try to buy all organic foods you will easily go over your budget. That’s why it’s very important you know what foods should and shouldn’t be purchased organic.
Foods such as mangos, avocados, pineapples, onions, mushrooms, kiwi, eggplants and corn don’t need to be purchased organic.
This is because they have a thick skin that protects them from crop chemicals. While they still absorb some crop chemicals, it is very minimal when compared to the “dirty dozen”.
The dirty dozen are the 12 foods that have the highest levels of pesticide residue. These are therefore the foods that you should always buy organic.
The dirty dozen includes apples, grapes, peaches, sweet bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, hot peppers, potatoes, nectarines, spinach, celery and strawberries.
Buy In Bulk
If you want to score some big savings consider buying your everyday staples in bulk. Items such as grains, spices, and beans last for several months which makes them the perfect items to buy in bulk.
Focus On In Season Produce
When produce is in season the cost will always be more affordable due to the increased availability.
Not only are in season produce more affordable, but they are also more flavorful and more nutritious. This is because they are at their peak and ready to be harvested.
The problem for most people is they aren’t sure exactly what produce is in season at what particular time of year.
Luckily the internet makes it super easy to find out what fruits and vegetables are currently in season.
During the summer months load up on organic strawberries, plums, peaches, melons and cherries.
During the colder months focus on things such as cabbage, carrots, oranges, dark leafy greens such as kale and fennel.
Opt For Frozen
If you are serious about eating healthy on a budget, frozen fruits and vegetables can prove to be your best friend.
It doesn’t matter what season it is, frozen fruits and vegetables tend to be more nutritious than the fresh ones.
This is because they go straight from the farm to a facility where they are immediately flash frozen at the peak of ripeness.
This process ensures the nutrients get locked in making them a very healthy alternative to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Plus, most retailers these days have their own brand of frozen fruits and vegetables. Store brands, something we will discuss next, are always more affordable than name brand.
And most of the time there is absolutely no difference between the two. Other than the price of course.
Embrace Store Brands
While most people would avoid knockoff clothes and handbags like the plague, there is no need to do that when it comes to store brand products at your local supermarket.
Even Whole Foods, who has been known for their extremely high prices, has an Everyday Value line of products that are more affordable than the brand name products.
And the best part is almost half of the Everyday Value products are organic.
Other popular supermarkets that carry their own brand of products include Target, Trader Joe’s, Publix, Kroger’s and Walmart.
And there you have it. 5 things to remember when trying to eat healthy on a budget. If you take your time, plan out your meals for the week, and see what’s on sale at your favorite grocery store, you should easily be able to save money on your grocery bill every week.
And while we didn’t include this as one of the things to remember, always check the Sunday paper for deals at your local grocery store.
If they have a rewards program sign up so you can take advantage of the extra savings. It may sound like a lot of work, but it will be well worth it when you and your family are able to eat healthy, nutritious food without breaking the bank.