More and more people are looking for healthier options at the grocery store, and starting to choose farmers markets over big boxed stores, but the problem of cost for this better, locally grown, pesticide and GMO free food is still a major issue for most people.
There is no perfect answer, but if you are struggling with trying to eat healthy on a budget, I’m going to share with you my top tips for goin’ ‘green’ on a budget!
Another concept to become comfortable with is spending more money on GOOD food, eating out LESS, and finding other areas in your budget to cut costs–because what you put INTO your BODY (and therefore your BRAIN and MIND too!) should be in your top 3 things to spend your money on, life circumstances permitting;)
For example, ‘treating’ yourself to shopping for amazing fruit and veg at the farmers market instead of treating yourself with a 5$ latte or shopping trip… just food for thought!
Let me know your greatest challenges to eating healthy on a budget AND please SHARE with me your best tips too!:)
today I am going to be talking about Why you need to stop buying cheap food and spend some cash on eating better and why eating cheap food might be dangerously affecting your health. I will also give you 7 quick tips on how to eat healthier food without breaking the bank.
North americans spend far less on food than Europeans, who on average spend over 10% of their income on food. And they eat less junk food, fast food and processed foods that we do. We have been duped by the big corporate food companies into buying their BS that the packaged, pre-made cheap food they are dishing out is an acceptable way of eating and shopping for food. Unfortunately, this just isnt true. Many people, including my own partner before he met me, refused to spend money buying local, grass fed beef, organic local veggies and fruits and shopping at a local market when you can just go to bulk barn or a big chain store and get everything for pennies. But, just like everything else in life, when it comes to buying food, you get what you pay for. The reason why good food is more expensive is because it is more expensive to grow it and to raise animals without pumping them full of chemicals, hormones and feeding them healthy food they are supposed to be eating instead of a bunch of garbage that’s bad for them, and then bad for us after we eat the animal that’s been feasting on such garbage for it’s entire life. I do understand that most people are on a budget and there are lots of different ways to spend your hard-earned money, so here are some tips on how to shop healthier without breaking your bank.
Look for sales. Even expensive grocery stores like whole foods usually have certain items in each department on sale each week. Try to look in the deals flyer and decide on what of the sale items you can buy and use to make meals that week. You can make this fun by making the fruit or veg that’s on sale your ‘key ingredient’ for a few days and then just google some quick easy recipes using that thing. For example, a while ago in our organic grocer they had Kale on sale. So, for that week, we made Kale chips, Kale in salads, baked fish on a bed of steamed Kale, and kale in the juicer added to apple and ginger for an afternoon green energy burst–you get the idea.
Buy cheap cuts of meat. You don’t have to buy a filllet or tenderloin to have tasty meat, and in fact, the cheaper cuts are often tastier and more flavourful. A great option is flank steaks, even the grass fed beef flank steaks will be cheap because it is one of the cheapest cuts, and it tastes wonderful after being marinated overnight and then sliced superthin after pan-frying it, or on the grill for a few minutes. It’s my favorite cut of beef to buy.
Buy cheaper veggies: root veggies, legumes, onions, cabbages, garlic and ginger roots are usually on the cheaper side even in the organic produce departments. Spinach is another one that is usually inexpensive. The same goes for fruits: organic berries, especially when they’re not grown locally are very expensive vs. apples are still fairly cheap even the organic kind..
Buy things that are in season. This goes for mostly veggies and fruit obviously. It can make a huge difference both nutritionally and to your wallet if you try to keep it local. Local produce has way more nutrients and antioxidant power because it’s fresher and hasn’t sat in a shipping container for thousands of miles. I have found around vancouver, where I live, that there are some local farms that don’t spray their fruits and veg with pesticides, so it’s basically as good as organic, but way cheaper so this is a good thing to investigate in your local area too.
Go berry picking and freeze em. My favorite thing to do in the summer is to spend a day at a local farm picking berries with friends. We usually bring huge bins and fill them to the brim. There’s one local farm that will even help you make your own blueberry wine from the ones you pick-its a great day, great exercise and the cheapest way I know to stock up on berries for the rest of the season and for the coming fall and winter. I usually have an entire freezer packed full of berries by the end of the summer and my stash usually lasts into the next spring. Last summer I had a pie making party at our house where all of our friends came over with their berries they had picked and combined it with all of ours and friend Tyler led the charge making blueberry, saskatoon berry, strawberry, salmonberry, and peach pies–we ended up with about 12 pies and everyone got to take one home with them–it was a great way to end the berry season and totally worth the disaster zone we managed to create in our kitchen!
Have a windowsill or patio herb garden. I realize that not everyone has the luxary of having a huge outdoor garden or yard, but even if you live in an apartment building, you can easily grow yummy herbs in a windowsill planter container. I sometimes get lazy and cheat even more by going to a local plant store or whole foods where they have plantars with herbs already started for you and all you have to do is put it in the window and water it each day. Its so much fun and so healthy to whip up a quick stir-fry and grab a pinch of fresh herbs from the window and throw em into the pan! IF you have a balcony and enough room for some bigger potted plants outdoors, cucumbers, peppers and tomato plants are easy to grow and will save you money on buying veggies!
buy direct from a local farm that doesn’t spray it’s produce with pesticides–it doesn’t have to be certified organic–the most important thing is that the farm doesn’t use chemical pesticides. There are a few farms near us in Vancouver that actually deliver a weekly veggie basket filled with seasonal stuff right to your door and freshly picked that day from the farm–I’m going to sign up for this again this year. They have a program where you can sign up for a basket delivered weekly for each season. Summer tends to be lots of berries and fruits and green veggies and their fall baskets are loaded with great root veggies and apples. Do some asking around in your city and see if there are any similar offers or programs. My favorite thing about doing this is, well, there’s actually two things: one, I get to be lazy and get the freshest veggies delivered to my doorstep and two, I get to feel good about supporting small local farms that don’t use pesticides. Not to mention it saves me money on produce.
So there you have it. The big point here is that to eat healthily you should either be spending more money on your food or spending more time and energy acquiring it. And remember, it was not so long ago in history that humans spent the majority of their waking life looking for food! Hunting and gathering. The most valuable thing you have is your health and cheap food can seriously affect it. Now, I am sure this video has probably ruffled some feathers, I know many people have money stresses. In a future video i will be talking about the cheapest ways to eat healthily because not all cheap food is bad, just as not all expensive food is good.
Would you spend more time getting food or spending more money? leave me a comment below, I want to know.