There’s a myth floating around that says it’s more expensive to eat healthily. In actuality, you don’t need to break the bank on your way to a better lifestyle. There’s a vast price difference between eating trendy “health” foods and eating actually healthy foods. The latter is a lot less flashy, but when you look at how much you’ve saved you’ll be feeling great financially as well as physically. Keep reading to find some of Savetastic’s tips for saving money on healthy food.
Make a List, Stick to It
It is a very bad idea to go to a grocery store hungry and without a plan. Eat something, write down everything you need to buy, then go to the store. It is worth every minute to sit down and plan out this week’s meals. Turn on that Tom Brady-esque laser focus and buy only the things that are on your list. No dawdling in the dessert and cookie aisle. No looking directly at the baked goods. Remember, if you don’t buy it and it’s not in your house, there is zero chance that you’re going to eat it.
Avoid Processed Foods
Processed food is convenient, but expensive. Compared to fresh produce that you have to chop, dice, and cut up, processed “health” food may seem like a tempting option. But no matter what the clever marketing label says, processed health food is still processed food. The nutrients are stripped out of the original ingredients and then put back in. You lose the holistic health benefits of eating food that is as close to its source as you can possibly get in today’s world.
Not sure if something counts as processed food? Ask yourself, “How many ingredients are in this item?”
A banana only has one ingredient — the banana. Meanwhile, a gluten-free, banana bar has multiple ingredients with names you might not recognize.
Buy/Cook in Bulk
It’s the 21st century and we’ve found some great ways to preserve food! This means that buying in bulk won’t lead to wasting your money. Frozen vegetables are a great option because they’re usually cheaper than fresh produce, they’re pre-cut, and they last for a while. Canned and dried products are also a good option since they too, don’t go bad very quickly.
Once you’ve got your refrigerator packed with food, find one day to cook all your meals, portion them out into containers, and voila, you’re all done fiddling in the kitchen for the week. Looking for lunch on a busy Tuesday? Simply grab and reheat your very own, home-cooked meal.
Cooked too much pasta last night? That’s okay, eat the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Not convinced about eating second-hand food? Just think of leftovers as a freeby. You’ve already done all the work the night before — now all you need to do is push a few buttons on the microwave and healthy food is ready to eat. No prep time and no crazy clean up session required!
Buy In-Season Produce
Have you ever tried to buy apples when they’re not in season? They probably tasted watery and bland. One of the problems with buying produce out of season is that the fruit needs to be picked before it is ripe and shipped long distances to get to you. That not only delivers a poor quality product, but that shipping adds pollution to the environment.
Buying fruit or vegetables in bulk, during their peak season will save you money and give you a different impression of what healthy produce should taste like. Don’t settle for inferior food. Go online and find out what’s in season for your area and meal plan around those items. Not only will you save a few bucks, but you’ll also develop a whole new appreciation for healthy food.