In our world filled with genetically modified foods, pesticides, herbicides, and hormones, eating healthy is becoming more and more of an issue. But it is also hitting our pocketbooks quite hard as the healthier the food the more the cost can be. So how do we eat healthy on a budget?
Begin by watching for sales. Our local grocery stores will put various organics on sale, and we will stock up as much as we are able. We also plan our menus around those sales at times. For example, when the organic mushrooms go on sale, we’ll make cheesy mushroom chicken. Also, we’ll sometimes can or freeze items on a really good sale, so that we will have them whenever we need them.
Don’t Buy More Than You Can Use
Pick carefully. Make sure that you purchase items your family will use and in the quantities that you will use. For our family of three, there is no way that we can go through 10 bags of organic tortilla chips before they go stale, so even though they are a “good buy”, we will only buy a couple of bags.
Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk is another way that can help save you money. We purchase bulk from Whole Foods which is less expensive than pre-packaged and we’ll also sometimes order online. Even small amounts of “bulk” can save you money. We like to purchase our fish from Whole Foods and recently, they have been offering if you buy two or more pounds of tilapia, you will get one dollar off. So even though our family will only eat one pound at a time, we buy the two pounds, have them wrap each pound separately, and freeze the extra fish for a couple of weeks later. Each dollar adds up!
Be sure to shop your stores and know where you can get the best buy on various items. We have learned that anything we can get at our local Meijer’s or Walmart will be less expensive than Whole Foods, yet there are items that we cannot get anywhere but Whole Foods. So shop to see your options and selection. Also learn how much each item will go on sale for and know your “good sales” and “not so good sales.” Some people will even make a spreadsheet showing the price and size at each store which can be quite helpful.
Shop from Local Farmers
Pick fresh and local whenever possible. First of all, your local farmer supports your local economy. Second, you truly know what you are getting. Get to know your local farmers and what they offer. Learn the questions to ask them such as is this organic, non-gmo, pesticide free, hormone free, antibiotic free, etc, and which of those items are priority for you.
Grow Your Own Garden
Have your own garden in season is another great cost saver. We try to grow as much as we can to enjoy in season, then we can or freeze the extra to enjoy over the winter. Some years we are more into the garden than others, but every little bit helps.
And finally do the best you can. Sometimes you cannot afford to eat all organic, but the more you eliminate the bad stuff, the better off you are!
What are your tips to eat healthy on a budget?