There is no way around it: good food is expensive. It is definitely cheaper to eat unhealthy foods. When trying to figure out how to eat healthy on a budget, it’s important to consider where sacrifices can be made to save money. Things like buying in bulk, sharing, and preserving foods can add up to a great deal of savings. You really can’t put a price on your health, and it is not worth the compromise in most cases.
Shopping at discount warehouses is much better than it was years ago. They are carrying many more organic, non-GMO, and healthier food options. Things like hummus, almond flour, wild tuna, butter, and avocados are great things to purchase there. If your family is smaller and you feel you will not use up products, consider freezing or sharing with another person to help with the cost.
When it comes to learning how to eat healthy on a budget, many smaller stores carry good options as well. Aldi is a discount store that has recently declared it will carry organic foods. Certain things like cheese, fish, and snacks are a good choice at Trader Joe’s. Wegman’s often has great prices on organic foods and grass-fed meats and organic poultry. Thrive Market online is carrying more and more healthy options. Try to drive a loop of different stops to save time. Keep track of certain popular foods you buy on your phone that are priced competitively. With a little time invested, shopping for good prices will be worth it.
Buying bulk items and sharing them is really helpful when it comes to meat purchases. We feel that your meats and eggs are the most important foods to purchase in their most natural states. Wild for Salmon is an excellent source to purchase Salmon and other fish. They have shares already set up. A portion of a cow, or even a whole cow, can be purchased from a grass-fed farmer and divided up. There are local places around Bucks and Montgomery Counties and Lehigh Valley from which to purchase. Lancaster is also a good source for quality meats.
Preserving your food well is another way to save money. Bulk items or large quantities can be divided into smaller portions and frozen. Storing produce and herbs properly makes them last longer.
A Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) at a local farm is a great way to get fresh produce at lower prices. Many farms offer these in the late spring through the fall. There are different share options depending on the family size.
Our food consideration is very important to our health. Things may need to be given up in order to save money for healthier foods. Going out to dinner is one example. Several meals can often be made for the same price of going out for one dinner. Save your dining out for special occasions versus defaulting to it for convenience. You can save time by making some freezer meals for a quick dinner option. Planning your meals ultimately saves time and money. Come up with a menu for the week, and often times meats and produce can be used multiple times in different ways. This also helps avoid the need for running out. When making dinner, try doubling the recipe for leftovers to avoid needing to go out to lunch the following day.
Learning how to eat healthy on a budget can be a bit challenging at first, but once you break those old bad eating habits and find ways to save money along the way, your wallet AND your body with thank you!
Christa Haines, NTP
Christa is an Associate Clinician at the Well of Life Center for Natural Health. The Well of Life Center is a holistic wellness center that specializes in nutrition, chiropractic, massage services, and more.