“But eating healthy is soooo expensive!”
I hear that all the time, and yes, while it can be true, there is absolutely a way to eat healthy and wholesome foods without breaking bank!
One of the first things we need to do, is change our mindsets. Instead of thinking ‘why is organic and chemical free food so expensive’, we should really be focusing on ‘why is chemical and pesticide food so cheap’.
Here are my 8 tips for how to eat healthy on a budget!
When you shop at local farmers markets, not only are you supporting your local farmers but you’re also more likely to get cheaper (and better!) produce than from huge supermarket chains. The food won’t have travelled far to get to you, which means much better nutritional content and more sustainability!
By shopping locally, you buy what is in season for your area, which is very important. Something that has travelled around the globe for days to get to the shelves has probably been picked early to look ripe when it gets to you, resulting in loss of goodness.
Also, if you go towards the end they’re more likely to drop the prices. I once got a bargain for a bag of avocados as they were the runt of the litter and didn’t look the most gorgeous – but they tasted amazing!!
This one ties back to the farmers market. Get talkin’ to them!
Just because they don’t have a certified organic sign doesn’t mean they don’t use pesticide- and chemical-free practices. Sometimes it can be quite expensive to get certified, so if you just strike up a casual conversation you can know more about where your food comes from and how it’s grown!
You’ll get gorgeous organic produce, for less!
You’ve decided to eat healthier, and it’s gonna happen now! It’s really tempting to just go out on a shopping free and buy ALL the superfoods! But calm down, and get back to basics!
Start investing first in some amazing chemical free greens and work from there. Superfoods are amazing, yes, but they’re an extra and not absolutely essential.
Focus on raw fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, gluten free grains and such before splurging on the quite expensive superfoods.
If you must, start with a few. My favourites are spirulina, maca, cacao, bee pollen, and a good vegan protein powder!
There are several ways you can do this.
You can and a few friends could join together to buy from a local farmer, or even join a co-op.
While it can be very convenient to have tins of beans in the house, it is much cheaper (and they taste better!) to buy them in bulk. I usually buy big bags of nuts, seeds, beans, rice, buckwheat and quinoa to have in the house. When making them it does take some more prep with soaking times + cooking, but it will taste better and save you some money! You can always cook them in bulk and freeze for later days!
I do eat animal protein, but my diet is mainly veggies, beans, pulses, grains and fruits, which are way cheaper to buy than meats!
By decreasing meat consumption, it allows you to focus on the amazing goodness of greens as well as invest in good quality animal protein, as you’ll need less of it. Think of quality, not quantity! Our bodies will get much more from that lean and hormone-free chicken a couple times a week than from the hormone-filled chicken several times a week!
You might have heard of this already, but in case you haven’t, here it is!
The Dirty Dozen are the foods that you should really try your best to get organic, as they’re usually full of pesticides and chemicals. The Clean Fifteen are the ones where the least amount of chemicals and pesticide has been found (though that doesn’t necessarily mean zero!), so if you’re on a budget, use this as a guide as to what buy organic and what to buy from “conventional” methods!
This list can vary depending on the country you live in, so double check. But from experience, most of them are very similar!
I food prep every Monday (I’ll do a post on it soon!) as it’s my current day off. Sunday’s are also a good day, as it gets you going for the week.
You’re much more likely to stay on track if you open the fridge to easy, accessible food – which means no more temptation to order that mid-week take-out!
I’ll do a post on it soon, but I always cook a batch of grains (brown rice, quinoa), chop my veggies, bake my sweet potatoes or squash, make either some bliss balls or granola bars, make some healthy treat (hello brazil nut truffles!), wash my greens, and prep 2-3 servings of soup (so warming at night!). It means my meals are ready for work as well as when I come home. I label everything with dates and what’s in there to make it even easier!
Don’t beat yourself up, honestly! If you can’t buy that local, organic spinach, just do what you can! Increase the amount of veggies and decrease the amount of hormone-laden meat.
Stressing over your food is just not worth it. Go where your budget allows and know that you’re already making a difference by trying your best!
It’s important to see food as a priority – just as we treat ourselves to clothes and make-up, food is also something that should be ranked high up there! We glow from the inside out, and, for me, there is no point buying that amazing top if you’re going to feel shitty on the inside!