Healthy eating is a goal almost every person strives to achieve. On January 1 of the New Year, many make eating healthy a primary goal of the upcoming year. And, like most people, these goals go unfulfilled. By February, you fall back into your old ways, and that once lofty goal of eating healthy seems like a pipe dream. You feel dishevelled, so you just wait until the next year. And so the cycle continues.
One of the reasons people tend to give for eating unhealthily is that it’s easier on the wallet. Why take the time to buy all this expensive food when you can grab a burger and fries for five bucks in a drive-thru line? Well, it is possible to eat healthy on a budget. It is possible to get healthy and not take a hit in the wallet.
Buy Whole Foods
Chopping onions is the worst. The juices get under your fingernails and somehow make it into your eye. And then, there’s the crying. So, it’s much easier to buy the onions (and many other vegetables) chopped or minced or cut up. But, don’t fall into this trap.
Instead, buy the entire food. Buy a whole onion instead of the chopped one. Why? You save chopping, but you lose money. It’s cheaper to buy the whole food, so make the best decision and avoid the chopped vegetables.
Use the Whole Food
You bought a handful of carrots. Well done for putting the first tip into practice! But, you don’t want those nasty carrot tops. You should just throw them away, right? No! These “disposable” parts of the vegetables make for great use elsewhere.
You can throw them in a sauce and create some great pesto! Or, if you drink smoothies, you can chuck them in there! Animal bones are another “disposable” used for concoctions such as stock or broth! Remember, use the whole food.
Vegans/Vegetarians Can Save Too!
You may be wondering how this works for the vegan or vegetarian portion of people out there. After all, their food choices are limited in comparison to others. Can vegans shop cheap? Of course they can!
One of the ways in which you can save on a vegan diet is to shop locally and within season. Most of the time, you find great deals when shopping locally, despite the belief that local shopping is astronomically expensive. You can also buy foods such as lentils in bulk, so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank.
Bruised Produce Isn’t Necessarily Bad
One of the big things people believe in when they choose their fruits and vegetables is that a bruised item isn’t worthy of buying. There’s got to be something wrong with it, and it’s not worth buying. But, this isn’t always the case.
Sure, bruised produce could go unused and only get worse as time goes on. But, time is the key. Don’t let bruised produce or fruit sit around. Whether you cut the bruised piece off or use the bit of food immediately, doing so means the food won’t get more bruised and it ends up getting used! It’s a win-win!
It may sound counterintuitive, but the next best thing from buying local is buying online. No, you won’t be supporting your local community. However, you will be saving a decent chunk of change if your local market is unavailable for you.
Using sites such as Amazon, you can stock up on a good amount of healthy food for a decent price. And, since it’s online, you can buy things you may not even have access to in your town.
Healthy and Cheap is Achievable
It can happen. Most of the myths about expensive, healthy food aren’t true. Instead, invest in your local community. Buy local. When you can’t, you can always go online. And don’t be afraid of how produce may look. There’s always more than one way to use food!
Emily is a freelance writer, covering conservation and sustainability. You can read her blog, Conservation Folks, for more of her work.