There is a common assumption that eating healthy means spending a pretty penny. But this does not have to be the case. If your looking to healthify your diet, but worried that buying organic produce and prime cuts of meat will set you back financially, consider following these tips. Not only will you become more in touch with the healthier cook in you, you’ll also save money while doing it!
Choose foods that are in season. The easiest way to save money on organic and conventional produce is to buy what’s in season. Not only is seasonal food cheaper, it’s also richer and more delicious than foods that are grown out of season. For example, strawberries bought in January will be three times more expensive and three times less juicy and delicious than strawberries purchased in April.
You don’t need to buy all organic. When purchasing organic, remember the “Clean 15, Dirty Dozen” rule. There are generally 12 or so produce items that should be bought organic due to high pesticide use. These are typically those items where you eat the outer skin, like apples and leafy greens. There are 15 common ones that are considered clean, so no need to purchase organic. These are food items where the outer layer is peeled away, like bananas or avocados.
You don’t need as many animal products as you might think. Organic meat and dairy products are usually the most expensive items in your shopping cart, so cut back on these. Try limiting – if not cutting out all together – the amount of animal products you are eating. It can actually benefit you health wise, and will definitely save you money.
Stay away from purchasing precut foods. Instead of purchasing precut fruits and vegetables, purchase whole foods. Sure, you might spend a few extra minutes in the kitchen dicing onions or mincing garlic, but it is significantly cheaper to purchase the whole food, and also adds to the overall cooking experience.
Sign up for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs. There are lots of programs out there dedicated to connencting people to local farms and giving you access to fresh in-season produce all year long. Signing up for a CSA means you’ll get fresh produce delivered right to your doorstep.
Buy specialty items online. If you know there are nonperishable items that you’ll use all year long, purchase these items online. Amazon allows you to save money by subscribing to your favorite items and receiving a discount. If you sign up for Thrive Market, you’ll receive huge discounts on tons of items that would cost you an arm and a leg at Whole Foods.
Plan for the week ahead of time. If you’re trying to save money, meal planning each week is key. This will allow you to buy only necessary items each week and will eliminate food waste. In addition to meal planning, make sure you always have kitchen staples on hand, like cooking oils and canned vegetables.
Make coffee at home and drink more water. Four bucks a day on that morning Starbucks really adds up, so do your best to drink your coffee at home each morning. This will ensure there’s no yucky addititves, and save you greatly. Also do your best to drink more water instead of soda, fruit juices, coffee and tea. After all, water is free and great for your health!