Eating healthy can be expensive, but it’s also an investment in your long- term wellbeing.
When you eat healthy today, you will actually spend less time and money dealing with illness as you age.
- Less hospital stays
- Less medication and prescription drugs
- A reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, hypertension, stroke, etc.
- More time and energy to do the things you love like working out, travelling, spending time with family and friends, etc.
Rather than looking at eating healthy as something that’s “expensive”, look at it as a long- term investment in your future and a better quality of life as you age.
Eating healthy today is a proactive and preventative strategy that can add years to life, and life to your years.
We also recognize that eating healthy can be a challenge, especially if you are on a budget and finances are limited.
There are many ways you can make healthy eating cost effective, and still get the nutritional and health benefits.
Here are 6 Ways you can still eat healthy while on a budget.
1. Buy in Bulk
This is probably the most cost effective way to buy healthy food, especially dry items like rice, oatmeal, quinoa, whole-wheat pasta, nuts, nut butter, etc.
Buy these items in as large of quantities as possible, and you will save lots of money especially since these foods won’t go to waste as they have long expiry date.
2. Buy Produce and Meat Frozen
While fresh is more nutritious, and much tastier, buying frozen produce and meat can save you a lot of money.
You will save at least 25 % by buying produce and meat frozen, rather than purchasing fresh items.
Another benefit to buying frozen meat is you can buy it in bulk, and it will last longer than regular meat. This provides enormous savings, as protein is the most expensive food out of all of the food groups.
The downside of buying frozen meat is the salt content is much higher in order to preserve the meat long term.
3. Skip the Big Brand Names
Whether you are buying frozen fruit, oatmeal, nut butter, or rice, skipping brand name products will save you a lot of money long term.
For example, Quaker Oats are almost double the cost of No Name Brand oats.
President’s Choice berries are almost 2 times less than Europe’s Best.
Initially, these cost savings don’t seem like a big difference, but do make a huge impact on your grocery bill over the year, especially if you apply this concept over every grocery item you purchase.
At the end of the day, there is very little difference in quality and taste among different brand names. So why not save for buying the exact same thing!
Some of the most cost effective brands are No Name, Presidents Choice, Co-op Brand, Safeway Brand, and Kirkland. You will usually have anywhere from a 25-50% cost savings per item by purchasing these brands.
4. Shop Around
You can save lots of money on groceries if you shop around, and use different stores for different items.
From my experience, Superstore and Costco are the most cost effective places to buy your groceries.
Superstore has the best deal on dried items like rice and oats, and frozen produce like berries.
Shopping around also means looking at flyers and coupons every week, and seeing what kind of deals you can get on regular items.
The Internet is also filled with different coupon sites that can provide you with substantial costs savings on your groceries.
5. Skip The Organic Stuff
While some items like fresh produce, and meats are healthier if you buy organic, you are going to pay close to double the price.
Yes, conventional meats do have hormones and antibiotics, and aren’t as clean as organic. And conventional produce is sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, BUT it’s far better to eat these conventional foods than anything processed or packaged.
Unless there is no cost difference between conventional and organic- stick with conventional if you want to make healthy rating as cost effective as possible.
6. Don’t buy bottled water
This is one I learned from personal experience, and spending too much money on bottled water.
Now, I use a Brita filter connected to my kitchen tap at home, which filters the water and provides the same quality drinking water I would find in a bottled version.
All I have are a couple of water bottles I fill up with the Brita, and drink from these everyday. This is a much more cost-effective option compared to buying bottled water every week.
Your cost savings will really add up over the year, and can range anywhere between 40-50 dollars a month. That’s close to 600 dollars for the year for making one small change! And your health doesn’t suffer either!
You will need to buy the filtration system as an upfront cost, and will need to replace the filters every 3-6 months, but the cost savings are still worth it in the end!
So those are 6 tips on eating healthy on a budget. Remember to look at healthy eating as a proactive investment in your future, and a better quality of life.