Healthy Groceries on a Budget

13
August

The organic food movement and a new global fascination with reality shows such as “Biggest Loser” have increased the public’s interest in eating healthy. Taking the dream of a healthy menu and fitting it into the reality of a tight budget can seem like a daunting task. However, it is very possible to eat well on a limited budget. Here are a few tips to help you stretch your grocery budget while being good to your body.

Take Advantage of Farmer’s Markets

Both small towns and large cities host farmer’s markets on a regular basis, cutting out the grocery store middleman and minimizing overhead for sellers. Farmer’s market vendors then pass these savings along to customers in the form of more affordable fruits, vegetables and other eats. A large majority of the goods you find at these markets come from small farms in your region. This makes it easy to find organic produce at a fraction of the price you would pay at the grocery store. In addition, it is generally cheaper to buy produce in season and farmer’s markets help you to do just that. A simple online search using your favorite online search engine should yield links to information on the farmer’s markets in your neighborhood.

Grow Your Own

With a bit of patience and manpower, you can grow your own fruits and vegetables in your backyard. If you live in a region that is not naturally conducive to nourishing plant life, try using raised beds to grow your eats. In addition, you can grow any herb you wish in your very own kitchen by planting seeds in small pots and setting them on your windowsill.

Buy Bulk

Items such as frozen fruits and vegetables, meat and spices are cheaper to buy in bulk quantities than in smaller amounts. While you may need to invest in a membership to warehouse retailers such as Costco or the like, you will likely save enough through a few months of bulk shopping to make it more than worth your membership fee. If possible, you should also invest in a large freezer in order to take advantage of special sales on these items. This way, you can purchase bulk quantities of healthy foods and enjoy them for many months to come.

Skip the Processed Foods

Grocery stores tend to display unprocessed foods (produce, dairy, meats) around the perimeter of their stores and to shelve processed foods (frozen meals, snacks and soda, boxed eats) in the center isles. Processed foods are notably less healthy than unprocessed foods and some of these items (i.e. a bag of potato chips) can be big budget drainers. Avoid the middle isles to the best of your ability in order to feed your body well on a budget.

Get Creative with Protein

You do not need to eat expensive meats with every single meal in order to maintain a healthy diet. Consider meeting your protein requirements in alternative methods, such as serving up beans, eggs or nuts. By diversifying your budget, you will likely save money and spice up your regular menu.

Substitutions

Search out substitutions for the less-than-fat-free ingredients that constitute your favorite recipes. For instance, you can substitute the oil in your baking recipes with sugar-free applesauce. In addition, a heaping tablespoon of soy flour together with a tablespoon of water can serve as a substitution for an egg in any baking recipe. These simple substitutions can save you a great deal of money over time and they help to improve the nutritional value of your baked goods.

Plan Ahead

You can save a great deal of money by planning your menus a week or two in advance. A good menu plan will help you to minimize impulse buys in the grocery store. In addition, it will enable you to plan your menu around sales in your local stores, which can potentially save you a great deal of money.

By implementing just a few of these tips, you can drastically reduce the amount of money you spend on healthy eating every month. Even in a rough economy, you can still afford to feed your body well if you avoid the money wasters and the calorie cows.

This post was written by

jason – who has written posts on Budget Clowns.
Father of three and married to a lovely women. Always looking for ways to save money, and invest it properly for my children's future.

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