This past year, inflation has caused a significant increase in food prices with many of us feeling it at the grocery store. While eating healthy on a tight budget can be challenging, it doesn’t mean you can’t put healthy choices in your shopping cart.
Below are 11 simple tips for healthy eating on a budget:
Eat real, whole foods. Include high-fibre, nutrient-dense foods in your diet. This is important for preventing chronic illness and conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity. This approach cuts out empty calories from packaged or processed foods and will help you feel better and give you energy. These include whole grains, beans, and vegetables.
Prepare your own meals. This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to eat healthy on a budget. It gives you complete control of what you are putting on your plate and allows you to include more fresh and whole foods into your diet. It’s a good way to decrease your intake of salt, sugar, artificial ingredients, and oils.
Learn how to sprout. Sprouts are a living food packed with enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Although they are expensive to buy at the grocery store, sprouts are the most economical and nutrient-rich food you can consume. You can grow them indoors as they require very little space. (If you need sprouting guidance, please contact me at www.simplyraw.ca.)
Eat seasonal. Fruits and vegetables that are in season are not only more affordable than those grown out of season, they are harvested at peak ripeness and therefore more fresh, nutritious and flavourful!
Grow your own. Even if you don’t have a backyard, you can grow vegetables and herbs in a small garden setting in pots on the balcony or windowsill. Try growing herbs such as basil, rosemary, and oregano inside your home and see how easy it really is!
Buy in bulk. This is one of the best ways to stock up and save on nuts, seeds, dried legumes, whole grains, and so much more. Properly stored in your home, they will have a long shelf life. Although initially expensive, the long-term savings will be worth it.
Purchase store brands. Generic store brand foods have improved over the past few years and may even offer healthier products, including organic, plant-based, and gluten-free options. (Remember to always read the ingredients.)
Don’t fret about organic. I love to eat 100% organic whenever possible. However, if affordability is your main concern, it is best to avoid the dirty dozen and focus instead on the clean fifteen’s safest non-organic foods. (Don’t forget to wash produce well to remove chemical residue such as waxes and pesticides.)
Filter your own water. Purchase a water filter such as a Santevia or Berkey. While you might have to spend money on filters, they cost far less than buying bottled water all the time. Not only is it better for your health, but also for the environment.
Plan ahead. Plan your meals for the week based on your food budget. The key is to purchase only what’s on your shopping list and avoid impulse buying. All those little extras can quickly add up.
Eat less meat. Cutting back on meat consumption will have a positive impact on your health, the environment, and your wallet. Try eating plant-based for one week and experience the positive changes. (Be sure to join one of my life-changing nutritional programs that will help you look and feel your best!)