Eating healthy on a budget has a lot to consider. Two things often fall short in our daily lives: time and often money. Industries taking advantage of this include fast food manufacturers and grocers. We are often drawn to expensive, over-processed convenience foods that impair our waistline, health, and budget. About 50% of meals are consumed outside the home!
With our limitations on time, the temptations of these items seem far better than cooking. We also may feel our kitchen skills are below average, have busy children’s schedules, and are often just ‘too tired’ for added effort and ‘deserve a break’. As a result, we’re raising generations who are not comfortable in the kitchen and don’t know how to cook healthy meals.
We are then led to believe by the food industry that cooking is inconvenient, expensive, and difficult. This is just simply NOT TRUE! Considering a family of four, a simple and delicious meal of roasted chicken, salad, and sauteed vegetables is about HALF the cost of a fast-food meal.
The Expense of Cheap Food
The up-front cost of food is obvious, but have you considered the long-term cost?! Processed, high sugar and sodium foods lead to serious, chronic illness which can later cost hundreds to thousands of dollars in medical visits along with the added cost of monthly prescriptions. These illnesses and medications can further impair our personal lives, impact our loved ones, and impair motivation.
Consider the cost markup of pre-packaged meals, high-sugar designer coffee drinks, and the long-term ramifications of the “value meal”; the bigger pictures will not provide value.
Healthy Food Myths
- Healthy food takes a long time to prepare. Healthy, delicious meals don’t always equal hours in the kitchen following complex instruction. Good food is often much easier to prepare and enjoyable once you learn how.
- Healthy food costs more. The top four items purchased in the grocery store are all drugs and addictive: alcohol, nicotine, sugar, and caffeine. These items are not less expensive than healthy foods and you will see your grocery bill go down without them!
- Healthy food is too hard to find. There are healthy options in ALL grocery stores. You do not have to visit farmer’s markets or gourmet food stores. Stick to the perimeter of a store to find the best options.
Eating Healthy on a Budget Strategies
- Buy in season. These items are usually more fresh, easier to find, and often cost less when in season.
- Keep basics on-hand. Each week explore a new recipe you and your family enjoy. Keep these general ingredients at home so you don’t get stuck without an option. This will become easier and take less time as you get used to it.
- Choose a few things that free up your money. Ditch the daily $1.50 vending machine soft drink (about $500.00/year!). You can use this money more wisely!
- Keep a journal. This is often very eye-opening if done for just 1-month. You can visually see what you’re spending money, time, and resources on. How do you spend every minute of the day? How would you rather be spending this time and how could you be more productive?
- Visit discount grocery stores. Some favorites include Trader Joe’s, Costco, and Sprouts. Often times you can find items at much lower prices than your regular supermarket.
Are You Ready to Start Eating Healthy on a Budget?
Eating healthy on a budget isn’t hard at all. Contact Optimum Health Rehab for a complimentary consultation at 877-704-1761 or fill this form to discover more paths to improved health, and ultimately, and happier life!Nutrition & Healthy Eating, Wellness, Food sensitivity, Weight Loss