Healthy Eating At No Extra Cost

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Eating healthy on a budget is really no more difficult than eating any other way (unless you’re eating out every day). But for those of us who plan and cook our own meals the majority of the time, it’s very simple to eat healthy without breaking the bank. The real difficulty lies in divorcing yourself of your bad habits and accepting healthy alternatives that are just as cheap.

You turn to junk food because it’s easy, but I’ll tell you right now, it’s not necessarily less expensive. Many people who think healthy food is expensive have somehow gotten it into their heads that they have to eat organic to be healthy. This is simply not true (although organic foods can be very healthy, albeit higher in price). And while fresh fruits and vegetables may cost you slightly more than chips and soda (and you really can’t get coupons for them), you can try shopping your local farmers market to cut the cost on these nutritious necessities.

As for ways to save on healthy foods at the market, consider some alternative to processed foods. Beans, rice, and pasta are all easy to prepare, easy to enhance, and best of all, they’re easy on your wallet. If you have room in your pantry to buy in bulk, you can save even more on these dry goods. You can also grab soup for a quick and easy meal, just be sure to check the sodium content. Most brands will offer a lower sodium option.

And don’t pass up meats, either. You may pay a little more for the leaner version, but if you ask at your local market, there’s a good chance you can take advantage of discounts in this area on days when new shipments come in (this is when older offerings get marked down). And if you’re looking to incorporate the lean protein of fish into your diet without the exorbitant cost ($10 a pound for halibut?!), try a return to your childhood with a can of tuna (the healthiest option is canned in water, not oil). And let’s not forget that a nutritious diet starts with water, so avoid the high prices of bottled brands by opting instead for a filtrations system, either on your faucet, your fridge, or the pitcher variety.

Other good money saving tips when it comes to food are just common sense. Use coupons when you can (look online for coupons for your favorite products), buy generic, and make enough for leftovers. Eating healthy starts at home and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. With less time and effort than you think, you can really make your food work for you.

Guest Post by: Sarah Leonard at the Nursing Degree Website.

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