You may have heard, thought, or said it before…
“Eating healthy is expensive!”
And while eating healthy can be expensive, it doesn’t have to be.
In most cases it all boils down to what you’re buying and where you’re buying it from.
One of the first things we need to do is define “healthy eating” since so many define it differently.
It seems most envision healthy eating as:
- Shopping exclusively at stores like Wholefoods, Trader Joe’s, or Publix
- Buying everything organic
- Indulging in superfoods like maca, spirulina, and goji berries
- Getting only grass-fed meat and dairy
And while those things are great and beneficial…
Fancy stores and food items are NOT necessary to eat healthy!
But here at GHCL, we define eating healthy as eating simplistically as possible and eliminating as many processed foods as you can.
I realize both the conventional and organic food industries have their agendas, but here’s the thing…
If your diet is currently made up of mainly ramen noodles, frozen dinners, boxed mac & cheese with processed “cheese”, and bologna; wouldn’t it be considered healthier if you switched from that to chicken breasts, spinach or green beans, and rice even if NONE of it’s organic?
I wonder how many people forgo changing their diets because of being told that, “If it’s not organic, don’t even bother because of pesticides or hormones.”
How many would gladly eat healthier, but do not because they’ve been made to feel as though if they get their food from some place like Walmart or WinCo, they may as well eat at a fast food restaurant.
I’ve actually heard people say shit like that before and it burns me up every time.
Is it good to get locally-grown food or organic food? Of course it is! But for some, it isn’t realistic.
It’s much better that you make strides where you can, rather than not make any beneficial changes at all based on someone’s strict, made up rules that make healthy eating outrageously expensive and out of budget.
A few tips to help you eat healthier on a budget…
1. If you can, buy organic; but if you can’t, don’t worry about it. Sometimes organic produce costs around the same as conventional with only a few cents difference. But if the difference is significant, don’t sweat it.
2. If conventionally-grown produce is your only option, clean in a vinegar bath – add 1 cup of vinegar (white or apple cider) to 2-4 cups water, gently swish the produce around, rinse and dry.
3. Make small, gradual changes by swapping out various items where you can.
4. If you still find the need to purchase some of the cheaper food items (noodles, boxed mac & cheese, etc) have some healthy stuff along with it. Don’t eat just the noodles alone, but have some protein and a vegetable or piece of fruit as well.
5. Do NOT feel the need to get fancy with your food choices. Do what you can and go for whole, fresh, minimally-processed foods as much as possible.
6. If need be, purchase healthy food items from discount grocery stores such as WinCo or Grocery Outlet or Aldi’s
7. If possible, set aside a day or two during the week to meal prep. One thing I’ve learned is, what you don’t pay for in money, you pay for in time. Eating healthier may require you actually spend a little more time in the kitchen.
For example: make a pot of homemade chili or spaghetti and freeze in portions and heat them up as needed, as opposed to opening up cans. You can do the same with meat and veggies. Make a nice batch of meat and side dishes and freeze what you don’t eat within 2-3 days for another time.
Hopefully you now see that eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive.