I’ve heard it said.
I’ve said it myself.
“Eating healthy is expensive!”
And before I get into my spiel, I will start off by saying that yes, eating healthy CAN be expensive – just like buying a handbag or a pair of shoes can be expensive.
In most cases it all boils down to, WHAT exactly are you buying & WHERE are you buying it from?
What I mean is, in the handbag/shoe example, some people won’t even LOOK at anything that isn’t designer and that costs less than say, one hundred-fifty bucks and… it has to be sold in the finest of stores – otherwise it just might be a knock-off! lol
And I see the same in the food realm.
Heck, I used to be a TOTAL food snob myself and, to an extent, I still am.
Some things I simply don’t want the store brand, knock off version of; and some things I WILL most definitely buy the store brand of… it depends.
But we’re here to talk about healthy food, so let’s talk about healthy food!
One of the FIRST things we need to do is define “healthy eating“, because it means different things to different people.
What it seems a LOT of people envision when they think of healthy eating is:
- Shopping EXCLUSIVELY at places like Wholefoods, Trader Joe’s, or Publix
- Buying EVERYTHING organic
- Indulging in superfoods like maca, spirulina, or goji berries
- Getting ONLY grass-fed meat and dairy
Have I pretty much hit the nail on the head?
And while those things are great…
Fancy stores & items are NOT necessary for a healthy eating lifestyle!
See, when *I* talk about healthy eating, I’m talking about eating as simplistic as possible, while leaving out as much (overly) processed food as possible.
I’ve come to realize that everyone, EVERYONE, has an agenda – the conventional food industry AND the organic food industry. They BOTH want you to buy a certain way and therefore, will tend to go pretty darn far in order to get their agenda across.
But here’s the thing…
If your diet is currently made up of mainly ramen noodles, frozen dinners, boxed mac & cheese with the processed “cheese”, and bologna; wouldn’t it be considered healthier if you switched from that to a bag of (frozen) chicken breasts, frozen spinach or green beans, and some brown rice – even if NONE of it is organic?
HECK to the YEAH!
I wonder how many people forgo changing their diets because they’re being told that, “If it’s not organic, don’t even bother because of pesticides or hormones.”
How many people 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 mean, IS it good to get locally-grown food or organic food? Of course it is! But for some, being forced to do that is just too overwhelming, too cumbersome, and too expensive.
I would much rather see people making strides where they can, rather than to not make beneficial changes at all because of too many strict rules that cause healthy eating to become outrageously costly and out of budget.
So, here are 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.
2. Simply get the produce you can get and wash it off in a “bath” of vinegar and water (add 1 c. vinegar to 8 c. water, gently swish around, rinse and dry)
3. Make small, gradual changes and swap out various items where you can. If you cannot change out everything and 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 just eat the noodles, but have a good source of protein and a vegetable or piece of fruit alongside.
4. Do NOT feel the need to get super-fancy with your food choices. Do what you can where you can and just go for whole, fresh, minimally-processed foods as much as possible.
5. If need be, shop for your healthy food items from discount grocery stores such as WinCo or Grocery Outlet or Aldi’s
6. One thing I’ve learned is that, what you don’t pay for in money, you pay for in time. Eating healthier may require you actually spending a little more time in the kitchen, as you won’t be doing a lot of microwave fast cooking! So set aside a day or two during the week to do food prep for the week.
For example: make a pot of chili as opposed to opening up cans… same with veggies and meats as well. Freeze what you don’t eat within 2-3 days for another time.
And one thing you will notice overtime, is the fact that as your body begins to gradually get cleaner and more nourished, the healthier foods will fill you up more than the empty calories of processed, cheaper foods.
So now we have answered the question…
“Does eating healthy eating HAVE to be expensive?”
Hopefully you now see that it certainly does not.