Times are tight, and you probably don’t have an extra few hundred dollars lying around every month to spend on organic produce or driving across town to a designer health food store.
Readers frequently tell me they want to eat healthy but can’t always afford grass-fed beef or wild-caught salmon. They ask me whether spending three times as much on organic broccoli is really worth it.
As a working mom with two teenage boys who really like to eat, I understand their concern. First I ask how much they spend every week at bodegas, quickie marts, vending machines, and five-dollar designer coffee drinks. Once they’ve tallied it up, many people express dismay that these convenience foods hit the triple digits budget-wise every month.
Another thing to consider is that processed and fast foods, while cheap and ubiquitous, are hardly bargains in the big picture. The “value” menu at a burger emporium isn’t such a value when you consider the long-term effects on your health, waistline, and wellbeing.
When you center your meals on lean & clean protein, lots of leafy greens, high-fiber starches like sweet potatoes and legumes, and healthy fats like nuts, seeds, and avocado, and berries, you’ll probably find your grocery bill shrinks. You feel and look better. You spend less money on doctor visits and take fewer sick days.
The only added expense is the new wardrobe my clients purchase once they lose fat, although few mind that “inconvenience.” That lean, toned physique? Priceless.
I’ve employed these 12 strategies myself and with top clients to healthily eat like a king or queen and budget like a pauper.
12 Ways to Eat Right on a Budget
1. Buy in season
Asparagus peaks in spring, while blueberries are ripest in summer. Besides being fresher and more likely to be locally grown, produce is more affordable in season.
2. Buy frozen and stock up
Ever regrettably tossed a three-dollar head of Romaine that sat in your fridge for a week? Frozen foods eliminate that problem and save you money. You can literally buy months of veggies and other foods to store in your freezer, so you always have organic frozen spinach to toss into soups, stews, or to use as a side dish.
3. Less meat, more plant-based foods
Grass-fed beef and wild-caught salmon are