When it comes to healthy eating, there’s a question I get all of the time, and it’s how to eat healthy on a budget. Which is a Cheap food grocery store?
This probably applies to everyone in the community, whether you’re single, you’re married, you’re a parent, you’re a student, or you’re retired, because I think we would all gladly save some money.
Healthy food is expensive
The truth is, eating wholesome, delicious food doesn’t have to be expensive. The key is to hone in on strategic budget-friendly picks, to make sure you’re stocked with the right kitchen staples, and take steps to minimize food waste so you’re not literally throwing money away in the form of wilted greens or mushy bananas.
So today, I wanted to share my top tips to make healthy eating more affordable.
When it comes to buying the healthiest meat, I always suggest buying organic, pastured, and grass-fed options. These are not only better for you, but they’re better for the planet.
However, stocking up on the highest-quality meat will quickly drain your bank account, so my suggestion here is to simply buy less meat. When you do buy it, buy the good stuff, but then supplement your protein intake with budget-friendly, plant-based sources of protein like pulses, which include beans, chickpeas, peas, and lentils.
When readers on my website ask me for a meatless alternative for one of my recipes, I frequently recommend lentils. They’re packed with protein and fiber, and definitely will fill you up. So I often whip up a big batch on the weekend to add to salads, soups, and baked sweet potatoes throughout the week.
Slash your meat budget, get familiar with the tougher cuts of meat. Often, the tougher cuts, like pork shoulder, beef chuck, and stew meat, will be the least expensive of the bunch, and this is across the board, even with organic and grass-fed options.
So how do make these tougher cuts of meat delicious? It’s easy! Just cook them low and slow in a Crock-Pot or slow cooker until they are ultra-tender.
Eggs are pretty much the least expensive, whole-food source of protein that you can buy. So even if you spend $6 on a dozen pasture-raised eggs, that’s just 50 cents per egg. And the best part is that eggs can definitely go beyond breakfast.
You can whip up some hard-boiled eggs to eat as a high-protein snack throughout the week, or turn my breakfast casserole into a dinner-worthy meal by serving it up with leftover veggies and wilted greens that are on the verge of going bad.
The motto of Downshiftology is eating in season. Not only is in-season produce fresher and tastier, but the abundance of the crop usually drives down prices, making it far more affordable.
Seasonable produce and trends will vary region to region, but you can do a little bit of research to find out what’s in season in your area, and start to plan your meals accordingly. If you want to maximize the abundance of in-season produce, even more, don’t be afraid to cook and meal prep large portions and utilize leftovers.
Making Crock-Pot or casserole dishes, chicken broccoli casserole is a great way to take advantage of cheaper in-season produce pricing. Just make a large batch, freeze it, and you can reap the rewards of those savings long into the future.
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food to get at the store
- If your healthy lifestyle has you snacking on lots of nuts, get strategic about which ones you buy, because pound for pound, the price can vary drastically.
- Walnuts are often several dollars less per pound than cashews, almonds, and pecans while containing the highest level of anti-inflammatory, brain-friendly, plant-based Omega-3 fatty acids.
- So that makes walnuts a healthy, cost-effective snack choice.
- Across the board with both organic and non-organic, frozen fruits and vegetables are less expensive than fresh, yet they’re just as nutritious.
- In fact, frozen produce is picked at its peak in terms of freshness, then immediately frozen to lock in all that goodness. Frozen vegetables like peas and green beans make a great addition to curries, soups, and stir-fries, while frozen fruits like blueberries and mango are perfect for smoothies, oatmeal, and of course, Chia pudding.
- Non-dairy milk that you buy at the store is mostly water, but they still cost a pretty penny. So I recommend that you make your own, which is extremely easy to do, and no, it doesn’t always require straining or a lot of time in the kitchen. In fact, two of the quickest varieties are cashew milk and hemp milk.
- For cashew milk, simply soak one cup of raw cashews overnight, then blend with four cups of water until smooth and creamy. For hemp milk, blend half a cup of hemp seeds, which are also known as hemp hearts, with four cups of water.
- Both of those recipes are easy, affordable, and you won’t have any unnecessary ingredients that you may have in store-bought brands.
Healthy foods to get at the grocery store
One of the biggest budgetary downfalls for people starting to revamp their eating is packaged healthy treats and snacks.
Now you know what I’m talking about here. These are the grain-free cookies and granola, protein bars, those bite-sized macaroons, and dairy-free ice cream.
Now, of course, these can be enjoyed in moderation in a healthy lifestyle, but remember that you’re paying a premium for these products.
So instead, make whole, fresh foods your main priority, and when it comes to treats, make your own. Most of my dessert and treat recipes, which include those cookies and macaroons and dairy-free ice creams, can be made easier and more cheaply from ingredients you’d find in a well-stocked healthy pantry.
All right, how many of you have stocked up on fresh produce only to have half of it wilt or spoil before you’ve had a chance to use it? Food waste is a huge drain on your bank account, and one of the ways I minimize that is by using my freezer because you can freeze almost anything.
If you have bananas going brown and mushy, slice them up, and store them in the freezer for smoothies and banana bread. If you can’t use up those Siete grain-free tortillas fast enough, store them in the freezer, and remove each one individually as needed.
If you can’t go through a large bag of organic spinach for your smoothies before it wilts, just toss it into the freezer right after you buy it, and grab a handful whenever you need it.
If you’ve got way too many avocados that are perfectly ripe, dice them, toss them with lemon juice, and store them in a freezer-safe bag. You can even prep then freeze chia pudding with fresh fruit that’s on the verge of going bad. I think you guys get the idea here. The freezer is absolutely your friend when it comes to minimizing food waste.
Affordability of healthy food
Grocery stores specializing in healthy food can sometimes be pricey, and your run-of-the-mill grocery store doesn’t always have the variety and the ingredients that you need.
So that’s where a membership a wide variety of organic produce, organic meats, and healthy packaged foods, including the items that I buy most frequently.
A yearly membership to Costco will run you about $60, but when you look at the cost savings of buying in bulk, Cheap food grocery store it’s certainly worth it.
When it comes to online shopping, if you don’t have an Amazon Prime membership, you should definitely consider it. You can save on the ingredients you buy most often with subscriptions, and this is perfect for all of your pantry staples.
Things like nuts and seeds and flours, I always buy on Amazon with my Prime membership, and I’m saving on gas because I don’t have to drive to the grocery store.
But if you do drive to the store and shop at Whole Foods, there’s a bonus, because, with your Amazon Prime membership, you can save 10% on sale items, and get access to special deals, coupons, and savings throughout the store.
I hope you guys found these tips helpful for Cheap food grocery store, and as I try to think of more, I will post them. I always welcome you to add your tips to the comments below.
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