That’s it! Thursday: 8/2 Healthy Eating Can Cost A Little More

2 Aug

I am cheap. As a general rule, I am always looking for the best deal, the lowest price, and to save a few bucks. But, I’ve realized that in order to live a healthy lifestyle, I have to be okay with spending a little more for a healthier option.

So, for this weeks “That’s it! Thursday” I vow to give up my cheap ways. I’m not saying I won’t stay thrifty, because you definitely can still eat healthy on a pretty low-budget (I’ll give you some tips for that below). Instead, I’m going to work on spending the extra $1 for the egg white omelette or the $2 for salad instead of fries. I will buy the healthier bread option from the grocery store instead of the one that’s on sale (can anyone say bleached white bread?). To me this comes down to priorities. Is my health worth that extra couple of dollars? Yes. Yes. Yes. Health > Money. Plus, let’s not even go into the actual monetary cost of living unhealthy– prescriptions, complications, more doctors visits, the list goes on and on. All this to say, I think I can spare the extra bit of cash– so now I will!

Titus and Livia, my kitties, searching for their food among my groceries.

Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget:

  • Plan out your Meals (and snacks!): One of my recent That’s it! Thursday features was about my transition to meal planning. Since then, I’ve noticed a notable drop in my grocery bill. If I know in advance what I’m looking for at the store I don’t end up with frivolous items that catch my eye. I also don’t end up throwing out a bunch of groceries that I never got around to using before they went bad.
  • But, be flexible in your meal planning: I plan my meals after reviewing the weekly circular for my grocery store and plan my meals for the week around what is on sale. Sales can be your friend! Just make sure they’re items you can actually use in your dishes.

More tips below the cut.

  • Don’t be afraid to shop around: I often visit multiple grocery stores. Some have better prices on things like almond milk (Trader Joes, anyone?) and others have better prices on meat or produce. You can save quite a bit of money once you get a feel for which stores have the best deals on which things. If you’re meal planning, you can use that time to develop your grocery list for each store. I also highly recommend checking out your local farmers market!
  • Coupons are your friend: I love coupons. Don’t be ashamed to use them, you can save a ton of money. I highly recommend visiting websites like Hip2Save which are constantly updating with great deals (and not just on food!).
  • Buy in Bulk: Of course, a lot of food you’ll want to buy fresh. But some items, like rice and dried beans, you can buy much cheaper in bulk.

While eating healthy on a budget can be challenging, it’s totally doable. It just requires some planning, preparation, and a bit of savvy. What are your favorite tips for saving money that don’t interfere with your healthy lifestyle? I’d love to hear them!


4 Responses to “That’s it! Thursday: 8/2 Healthy Eating Can Cost A Little More”

  1. lifebeginsat30sum August 2, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    Great post! I like to get my fruits and vegetables at a local Farmer’s Market! The prices are so much cheaper there than at a store, so I get a lot more healthy items for my money!

    • KaraLoraine August 3, 2012 at 2:24 am #

      I used to be a big time coupon user as well, but with Paleo, I really can’t find any that pertain to me anymore. It’s almost sad how much coupons are focused on making the already cheap crappy food even cheaper. Throw us healthy people a bone! 🙂 I really want to go try the Dallas Farmers Market sometime soon. I hear it is amazing. Any tips for a first timer?

      • lifebeginsat30sum August 3, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

        Bring your own recyclable bags, the kind you get from a grocery store (1 or 2 bags should be fine) depending on what you want to get. You can fill them as you shop at one vendor, take out to pay, and then put them back in your bag. It is easier than using all their little bags.

        Take cash! I usually take about $40-50 and stock up!

        I try to stick to one or two vendors. I find ones that have all the stuff I need and make a B-line towards them. I fill up and go home without having to deal with the crowd for too long!

        Ask someone walking in or a friend who has gone before if they know the best vendors so you don’t have to waste time.

        Get there at a decent time. Depending on the hours some vendors go home towards the end. To get the most of your visit try to go when the most options are available to you in case you do want to look around and see what everyone has.

        That’s all I have for now – if I think of more I’ll let you know!

      • SweetAccountability August 6, 2012 at 9:02 am #

        Wow, great tips! Thanks for sharing! The only thing I’d add is don’t be afraid to talk to the vendors. They’re, in my experience, really great. They will answer what questions you have about any pesticides they use, what’s fresh, etc. It’s fantastic to know your grwoer. 🙂 Also, I know you mentioned time– towards the end you might be able to get cheaper prices but often it’s what has been picked over.

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