Eating Healthy on a Budget

Last time we talked about how important it is to eat a clean healthy diet to keep your immune system strong.  One thing that I hear in response sometimes is “But eating healthy is SO expensive!”  I admit it does cost a little bit more but I say ‘pay a little more now or pay for it later’! Thankfully there are some things that you can do to decrease the impact on your day to day budget.

For starters several of the warehouse stores are including more and more organic, non-GMO items. (Side bar: non-GMO means non-Genetically Modified Organism. Genetically Modified Organisms are plants that have been altered at a genetic level by inserting DNA from other organisms including bacteria, fish and other species into the plant DNA! There is so much wrong with that picture on so many levels. I’ll have to dedicate another post to delve into to that. It’s a doozy!)  If you don’t have a membership to a warehouse, partner with someone who does until you save enough money to buy a membership of your own. Some warehouse clubs offer rebates on your purchases that you can apply to your membership fee the next year. If you’re thinking ‘but I’m single or have a small family. There’s no way I will be able to eat all of those large, bulk servings before they expire or go bad!’  Again, partner with someone! Pick a buddy and plan to go maybe once a month and stock up on things like organic frozen (not canned- too much salt and preservatives) fruits and vegetables or a case of paper towels and toilet paper and split it. In time you will build up a good sized stash of things that isn’t overwhelming and are less likely to perish and you can use the money that you save to pick up a few fresh, organic items at your local grocery store or farmers market.pexels-photo-109277

EAT. OUT. LESS! Eating out is laden with unhealthy additives like MSG and it’s EXPENSIVE!  For instance, a “value meal” for a family of four can run you about $20.  Well, you can get a YUGE bag of frozen organic vegetables for about $9 from a warehouse store which is enough for 4 rounds of dinner for a family of four and a pack or two of meat (or more if your talking ground meat) at your local grocery store.  So for the cost of one (cheap) dinner out you can buy enough food for two meals and then some. Fresh vegetables can cost even less like a large box of organic spinach.  food-salad-healthy-lunchWe use it to make salads, fresh juice and smoothies. Baby spinach has NO taste so sometimes juicing or slipping it in a smoothie is the only way that I can sneak something green into BeBe’s diet. Shhhhh he does’t know my secret! What he doesn’t know won’t hurt me.  If you partner with someone you can buy organic meat in bulk, too and split the pre-portioned packs for even less than what it costs at your local store.  Keep doing this bit by bit and you will eat and, therefore, feel better and have more energy and a stronger immune system and perhaps be able to spend less money on medications and doctors visits. Just a thought….

 

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Only eat fruits and vegetables when they are in season! Newsflash! We are NOT supposed to be eating fresh strawberries in January!! That is just wrong! They are out of season so they will have less flavor, less nutrients and COST MUCH MORE! Firstly, they will be harvested prematurely, then sprayed with chemicals to keep them from ripening during the super long boat ride they will have to take to get here form the other side of the equator!! There are lists all over the internet with what is in season in your area and when. Print one out and keep it handy.

One other way to save money is STOP THROWING AWAY FOOD! Americans throw away anywhere from one third to one half of our food daily! One day I stopped and noticed that every week food seemed to get sucked into a black hole in the back of our refrigerator only to be found when something started to grow on it! Yuck!  So I started making an effort to check every few days and FREEZING the leftovers. They’ve come in handy in a pinch on a lazy weekend afternoon and my husband asks ‘what can we eat for lunch?’  and I remember that we have frozen spaghetti or taco meat and the like that I can defrost quickly and feed us with little effort in a pinch.

Also, when you do cook, make a double portion! Cooking ground meat? Cook 2 pounds instead of one and freeze the second pound. Defrost it and dump spaghetti sauce or taco seasoning on it and throw together a quick meal on a rainy day!  Baking chicken? Same thing. Double up and freeze for another day.

Consider buying some of your staples online. We use Vitacost.com and other websites. Since we participate in the Upromise program (it’s free), we get cash back every few months into our kids’ college funds when we cdfmake purchases through their links. We get organic pantry items delivered to our front door in about 2 days (free shipping) and free money is added to BeBe & Bunny’s futures.  Win-win!

If you have any questions or money saving tips that you would like to share, please do so in the comment box below

@ www.MommyMadeMD.com

The Doctor is in!

Happy Healthy Living!

Until next time…

Take Home Tidbits

  • Buy organic produce in bulk when possible.
  • Frozen food is better for you than than canned.
  • Consider a warehouse club membership to defray costs or partner with someone that has one.
  • Buy fresh fruits and veggies only when they are in season!
  • Stop throwing away food!