Monday, July 1, 2013

Eating Healthy Doesn't Have to Break Your Piggy Bank

"What can I eat that's cheap?"  Sounds familiar? In today's economy, money is a real determining factor of what's on the plate. Finances have to be juggled often and sometimes food choices aren't given a great deal of forethought under the pressure of making every cent count.  As a result, the Dollar Menu will probably never go out of style. And when a Five Dollar Pizza can feed a whole family, that's a bargain too good to pass up, right?  But is eating cheap, really saving money?

It's a known fact that impoverished communities suffer with the greatest epidemic of diabetes, cancer and heart disease.  So even though years of cheap eating seems like the way to go to save money, later in life those doctor visits, prescriptions and surgeries creep their way into our pocketbooks and claim every dime that we were supposedly saving. 

So what's the answer?  Yes, there are some costly foods that are great quality and obviously  more expensive.  But not everything that's healthy has to be out of our price range. 

Can you say Beans?  Yes, beans are filled with protein and heart-healthy nutrients and the best thing of all is that they are very inexpensive.  They come in all shapes, sizes and colors!  I recall my mom making beans growing up and I didn't particularly like them then, but my mother had some insight on what I'm sharing right now.   I've developed an interest in making new dishes and I've discovered quite a few recipes that are tasty and easy to prepare from bean soups to bean salads. 

Next there's the option of growing your own food.  Fresh veggies from your garden is another great way to save money and have organic produce.  And if you have kids, you can get them involved in the gardening process.  It's fun and educational at the same time.  

Also, I've discovered that shopping at markets that emphasize organic whole foods don't have to cost an arm and a leg.  Over the past several months, my grocery bill has gone down by shopping at Trader Joe's. The varieties of foods offer colors, flavors and spices that make cooking fun.  There may be similar markets that have a great produce section and may actually be less expensive than huge chain markets.  In addition, look for coupons and sale papers that offer deals on  whole foods, fish and organic meat.

I'm sure there are many ways to incorporate eating healthy on a budget, but they just require proper planning.   Love to hear what tips you have to offer!

1 comment:

  1. Yes! The farmer's markets have good fruits and vegetables at low prices, and also have organic foods.