I’m guilty of being someone who calls for more simplicity in our food choices. I’m constantly sharing news about how processed food is only harming us, and how we should stick to “greener” food. Though this is sound advice, nowadays, “healthier” is often much more expensive. A box of organic quinoa can easily equal up to 17$ (in Beirut) versus a box of white commercial pasta which would only be about 5-7$. The good news here is that there are ways to stick to healthy eating within a reasonable budget!
5 tips for eating healthy and staying within budget!
1- Skip the sugary beverages, and stick to water!
Alcohol, juices and soda – the whole lot – are more expensive and less beneficial than just drinking water. Also, making your own fruity water is too simple to pass on. It’s healthier and cheaper to eat the fruit than the fruit juice. Alcohol should ONLY be consumed in moderation and is a lot more expensive that water if you’re on a budget! I’m not even going to justify why sodas is on this list – they may not be overly expensive financially but they will take a toll on your health that is more expensive than any other drink (Sodas and diet sodas have been linked to increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and bone loss! source, source)
2- Add protein
Plenty of good protein sources are filling and inexpensive, such as dairy products and eggs . Include them more often in your meals for added flavor, fullness and for less cost than meat or poultry!
3- Opt for fruits and vegetables in season
Buying fruits and veggies outside their seasons often means they are imported and/or rare which makes them more expensive. if you must must and a recipe calls for a fruit outside season then opt for frozen fruits instead (though not optimal as fresh is always best!) as these would often be cheaper.
I’ve listed before the shelf life for some fruits and vegetables. Equally important is knowing HOW to store these items in your fridge. A extensive guide is available here that will change the way you use your food!
Added tip: if you have the land (or balcony!) then grow your own! Some fruits and vegetables are so easy to start – it might just take throwing in a few seeds and they’ll practically grow themselves. Plus, they will taste that much better – and without any added genetically modified organisms (GMOs)!
5- DIY! (do-it-yourself)
Buying almonds and grinding them at home is often much cheaper than buying almond flour, same goes for whole wheat flour (or other grains). It’s an added effort, granted, but could end up saving you a lot of money, especially if these items are regulars in your meals! Try it, most homemade items are often much tastier also!
Hope these help!