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Healthy on a Budget


Cheap, Easy and Healthy

Think it is too expensive to eat healthy? Don’t let that old excuse hold you back from living a healthy life.

The fast food companies make it tempting to go for the cheap and easy. Dollar menus, five buck boxes, and supersizing make us feel like we are getting our money’s worth of food. (Unfortunately we make up for that by needing to buy bigger pants and cholesterol meds). Hard to believe that fresh produce and lean meats could even compare dollar for dollar but believe it or not, it can be done.

When eating healthy it is important to know where to put your dollars. For example, not everything needs to be organic. Save your money and buy conventional grown produce on things with thick skin like avocados, onions and bananas. Splurge on organic berries, nectarines, peaches, pears, apples, cherries, grapes and sweet bell peppers. Pests like sweet things so more pesticide is used to keep them away. Store brand organics are often cheaper than conventional versions on some items so keep an eye out for that.

Here are some other helpful tips on keeping the food bill down without hitting the drive through.

  • Frozen Seafood. Much of the “fresh” seafood you find at the grocery store has been previously frozen and that does not take away from taste or nutrition. Salmon, halibut and Tilapia are all great choices. Make sure it is wild and not farmed. Costco is a great place to find this.

  • Frozen fruits and vegetables. The nutrient levels in fresh or frozen are comparable to their fresh counterparts. It is much cheaper to buy a frozen out of season vegetable than it is to pay for those from far away lands. Save your money for peak in season veggies like vine ripe tomatoes of berries from the farmers market.

  • Go Bulk. Rice, quinoa, beans, legumes, and oats are a steal in the bulk food section. You can whip up a batch of beans and rice for just pennies.

  • Look Up and Down. Grocery stores place the most expensive name brand items at eye level. Look around for the generic or store brands (often found on the bottom shelves). They are often cheaper and taste just as good.

  • Stock Up. Who does not love a good sale? When you see some of your favorite items go on sale, buy a little extra. This works great for things such as pasta, sauces, canned meats and seafood.

  • Cook once, eat twice. When coking a meal, make extra and pop it in the freezer. Next time you are in a rush and tempted to grab some fast food, you can defrost the chicken casserole instead.

Times are tight for many of us these days and that makes it even more important to take care of ourselves by eating right. You can eat healthy on a budget and it can be lighter on your wallet, not to mention the scale.

Article Posted by Sherri Sacconaghi on July 22nd, 2011


Article by: Sherri Sacconaghi
Certified Health Coach and Personal Fitness Trainer
Ph: 503 621 7549
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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