There are no two ways about it. Eating healthy costs money… sometimes more money than eating cheap junk if you go about it the wrong way. No matter, when you choose real food over fake food, the rewards of that choice will far outweigh the cost. Today, I want to share some tips on how you can afford eating real food on a budget.
Keep in mind that not all of these tips will be for everyone, but feel free to pick and choose what works best for your family. Making the switch to real food is a journey, and starting somewhere is better than not starting at all!
Why Eat Real Food?
Getting started with eating real foods can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you weren’t raised eating this way, but don’t worry. Over time, it will get much, much simpler. I promise!
Now why would you want to eat a real food diet in the first place?
Well, not only does it give you more nutrition, but it keeps you from getting so many preservatives and other chemical toxins which can have a negative effect on your health. This will keep you healthier which means less sickness, less doctor visits, and less time missing work or fun activities.
Another benefit to eating healthy is that it can save you money.
If you start making the switch to healthier, real food, over time, you’ll notice your grocery budget either stays the same or decreases. All of this will depend on the foods your buying and how you prepare meals.
17 Tips To Help You Afford Real Food
Below are some other ways to help make you be able to afford eating real food, especially if you’re on a budget. These are all things that I’ve done and mostly still do, and believe it or not… they make a big difference!
- Stock up on pantry staples and make foods from scratch rather then buying prepackaged, convenience health foods
- Decrease your budget in other areas so you can increase your food budget
- Plan meals and don’t impulse buy without a list
- Take advantage of cheap meals like beans, soups, and pasta dishes
- Keep track of food inventory and plan meals around it – example: produce, pantry items, freezer items
- Double and freeze recipes
- Buy in bulk through co-ops and food shares
- Shop store sales or use coupons
- Shop the farmers market 1-2 hours before closing for last minute deals
- Buy in season produce or shop at pick-your-own farms
- Substitute expensive foods for cheaper versions like using beef instead of lamb
- Cut back on meat by eating more beans and veggies
- Substitute drinks like juice for water
- Search out cheaper sources of raw milk via local farmers or cow-shares
- Save food scraps to make stock – veggie scraps, chicken/beef bones
- Don’t trash leftover food. Instead compost it or use what didn’t get eaten as a part of another meal
- Grow your own foods – veggies and chickens are easy starts
I know this is a lot, but it really can help. And just like I said last week… take one step at a time. You don’t have to do it all overnight. Pick one of the above areas and go with it. Once you’ve gotten into a good routine with it, move on to another area. Over time your real food lifestyle will take shape and develop and your budget will balance out.
Don’t forget to check out these real food resources to help you make the switch to real food a bit easier.