There are studies out there demonstrating how cheap it is to eat unhealthy foods (carrots vs Twinkies, anyone?) but that doesn’t mean you HAVE to eat unhealthily if you’re on a budget.
Paying closer attention to the kinds of food you’re eating and spending money on could also reduce your family’s carbon footprint, so here are a few ways to eat healthily without spending more.
Make snacks from scratch
Trail mix, granola bars, homemade potato chips, sweet potato fries and zucchini fries are some snacks you can make at home with just a few ingredients.
Shop the perimeter of the grocery store
Shopping the outer edges of the grocery store will help you avoid processed foods and find the deals on fresh produce. Fruits and vegetables are usually on the outside, as well as the bakery and deli section where you can find organic or grass-fed meats, fresh cheeses and freshly baked breads. You’ll also find healthy bulk items such as large bags of rice, salad ingredients, nuts, legumes and other proteins.
With more than 7,000 farmers’ markets across the United States, and rising, it’s easier than ever to buy local produce. At farmers’ markets you can support local growers and sellers, and find everything from fruits to vegetables to baked goods to jellies and jams.
Cook in bulk at home
During the colder seasons, pots of soups, stews and chilis can be made in batches large enough to last several days. Over the summer, one night of grilling chicken breasts, salmon and veggies can make enough to last several days. Grill up some chicken breasts one day for dinner, and grill a few extra to use the next day for chicken salads or side dishes. If you’re already cooking something that can be used for several different dishes, it doesn’t take long to cook a few extra that can be used for different recipes throughout the week.
Get protein from non-meat foods
Most of us are used to having meat as the main dish of a meal, and the veggies and starches as side dishes. Switch it up and make an eggplant or portobello mushroom entree, with a chicken salad or pasta as the side dish. Meat is expensive, and using smaller portions if you still want to incorporate it into your diet is an easy way to save a good chunk of change each week.
I know, this is obvious. However, there are more benefits to eating smaller portioned meals than the chance of slimming your waistline. You’ll save money on food because, well, you’ll have to buy less. Less weight, less money, sounds like a win-win situation.
What do you do to save money on your grocery bill?