Save Money On Food And Eat Better: Part 2


produceOn Monday I wrote about overall strategies for saving money on meals: shopping circulars, meal planning, creating a price book and using coupons. Today I want to talk about more specific ways to save money while eating food that is healthier for you.

Ditch the Junk. One of the easiest ways to cut costs on food and to cut a few calories from your diet is to ditch the junk food. Junk food (chips, cookies, candy, soda) is not only high in calories and fat, but also full of nasty chemicals and dyes. Junk food is also really expensive, especially when compared with whole foods.

Eat Real Food. Processed foods, though not as obviously junk food, are often just as bad for us. Processed foods are loaded with sodium and a variety of chemicals to make them last a long time on store shelves. “Sugar-free” and “low-fat” foods really aren’t all that healthy either. The sugar and fat can’t simply be removed from these products, they have to be replaced with something else. Usually that something else is a lab-created chemical designed to mimic the properties of natural sugar and/or  fat. In my opinion, the fewer chemicals, the better. And again, processed food is expensive. Yes, microwave meals are fast, and many of us need quick ways to prepare food. But often, for the same money, you can buy pre-cut chicken and vegetables that allow you to throw together a fast meal of real food instead of the processed stuff.

Buy Fruit in Season or Buy Frozen. Out of season fruit costs a lot more and doesn’t taste nearly as good as fruit that’s in season. If you want something that’s out of season, try frozen fruit. It is picked at the peak of freshness and quickly frozen to preserve its quality.

Drink Water. One of the best ways to save money and get healthier is to drink water. Tap water. Bottled water is not only expensive, most of the time it’s only tap water anyway. The plastic bottles also leach nasty chemicals into the water and then into you — not to mention the environmental impact of all that plastic. If you don’t like the taste of the water that comes out of your tap, invest in a filter and get a reusable, BPA-free, bottle. You could easily save hundreds of dollars a year depending on how much bottled water you buy.

Eat Less Meat. Try to have at least one meat-free meal per week. There are lots of options for filling fare that doesn’t require a slab of meat to be satisfying. Look for recipes built around beans or have breakfast for dinner. Eggs are a great source of protein and other nutrients, including Vitamin D if you choose organic, free-range varieties. Eggs and beans are good for you and also much less expensive than meat.

Again, I hope some of these ideas have been helpful to you. Please share some of the ways that you save money on food in the comments. In the coming weeks, I’ll post some simple, quick and healthy recipes to make feeding yourself and your family a little easier.

Photo Credit: Rick

Comments

  1. Great tips! Eliminating as much processed food from your diet as possible will save on future medical bills as well as your grocery bill. 🙂

    Drinking more water is an excellent tip as well since many people mistake thirst for water as hunger.

    For people who are health conscious as well as budget conscious, I wrote a similar post about making organic food more affordable.

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Vin. Good point about future medical bills — being healthy is often less expensive on several levels. I read your post on making organic food more affordable and found it very helpful. I encourage others to check it out as well. Thanks for providing the link.

  3. Very useful post. I linked to it in my 30 Quick, Green and Frugal Meal Planning Resources list.

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