All that being said, I get asked ALL the time just how in the heck I can afford to eat organic, grass-fed, wild caught & all the rest. The short answer is this: its EXPENSIVE but it is what I value, so I spend the money on it. The longer answer is this: It isn’t as pricey as you think. If you do your own shopping and cooking, it can actually be cheaper. There IS a way!!! I invest a LOT of time in my food shopping, prep & cooking. Eating healthy and enjoying what I eat is a BIG part of my life. So, I don’t just go to Stop & Shop and do a 20 min shopping trip once or twice per week. I go to different stores to get different things. This might seem like a pain, but it saves $$!! To be quite honest, the food budget in our house for 2 adults (plus having family/friends over for meals 1-2x/wk) is approximately $300/week. This might seem CRAZY, but let me break it down:
Total Groceries per week: $300, which is $150/person. That makes 21 meals per week per person. Quick math averages it out to a little over $7.00 per meal per person. To me, $7 per meal is absolutely reasonable when it means grass-fed, organic, pasture raised, natural, healthy REAL foods. Compare it to this….
Going out to eat or getting takeout M-F only: breakfast/coffee: $5-$7, lunch: $10-12, dinner: $25. For 5 days of this its $210. This is MORE than I’ve spent per person on food for the WEEK, and this doesn’t even include weekends!!! Even if a person is not getting every single meal at a restaurant, the point is that it is JUST AS expensive and SOOOOOOO much less healthy.
The problem for most people???? TIME!!!!!! nobody has enough, it runs away from us, and we all wish we had more. The honest truth is that we ALL have 24 hours in a day; its about how you choose to use those hours.
Here are some tips on how to eat healthy on a budget:
1. Learn about the Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen Not all fruits and veggies have to be organic. This chart breaks it down: which are worth the extra expense. Things from the clean 15 list don’t need to be organic. Save $$
2. Buy in Bulk Go to BJ’s or Costco and buy the things you use often in bulk. BJ’s carries organic spinach which is SOO much cheaper than anywhere else. If you can’t use the food fast enough, freeze it.
3. Prep meals in advance I will preach this until my dying day. Take 2-3 hours on a Sunday to do some cooking. Prep meals for the week, put them in Tupperware so you’ll have them set and ready to go. If you make a HUGE amount of food, freeze some. Nothing is simpler than taking soup out of the freezer and heating it up after a long day.
4. Look for deals Trader Joe’s often has much cheaper produce, eggs, milk, etc. than Whole Foods… you can save a TON of $$ by hitting up 2 or more grocery stores.
5. Make your food budget a priority If you are going out to dinner a lot, having cocktails 2-3x/week, and spending your money on lots of other different things, don’t expect a lot to be left for your groceries. Prioritize food shopping when you have a full wallet. Make sure your items for the coming week are purchased before you hit the mall and get sucked in by a new sweater, boots, sneakers, or toy.
Eating healthy on a money and time budget IS NOT EASY. However, if you value your health and wellness, and are willing to make these things a high priority, it is ABSOLUTELY POSSIBLE. If you are interested in making changes to your diet and lifestyle and would like support and help doing so, Lucky13Fitness would love to help! Email: email@example.com