You are what you eat.
That saying is very true in about the way we act, feel, think, behave and function. Eating healthy can literally change all of these things for the better! But the real, hard truth of the matter is that eating “healthy” is incredibly expensive. Isn’t it?
In this day and age budgets just keep getting tighter, well-paying jobs can be hard to find, and when you are so busy making or trying to make money often times fast food is just the only easy option. But what if I could show you how we eat a healthy. Nutritious, mostly organic diet and don’t break the bank?
Well that’s what I’m here to do. You can thank me later.
Figure out your budget.
First and foremost, you need to know what you are going to allow yourself each paycheck/month for groceries. This will determine what stores you go to and how much you can spend on essentials vs. wants. You can also set a budget per store. For us, say that I am going to Costco and I just got paid. I set my Costco budget to anything under $100, but make sure that everything in my Costco budget will either last us a while or make multiple meals.
Decide where to shop.
Know your stores and what they carry. What options do you want? For us in the Midwest, we have Hy-vee(a tad expensive, but they have some good healthy options), Costco(BULK everything!), Sprouts(my all-time favorite health food place), and Aldi (the most AMAZING place to shop if you live in an apartment and need the cheaply priced stuff).
Find out what healthy stuff your stores have. A lot of places like Aldi, Wal-mart, Hy-Vee, Safeway, Albertsons and other popular grocers have started to add in health markets and sections with healthier options.
Know what you need, and look for options.
Figure out what you need to buy, and then see if you cant find the healthiest version that your store carries. Take Mac and Cheese for example: we buy Annies brand mac and cheese because its organic, not made with preservatives, artificial flavors and has no high fructose corn syrup. I cant go back to eating craft ever again, and not just because of the ingrediants, their mac and cheese is amazing! So good. In most grocery stores their brand is right next to the regular stuff in the pasta section!
So there is just one example of supplementation of products. Don’t think that you need to ditch the foods that you love to lose weight or be healthier! Find those foods in a better, healthier version. Trust me on this, most things DO have a healthy alternative.
(p.s. these steps can be applied to restaurants too…)
This step is the only real time consuming one. Do two of your local stores carry the same healthy item? What about veggies and fruits?
I know for a fact that multiple stores around us carry(and im gonna use this example again) Annies macaroni. Hy-Vee carries it as well as Price Chopper and Terra and Sprouts, BUT Costco sells it in a multiple flavor 12-pack for around $12. The other places have it too, but if its more expensive to buy single boxes and we know that we will keep eating it over the next month or two, then yes. I will buy the 12 pack.
It’s all about which place has the best quality and price when it comes to the veggies and fruits for us. Sprouts is awesome simply for their LOW prices on produce. Their prices are always good, and their produce is organic and free of pesticides. Those two things are super important to me when looking for produce. We could get produce at Hy-Vee or Aldi, and occasionally we do, but we end up spending more and the quality is not as good.
Know what you want to be organic, and what doesn’t necessarily have to be.
This is key to knowing where you need to go to get stuff. I only buy organic sugar, so I need to know where all sells it. I know that Aldi has two options for organic sugar, and that one is a pretty big bag for $4 and is also no-GMO. If I go to Hy-Vee, the bag is still organic, but its a lot smaller and is $7. I could get a cheaper bag of bleached white sugar for 99 cents. But to me, that bag is only worth the 99 cents I’m paying for it.
Know what quality you want in the products you buy! Do you want organic spinach instead of the regular shredded lettuce? Then know where sells a good quality spinach for a good price, and know that it IS possible to get that good price on anything you need.
So there you go! Your 5 step cheat-sheet for healthier eating.
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Author of a Natural Endeavor