Do you want to eat healthy food, but worry that doing so might be a privilege available only to the rich?
Do you want to save money on future medical bills, without going broke along the way?
The average American spends $6,300 per year on food. If you're like me, you'd like to SAVE money, and the thought of spending more in order to eat healthy food is hard to stomach.
But the truth is...
You can enjoy nutritious and delicious food, without spending a fortune!
Here are 10 top tips for healthy and affordable food.
- Go with homemade. Americans today spend about 49 percent of their food budget on eating out at restaurants. When you make it yourself, you know what's in it -- and you can save a lot of money, too.
- Use bulk bins. Buying beans, whole grains, and other non-perishables from bulk bins will save you an average of 56 percentover buying the same items pre-packaged.
- Cook in quantity. Whether you live alone or are part of a big family, making big sauces, pots of soup, casseroles and other meals saves time in the long run. You can freeze extras for convenient instant meals, or create meal-sharing arrangements with friends or co-workers.
- Grow food. It takes time, but gardening is the most economical way to enjoy the freshest possible food. In urban neighborhoods, community gardens are a great way to grow food and build community at the same time. There are an estimated 18,000 community gardens in the U.S. and Canada. For resources to help you start one, visit the American Community Gardening Association.
- Buy direct from farmers. When you join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), you enter into a direct win-win partnership with local farmers. Farmers' markets are a fantastic way to support farmers while enjoying fresh food straight from the source. In the U.S., the number of farmer's markets has more than doubled in the last decade. For more info on farmers' market and CSA opportunities near you, click here.
- Use what's in season, economical and nutritious. Some of the most budget-conscious starches include beans, whole grains, and potatoes. Some of the most affordable and nutritionally potent vegetables often include cabbage, carrots, and onions.
- Use -- and stick with -- shopping lists. Maintain an ongoing shopping list. Conduct a quick inventory of your kitchen before you shop to see if you're missing anything important. By thinking your shopping through in advance, you're more likely to get what you actually need, and less likely to waste money on impulse buying that you'll later regret.
- Cut down on animal products. Approximately one-third of the calories consumed by people living in developed nations are from animal sources. Animal foods -- like meat, poultry, fish, milk, and cheese -- are usually an expensive source of protein and nutrients.
- Eat before shopping. Grocery stores know the power of delectable smells. Everything looks good when our stomachs are screaming, "feed me!" and that can lead to more impulse buying.
- Join Green Polka Dot Box. This is a natural and organic buyers collective that makes healthy ad GMO-free foods available for great prices, delivered straight to your door, anywhere in the United States. Find out more and sign up here.
Healthy food is a fundamental building block for a healthy life. For many of us, it takes some extra work and the building of new habits. But it turns out you can do the right thing for your body... and for your bank account.
Ocean Robbins is founder and co-host of the 32,000 member Food Revolution Network, an initiative to help you heal your body, and your world... with food. He is an author, facilitator, movement builder, and father of special needs twins. Find out more and get a free copy of his mini-book at oceanrobbins.com.
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