Written by Abbie Stutzer
"Buying healthy is just too expensive!" Stop. Just stop. Never repeat those words again! The world of healthy food is vast and rich, and not that expensive. Really! Sure, those pre-packaged organic brownies may be more expensive than their non-organic shelf-mates, but what pre-packaged item is cheap?
Ditch less healthy, pre-packaged foods and start to embrace tasty bulk foods, crisp local produce and seasonal items. Your body and wallet will be better for it.
Buy in Bulk
We aren't talking about those huge bundles of toilet paper people buy at box stores. Co-ops and health food stores have bulk sections, too!
Buy beans, legumes, grains, spices, etc. in large quantities and save. If you buy in bulk, though, be smart. Before you buy, learn how to properly store your food before you buy all those hearty grains to ensure they don't go bad.
Cook at Home
Don't buy the can or carton of soup -- make your own vegetable stock. Don't buy prepackaged oatmeal -- buy whole oats and make your own. Other foods you can make yourself include cheese and bread. Also: cooking at home can help you garner continued inspiration to cook more rather than going out.
Buy in Season
Buying produce that's out of season is extremely pricey. If you live in a warm climate that enjoys fresh, local produce year round, go for those items first. If you're stuck in a super cold region, worry not. Just try to buy the items that have the location of origin on the label. These items may be a bit pricier, but if you absolutely need them, it's a good tip to keep in mind.
Buy Smart 'Easy Make' Foods that Keep for Long Periods (for when you're too busy)
You know your schedule is going to be IN-sane next week. You aren't going to want to think too hard about what to cook because your time is precious.
Buy organic frozen green beans, mushrooms, broccoli and onions to add to jarred, organic tomato sauce. Pick up some bulk whole grain pasta, and you're set. You'll be ready to cook a cheap and healthy meal anytime.
Salvage Stale Food
As we've pointed out before, losing great, organic goodies because the food had gone bad is a bummer. Check out the article A Cucina Povera Throwback for Budget Conscious Cooks to find out how to get the most out of items that are about to go bad.
Other great ways to save money:
Cut out junk food
Eat out less
Stick to your grocery list
Shop the perimeters first
Buy in bulk
Support Community Supported Agriculture
Start an organic garden
Source: Healthy eating on a budget