If you have debt (and have taken control of your spending, if that was the issue), you don’t have extra money to spend.
If you don’t have debt but have otherwise been negatively impacted by the state of the economy the last couple of years, you might not have extra money to spend.
If you are like most people, you probably believe that eating healthy is more expensive than eating garbage (and that eating well is a luxury, not a necessity).
Combine these, and you have the perfect excuse for not eating well.
Drop the excuse!
Today’s post is not about all of the long-term monetary costs of not eating well, nor is it about how you pay short-term in currency other than money when you don’t take care of your body. Today’s post is about mind over money.
Yes, Ramen and mac and cheese are cheap. But so are rice and beans, and they are infinitely healthier.
If you are looking for cheap produce, you can buy what’s in season at your local grocery store (most expensive), you can buy it in bulk at your local warehouse store (cheaper), you can buy it fresh at the local farmer’s market (even cheaper and fresher), you can buy it from a co-op (cheapest but least selection). Prices vary, depending on where you are and what you’re buying, but if you plan what you’re eating around what’s cheap, you can have some tasty, inexpensive meals that are quite healthy. (And, of course, this varies by season as well.) You can also stock up on frozen veggies when they’re on sale or you have coupons.
“But I want to eat meat!”
Well … meat is relatively expensive. But if you eat it twice a week instead of every night, it will be much cheaper. If you mix it in (think chili) instead of serving it up on its own (think chicken breasts), you can use less (increase other ingredients) but still have the flavor. Also, buying an entire chicken and using the whole thing is much cheaper than buying chicken parts.
Convenience foods are also expensive (unless you’re an avid coupon shopper). Pretty much anything that comes in a box is going to cost more than its component parts. ”Instant” foods (rice, oatmeal, potatoes, etc.) cost more than their slow-cook counterparts, and they lose a lot of their nutrient value. Double whammy. If you have a slow cooker, you can cook the slow-cook versions fairly effortlessly.
Finally, we throw away a ton of food. If you eat everything that you bring home from the grocery store, you’re in better shape than most of us.
How do you eat healthy food on the cheap?