Friday, February 17, 2012

How to not hurt your budget buying healthy foods!

I know that when you start eating healthy you might notice you are spending a lot more at the grocery store. But there are some ways you can manage to save more money when grocery shopping.. I know sometimes you are exhausted after work, and don't feel like cooking dinner, but do not resort going to eat fast food!  Here are some tips that will help you eat on a budget during the week!

1. Cook at home more: eating out can get expensive. Even sometimes just going to get a "quick" something for just two people can be $20.
2. Plan out your meals: if you plan out your meals for the week, you will know exactly what you need at the store, and won't spend it on things you won't use.
3. Make a grocery list: this is very important, it will save your money, and your wasteline.
4. Shop on the weekends: do yourself a favor and do your grocery shopping on sundays. When you get home from the store clean all your fruit, or cut it up, and put it in baggies or containers for the week. I make a snack drawer in the fridge, and it consist of healthy snacks ready to grab and go. Plus if you already have healthy food in your fridge during the week you will be more likely be more motivated to cook.
5. If you live somewhere where they have a farmers market: GO! It will end up costing you a lot less
6. Buy in bulk: Ryan and I go to Sam's on sundays together, and get 2 bags of chicken, big bags of veggies, fruit, almonds and cases of waters. It may seem like you are spending a lot that day, but in the long run we don't go out to eat until the weekend, and it last for weeks! When you buy in bulk, you have to know exactly what you are going there to get.
7. Dont waste food: When I lived alone, I would buy a ton of healthy food, and half the time waste it, because it would still be in the bags from the store, sitting in my fridge. So NOW, right when I get home from the store I organize all my food, and separate it out. I cut up everything that will last, or clean it and put it in large containers. Once again, if it is clean and ready to go, you are more likely to grab something healthy. And before I put a bunch of veggies/chicken in the freezer, I just go ahead and cook a couple days worth of food. Then our lunches are packed and ready for work the next two days!
8. Dont buy processed foods: I know it is hard sometimes, but the more chips, cokes, cookies, and other processed foods you add to your basket, you are doing two things to yourself: hurting your budget, and risking your weight gain. Now when you are sitting around the house bored, you will grab that bag of chips and eat on it until you realize you ate half the bag (been there done that).
9. Only shop on the perimeter of the store: A trainer friend of mine once told me this, and it made complete sense! The perimeter of the store has all the fruit, veggies, meat, and dairy. All the things you need! Obviously, if you need other ingredients thats fine, but it just means that will help keep you away from the processed foods. Think about this: everything on the perimeter has to be plugged in, and put in a freezer area because it is fresh!
10. Teach your children to eat healthy: if you raise them to take care of their body, they will be better off as they grow up. You won't catch them bindge eating fast food, or processed food. Plus they will have more energy to stay active (which sometimes might not be a good thing haha)and pay attention in school.

I know sometimes you don't want to splurge and spend the $5 on strawberries, but just think, you do not want to go down the aisle of packaged food that is filled with sugar, fat, and salt for the same $5. When you are eating that processed food, it doesn't give you any nutrients or fill you up at all, therefore you end up eating more later.

"When you eat unhealthy foods, the costs of medical visits, co-pays, prescriptions medications, and other healthy services end up costing you more!" - This is the perfect quote I found relating to this issue! It is so true, after reading that, you should never try to justify the money spent on healthy food.