Choosing to eat healthfully isn't always easy. There's the extra time it takes to prepare home-cooked meals and the extra willpower it takes to retrain your taste buds. And then, to top it off, there's the cost. Most healthy foods cost more than unhealthy substitutes. Eating more veggies, going organic... it adds up! But if you're really gung-ho about making a lifestyle change then eating healthy foods is worth every penny. Plus, there are some sneaky and creative ways to eat the good stuff AND stay within your budget. Here's how:
- Cut back on your meat intake. Good-for-you meats (the kind that are organically raised, lean, and hormone-free) are extremely pricey. Cut back on your meat intake and save your burger, steak, and chicken nights for special occasions.
- Load up on the legumes. Beans are super healthy and super cheap. Load up on a variety of legumes and you'l up your protein and fiber intake (without upping your budget). Look for canned beans that are cooked in kombu (it eases digestion). Or, plan ahead and slow-cook beans after soaking them over night (this reduces gas after consumption).
- Opt for frozen produce. Nutritionally, there's not much difference between fresh and frozen produce. Cost-wise, however, the difference can be huge. Frozen produce often is much less expensive than fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Purchase produce that are in season. If you really want fresh produce then buy whatever is in season. You can even stock up and freeze it for later consumption.
- Prioritize your organic choices. When it comes to produce, peaches, apples, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, grapes, sweet bell peppers, celery, imported spinach, lettuce, and potatoes have the highest amount of pesticides. Buy these organically and get regular produce for everything else.
- Buy in bulk. Consider getting a membership at a Sam;s Club or Costco. Buying dry goods and frozen foods in bulk can help you save money in the long run. Youâ€™ll be paying less per ounce and you'll always have healthy foods on hand.
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