Afford Healthy Food

Healthy food doesn't mean that you have to spend a lot, it's all about where you buy it and what you purchase. Here are some ideas about natural and diverse foods which can be easily afforded by all. The main thing that matters is that it is "healthy".


Choosing Your Priorities

  1. Prioritize your purchases. In the United States and Canada, many organic farmers and distributors offer community supported agriculture (CSA) boxes with local organic produce made to order with seasonal vegetables and consumer specified ingredients. These organizations provide delivery services and buying directly from the farmers and distributors can be much more cost effective.
    • Eating healthy organic and natural foods can provide you with a lot of nourishment.[citation needed]
    • The vitamins and minerals in healthy plant-based foods ultimately provide more nourishment in smaller portions, eliminating the desire for over consumption.[citation needed]
  2. Eliminate unnecessary purchases like clothing, shoes, snacks, excess gifts and other spontaneous purchases.
  3. Cut back on going out to eat or drink as often. Having discipline, and the ability to prioritize, can allow you to afford more healthy food.
  4. Set a budget. Make a spreadsheet with your necessary purchases and projected income for the week or month. Budgeting will allow you to prioritize and cut back on purchases that are unnecessary.

Buying Healthy Foods

  1. Purchase produce from local farmers' markets. Organic produce is often far less expensive when bought directly from the farmer.
  2. Buy a CSA produce box weekly.
  3. Reduce meat consumption. Meat can be expensive, especially if it is organic. Cutting back or eliminating meat from your diet can reduce potential health problems like high blood pressure and diabetes. In addition, it can save time in the preparation of meals.
  4. Look for bulk grains. Purchasing grains like brown rice, buckwheat, oats, millet, rice and quinoa in bulk can save a lot of money. These healthy grains provide the necessary vitamins and minerals and, when paired with beans or legumes, make a complete protein.[citation needed]
    • Even at expensive health food stores, the bulk section will help one save. For example, bulk oatmeal can be as little as 15¢ per serving. Compare that with upwards of over a dollar per serving for packaged oatmeal.
    • Organic grains are readily available in bulk and are ideal for a healthy diet.
  5. Stock up on bulk legumes and beans. Buying dry lentils and different types of beans can also save you some money, because they have not been canned and you don't pay for the processing. Conventional and organic beans and legumes are readily available.
    • The consumption of dry food often takes a little bit of extra preparation, such as soaking the beans, but it ultimately saves you money.
    • Legumes and beans are a great source of energy and protein. That means you your body stays healthy and it's easier to supply the daily energy requirement on a lower budget.
  6. Reduce dairy consumption. Non-organic dairy products, including cheese and milk, are heavily processed and can cause many health problems including cardiac disease and obesity.[citation needed] Eliminating these products from your diet can also save you money.
  7. Get only what you need. Make meal plans for the week and purchase only the ingredients that are necessary. Making meal plans can keep you disciplined and minimize waste. Make a list and buy nothing else.
  8. Purchase store brands. Many large-chain grocery stores offer a line of natural food products that are healthy and organic for less money than popular big name brands.
  9. Make large meals. Make large pots of soup or rice and lentils with lots of healthy organic ingredients and freeze single portions to take for lunch. Eating healthy, nourishing food that is prepared at home eliminates the need to go out for lunch.
  10. Cook with whole foods. Cooking meals from scratch using whole foods can be time consuming, but ultimately less expensive than buying prepared food or frozen dinners. Although there are many organic and natural prepared meals available, you are paying extra money for the packaging and preparation of the food.
  11. Eat less. We often eat too much and too quickly given our hectic lifestyles, but eating more slowly and eating smaller portions is better for your metabolism. It also takes 20 minutes for you to feel full, because that's the amount of time it takes for the message to get from your stomach to your brain. Consuming less food and eating slowly will mean less groceries to buy after planning your meals, not to mention better health!
  12. Dine with a friend. To avoid overeating, slow down by taking smaller bites and chewing longer. Dine with a friend and enjoy conversation while at the same time keeping track of your food. This will not only slow down your eating, but make eating a much more pleasurable experience.

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