How To Eat Healthy On A Budget For Families
One of the main concerns I had when I started eating healthier was "how can I afford this?" Truth is, when you're trying to create a healthier lifestyle for your family, it doesn't always work when you're on a budget!
But preparing healthy meals for your family is important, and there's no time like the present to get started on adding more nourishing foods to your meals.
If you're looking for ways to incorporate more healthy foods, but are on a tight budget, then I've got you covered! Keep on reading...
I've struggled with this problem too! And have come up with some solutions that work for my family.
Here are seven money saving tips that I use personally to keep my weekly budget from burning up, but still eat healthy!
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How To Eat Healthy On A Budget for families
1. Start Slow
You don't have to make a complete overhaul of your current meals in order to make a big difference in your health. By just adding a few key ingredients to your weekly meals, you can make a huge difference.
When it comes to saving money on healthy foods, the first step is to separate your wants from your needs. Sure, you might want to buy that organic frozen pizza, a couple bottles of kombucha, and organic turkey burgers but you don't actually need them in order to be healthy.
The truth is, there are a lot of companies that have taken advantage of the health trend and created expensive packaged products! They've done a really good job of marketing them as healthy foods but that isn't always the truth.
2. Focus On Natural Ingredients Vs. Organic
I'm sure you've heard this common misconception before on the internet. If you want to be really healthy, then you have to eat all organic.
How frustrating - I mean if I were to purchase all organic for my family, I would have to spend a fortune each week to keep us fed. It's just not possible with my weekly grocery budget.
So here's what I do...
I usually buy a lot of foods that are REAL and RAW. That means I stock up on whole grains, canned beans, vegetables, fruits, and spices.
Sometimes these foods are organic, sometimes they are not. Usually, it depends on the price.
My main goal is to focus on eating fewer pre-packaged products that may be full of junk (like preservatives, excess sugar, salt, and other unnecessary stuff) and making more things from scratch like salad dressings.
3. If You’re Going To Buy Organic, Save Money By Buying The House Brand
Do you have a big box chain store that carries a lot of organic in their house brand? If so, chances are that a lot of that is cheaper than many things you’ll find at your smaller organic store.
I’m a big fan of Superstore (you may or may not have heard of it depending on where you live). It’s basically a big chain store here in Canada, and I’m able to find some amazing organic products there in the PC organic house brand. Costco is another great option to look for organic products.
If you're up for the challenge, start checking out the price difference at the big chain grocery store, local farmers market, and smaller organic stores. It might take some time to figure out, but it will save you time and money in the long run. Here's what works for me.
I buy pre-packaged healthy organic products at my big chain grocery store (also because they're cheaper).
And I buy organic produce at either the grocery store or farmers market depending on what's in season.
For things like spices, I prefer to buy from the bulk section at my small local organic store because I can get a smaller quantity and save money that way. Speaking of buying in bulk, check out my next tip…
4. Buy From The Bulk Section
My top tip for saving money on healthy ingredients is to buy in bulk whenever you can! This is where you will see the biggest savings. If you start to pay attention, you’ll notice that something packaged can go upwards of 4 times the price of the same thing in the bulk section! Some of my favorite healthy ingredients to buy in bulk are pink himalayan sea salt, quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat groats, whole grain flour and chickpea flour. I also buy all my spices from bulk.
If you can, try to buy organic bulk ingredients. But if that’s not in the budget, buy the non-organic version! Either way, you’ll be saving mega money from this one simple step.
BULK BUYING TIP: If you don’t see a big selection in your regular grocery store, check out a few other stores to see if they have more to offer. I like to buy most of my bulk ingredients at the small organic grocery store near me because they have a huge variety that just isn’t available at the big chain grocery store I visit.
5. Buy In Season And Freeze For Later
Depending on the time of year, it might be cheaper to buy frozen or fresh. This is usually determined by whether or not a product is in season. We all know that the best time of year to buy peaches is in August when we can buy them in huge box loads for much cheaper than the dead of winter. So try stocking up on your favorite produce when they're in season or on sale. Then you can freeze them. Also, if you’re on a tight budget, there’s nothing wrong with buying frozen vegetables instead of fresh ones. This will save you money and they’re great in stir frys, soups and anything in the slow cooker.
6. Eat Less Meat
I'm sure you already know that the cost of meat can be a huge chunk of cost to your overall grocery bill. Our workaround solution for this is to buy eat less meat throughout the week. First, we cut out one weeknight from eating meat and having a meatless meal instead. This was a lot easier than we thought it would be, so we added a couple more nights! Now, we eat meat 2-3 times a week. This has helped trim down our grocery bill quite a bit.
7. Drink More Water
Drinking fewer soft drinks, juices and other pre packaged beverages will help save money and cut down on your sugar intake. It's kind of a win/win. I like to make a big batch of tea and leave it chilled in the fridge for me to sip throughout the day. Some people like to make spa water with a few slices of lemon and cucumber.
Free Ebook: 12 Healthy Recipes Every Mom Should Know
This is my most popular freebie full of easy meals and snack ideas that are kid-friendly and delicious!
By making some simple changes to your regular grocery routine, you can save money and eat healthier. Just remember, buy natural foods whenever possible and make it at home from scratch. If you're buying something packaged, go for big chain house brands to cut down on cost. And lastly, save money by buying from the bulk section!