The following is a guest post by Sarah Leonard of Online Nursing Degrees.
You’ve recently bought into the idea that eating healthy is a good thing, but as soon as you started looking for alternatives at the grocery store, you realized that eating better could put a substantial dent in your budget.
You used to snack on chips at $3-4 a bag. A small bag of natural nuts costs just as much and you only get one fourth the product! You want to cut out sugary juice drinks and soda, but some waters are even more expensive! And filling your cart with brownie spell murder for your workout, but with deals like two boxes for four dollars, you get a lot more fulfillment than you would from apples and oranges.
Okay, stop right there! You can find all kinds of excuses to talk yourself out of eating healthy, but the truth is, you can’t really fall back on the old budget line if you follow these simple steps.
Buy produce at your local farmer’s market. It’s bound to be homegrown, organic, and fresher than anything at the supermarket. The kicker? It’s already cheaper, but if you buy several items, you can often haggle for an even better price.
Buy dry goods in bulk. Ditch the chips and opt instead for items like beans, rice, and pasta, which are both more filling and more nutritious. They are also often available in bulk, which can significantly reduce your cost.
Go generic. Give up on the pricey brands (even on sale they cost more than generic) and go for the market brand. You could save more than half on products that are similar or the same just by peeling the name off the box.
Eat whole grains. Sugary cereals taste great but offer little else. Consider granola or oatmeal as an alternative. You may have to go the health food store if you want to purchase it by weight instead of pre-packaged, but that’s the best way to get a deal. And add a little honey or vanilla soymilk to make it just as tasty as (and infinitely more healthy than) the sugary cereal you gave up.
Ditch the sodas AND the bottled water. Are you really willing to spend money on water? Sure, most city-dwellers don’t dare drink from the tap, but with all sorts of filtration systems available, you can save a ton of money and still get the chlorine-free water you want with only a small initial investment.
Eating healthy can certainly cost a lot, if you let it. But like anything else, a little time and effort will produce results, in this case, serious savings. And isn’t it worth clipping a few coupons and taking the time to comparison shop if it gains you a healthier, happier life?