There is a myth out there that many people are using to excuse themselves from eating healthy…
Healthy food is more expensive.
As a person who lives on a strict and very limited budget (living on about 30% of our 2 person income), I can tell you that eating healthy is NOT outside of your budget. My husband and I live on what is SUPER close to a Section 8 housing qualifying budget and we most assuredly eat healthfully.
I will say that …
YES —> Organic produce is expensive
YES —> Specialty health foods are expensive
YES —> Packaged healthy foods are expensive
YES —> If you go out to eat, a salad will cost more than a “burger”
BUT… the above items are not the only ways to eat healthy. Yes, in a perfect world, we would all be able to afford organic produce OR all produce would simply be organic, all meat would be hormone and anti-biotic free, animals would free range… Restaurants would make salads cheaper… etc… etc.. etc. These issues have value, but if we want to stay generally healthy… let’s just start at making better food choices and stop blaming society, our busy schedules, and convenience driven culture.
Making a healthy meal at home is more cost effective than fast food and convenience meals. The only extra cost is you putting in the effort and planning ahead. It tends to be that healthy meals struggle to happen in you don’t have a recipe in mind because you won’t have the ingredients you need, and you won’t schedule your day in a way that allows time for making said meal. This means that you need to make dinner plans at least weekly that utilize the majority of their ingredients from the produce and meat department.
So why do people think produce is expensive? Perhaps because you are buying it at the wrong places!! I only buy veggies that are 99 cents a pound or less. Local grocery stores will have better deals on produce; especially if they cater to an international audience. Walmart, Jewel, Kroger, etc… SUCK for buying produce. They do not have good prices… but good prices are out there. Look at the ads and buy what is on sale.
Also, meat… lean meat is surely more pricey, but that is why I stock up whenever it is on sale. Look for: chicken breast at $1.99/lb or less, chicken tenders for $2.49/lb or less, ground chicken or turkey or beef (no more than 180 cals per 4 oz serving) for $3.99 or less, eye of round steak/roast for $3.99 or less, pork sirloin/center cuts $2.49 or less.
Beans, rice (NOT the box/minute/parboiled junk), potatoes, onions, eggs, fresh herbs, spices, garlic, frozen corn, and frozen spinach are all very inexpensive healthy foods that you can add to your meals to add bulk for fullness and flavor to enhance without the use of fat. Let me tell you… a taco topped with cilantro instead of cheese is far superior in flavor!
Per calorie, yes, something like frozen pizza, chips, or cereal will have more calories per dollar… but last I checked… most of us are not looking to get in more calories! We need more nutrients to fuel our body and fresh, whole foods are the best bang for your buck when it comes to that!
Do you need help coming up with healthy food ideas that won’t break the bank, won’t take long to make, and will be approved by your family? Comment below or email me at JillianRedefiningWellness@gmail.com to request FREE recipes!