I am sure you have noticed eating healthy seems like it is more expensive.
In fact, it was what turned me off to it for so long.
Why would I want to buy something as tasteless as broccoli for $3, when I can buy yummy mac n cheese for $1?
I should enjoy what I am eating, right? Seemed like a no-brainer to me.
Here’s the thing: I was so wrong.
Empty calories are what is making us fat and sick! The solution is to eat the healthy foods in a way that makes them enjoyable.
Luckily, I found places where eating healthy wasn’t so dang expensive.
Eating Healthy on a Budget
Before I get into where I buy my groceries, I want to put things in perspective.
An avocado has more calories and is more expensive than a breakfast Danish.
But an avocado also has fiber, protein, antioxidants, and so many other nutrients in it, that some of the calories won’t be absorbed in your system and will be eliminated. And your body works better. You will also remain fuller for hours.
The Danish has artificial flavors (usually) and sugar. Which all gets absorbed right away, and not only impacts blood sugar levels and organ function, but the empty calories and sugar also gets converted to fat. You are also hungry again in just an hour or two. Then after many years of eating the Danish, you could develop Type 2 Diabetes, a heart attack, etc. Which you may have to take out a second mortgage on your house to pay for.
Wouldn’t it be better just to pay the extra $0.20 for the avocado instead?
You not only are reducing your chances of having an expensive illness later, but with you not being as hungry, you won’t have to spend money on extra food.
My Budget is Happy (so is my body!)
If you read my article How to Eat Healthy Without Killing Your Budget, you know I saved $4000 in one year, just by switching to healthier foods.
Although I still do the things I mention in that article sometimes, and it was a really great process of transitioning to eating the healthier foods, I found a new process that saves me even more money than that!
So let’s get into it.
Buy Produce Through Imperfect Foods
It seemed weird to buy produce online. After all, I had no idea what I would be getting.
We don’t realize how snobby we are on what our produce looks like, until we are faced with something a little less than perfectly shaped.
Imperfect foods is not just about misshapen produce, most of their stuff is just a surplus of what the stores didn’t need. Which is why it’s cheaper.
The best part is they tell you what the issue with the produce is before you buy it. So if the misshapen or smaller items bug you, you don’t have to get these items!
And if you have any issues whatsoever with an item, their customer service is amazing and gets back to you very quickly.
How it works:
Each week, they fill your cart up with your preferences. You have a 24 hour period to customize the cart and remove items or add items. You can shop for items based on your diet type.
Yes, even vegan and organic.
They have more than just produce, they also offer meat & poultry, grains and pantry items, and even some dairy!
I personally love getting my produce this way. I have been introduced to so many items I had never tried before or heard of (I finally tried a persimmon!!).
Each week is an adventure, because I get my staples, like apples, onions, avocados, and blueberries, plus other random things that I have fun experimenting with in my meals.
I save so much money doing it this way and I have fun too!
Reduce Meat Intake and Buy Through Butcher Box
Reducing our meat intake significantly reduced the amount of money we spent on groceries.
I know there is this war between meat eaters and vegans, but in all honesty, the war is stupid. Yes, I just said that. If you want to eat meat, do it. If you don’t, then don’t. No reason to insult people who prefer to eat differently than you.
To be perfectly clear, meat consumption is associated with a higher risk of many of the diseases that plague the United States. I’m not talking about red meat, but poultry too. It’s not any better for you for different reasons. And if you still want to consume it knowing that, that’s okay. It’s your decision.
I preferred to reduce my meat consumption for my health, and eat things like mushrooms, lentils, chickpeas,and other protein rich, plant based food sources instead. I also use nutritional yeast, which has vitamin B-12. And I feel better for it.
I do still eat meat on occasion, but only pasture raised/grass fed meats, because they carry many more nutrients than what is considered conventional. Read more on why pasture raised/grass fed is better in this article.
Yes, grass fed meat is more expensive. It’s more expensive to let your cows roam on acreage than to shove them all in a barn, where they eat things that humans would get sick over if they found out.
But if you reduce your meat consumption, it evens out.
I get mine through Butcher Box, because they have the pasture raised meat available for the lowest prices I could find anywhere.
Buy Pantry Items Through Thrive Market
I have to be honest and say I was reluctant to buy groceries through Thrive Market at first.
I didn’t want to pay the $5 a month or $60 a year just to buy groceries.
But then I decided to suck it up and just try it, because I knew I could always cancel it.
Best Decision Ever.
Before I was getting all my non-perishables through Vitacost and Amazon. Which is still great, and cheaper than stores. But I found out Thrive was even cheaper. Not by pennies per item, but by DOLLARS per item.
I literally made my subscription fee for the year back within my first two orders.
I LOVE their selection. You can shop by diet, you can shop by brand. And you can rest assure that a majority of the items don’t have all the extra artificial stuff in them.
They even have healthy foods that I had heard of but never seen in stores before, like Goji Berries.
So I make sure to make a list of non-perishables and order them through Thrive Market.
Eating Healthy, Saving Money, and Saving Time
I can’t even gush enough about how doing grocery shopping this way changed my life.
I not only reduced my grocery bill by an insane amount, but I feel better, AND I only go to actual grocery stores about once a month now. Because let’s face it, there are still some things we can’t get online. (Anyone know where I can find non-dairy shredded cheese online that will actually deliver to my area)?
But I no longer have to go to the store once or twice a week, and that gives me so much extra time to do other things on my to-do list.
Eating healthy has never felt so amazing on the budget.
Hopefully, you will find it can do the same for you.
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