At various times throughout the year, millions of people decide to take steps to lose weight and improve their fitness and health, and every year, millions of people give up. One of the most common excuses--yes, it's an excuse--is a lack of finances, particularly in terms of making better choices at the grocery store. While you will likely spend a bit more, eating healthy doesn't have to drain your bank account. With some prioritizing and a few simple actions, you can feed your body without eating up your wallet.
- Change your mindset. Your mindset is so incredibly powerful, and getting your mindset in the right place is the first step to changing your body, health, and life. Instead of saying "organic food is expensive", say "junk food is cheap", which is entirely true. Sure, you could spend a dollar on a meal of ramen noodles and a hotpocket, but what is that money really buying you? Here's what--loads of chemicals and ZERO nutrition. Even worse, all those chemicals will add up to big medical bills down the road. When you eat healthy, you are truly investing in your health, with your time and your finances.
- Consider your "out" spending. Many times, the same people who say they can't afford healthy food are the same ones who eat out or go to Starbucks a few times a week. Even eating out just once per week takes quite a toll on your wallet (and your health). Eliminate those restaurant, fast food, and coffee shop visits and watch the savings grow.
- Plan your meals in advance. Before you go grocery shopping, take a couple hours to plan out all your meals for the week, keeping sales and your current kitchen stock in mind. While this might seem tedious, it not only makes cooking easier, but will ensure that you don't buy more than you need.
- Clip coupons. While the large majority of coupons you'll find are for junk food, you CAN find coupons for healthy options. Mambo Sprouts is a coupon-clipping site just for natural products. Better yet, if you have a Whole Foods near you, their website is always loaded with coupons. You can also check the individual websites of brands you like and/or register for their email newsletters, which often include coupons.
- Go from scratch. Buying pre-cut produce or canned legumes is always pricier than cutting and cooking yourself, and it doesn't take that much extra time to prepare.
- Drink Shakeology. If you need something quick and easy that packs a ton of nutrition for a few dollars, Shakeology is the ultimate. Just throw a scoop of the powder into a blender bottle with some water or coconut milk and head out the door.
- Stick with organic produce. If you find yourself tossing out a lot of your fruits and veggies because they've gone bad, there's good news. Organic produce is not only better for your body, but it also lasts longer in your fridge. Traditional chemical pesticides actually encourage decay, so while organic might cost a bit more upfront, it will save you money on waste. For further savings, as always, stick with produce that's in season, and locally grown, if possible. You can also research if your town has an organic co-op, which can offer great savings, too.