Healthy Eating on a Budget

Originally posted on May 6, 2015

Very often I hear people say “I can’t eat healthy, it’s too expensive!” Or “eating gluten free costs so much money!”

They’re right, and they’re wrong all at the same time. Let me explain.

Food can be a slow working poison, or it can be what heals you. You either pay for good food now, or you pay for costly healthcare in the future, when you can no longer take care of yourself, and you’re in a nursing home for the last few years of your life, lying in bed, unable to do much of anything. How do you want your last few years to look? Healthy and vibrant, until you peacefully die in your sleep at age 112, or painful, with 18 different medications with every meal, and no energy, no memory of your family, living in a nursing home that costs $4000+ per month?

Your choice.

Let me show you how you can eat healthy on a budget, and save your money for traveling the world, rather than that nursing home!

Now, I haven’t been down a cereal aisle, or cookie aisle in quite a long time. I stick to the outside perimeter of the grocery store, and only venture to inside aisles when I need dish soap or garbage bags. But it’s easy enough to check local sales flyers to compare some prices.

Let’s say a box of breakfast cereal is $5+, and you get what 6 or 7 bowls out of it? So 1 week’s worth of breakfasts for one person. That’s for a “regular” breakfast cereal, if you have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten intolerance, then that price jacks up to $8 or so! So let’s just not even think about going down those centre aisles, and stick with the outside.

For breakfast I like to have bacon, or eggs, or leftovers, with a pile of vegetables, or some coconut porridge. Check the sales flyers for all of your local grocery stores, most of them will price match so you don’t have to run around to all of them. Take the flyers with you, if you see bacon on sale for $2.99 per pound, then buy a couple packages, put one in the freezer for later. If you’re single, then keep 1 and a half packages in the freezer, eat bacon for breakfast maybe 2 times a week maximum. Eggs are super cheap, and one of the most healthy foods on the planet! Eggs from pasture raised chickens are the ideal, but if you’re on a budget, you can’t afford ideal (neither can I!), so mass produced is just fine healthwise, just ignore the guilty feeling of the contained chickens, and vow to make it up to the Universe when you can afford it. I recently saw a dozen eggs on sale for $2.99 as well. 2 or 3 eggs for breakfast a few times a week is great.

Mushrooms are great fried for breakfast, or any time of day really, and they go on sale quite often. This week at my local No Frills they’re only $1 for 227g. Get a bag of frozen broccoli and cauliflower too, great for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and less $$ than buying “fresh”. A bag of imperfect apples are also only $1, so there’s some snacks for the week too. And a head of iceburg lettuce (again, not the ideal, but fine all the same) for only $1, get 2 and make some Big Ass Salads for the week. Add in some cucumber, radishes, some of those mushrooms,

Also in this week’s flyer are strawberries, black berries and oranges, all $2. The oranges and the apples will keep on your counter or in the fridge for more than a week, so while they’re on sale, grab them, and you’ve got 2 weeks worth or more of healthy snacks. Freeze the berries and they’ll keep longer as well. Or better yet, just buy frozen berries, they’re cheaper overall, and more vitamins because they’re usually picked when perfectly ripe, and flash frozen within just a few hours, as opposed to the “fresh” berries, which were picked before perfectly ripe, and have traveled likely thousands of miles to get to your local grocery store, losing much of their goodness along the way, while ripening on the back of a truck.

We need some meats! Pork loin is a great meat to batch cook and have lots of leftovers. This weeks flyer has it as $4.41/kg or $2/lb. Same as chicken wings. Buy a kilo of each, and you’ve got at least 2 meals each of pork and chicken wings. Try my recipe for When Pigs Fly Chicken Wings! Ground pork is also less $$ than ground beef, and you could batch cook some of my breakfast sausages and keep them in the freezer for quick to heat meals when you’re in a rush.

Now I know that a lot of people really do not like organ meats, but the fact is, they’re a whole lot cheaper than muscle meats, and a whole lot better for you too! Even the ideal pasture raised organs are cheaper than conventionally raised muscle meats, so if you’re feeling adventurous, or you really do like organ meats, check out your local farmer’s market, or healthy meat store and get some beef liver, or pork liver, or chicken livers. Mix some beef liver with ground beef for some amazing meatloaf, or some pork or chicken livers for some tasty patè.

I hope you have found something in here that is useful, and you can see how you really CAN eat healthy on a budget.

If you’re local and you still have questions, I will soon be offering grocery store tours and batch cooking workshops in your home that may help you get this eating on a budget all figured out.  Fill in the contact form below and we can schedule a time to tour your local grocery store.  Combined, the 2 workshops would take about 4 hours.  I also offer each of them separately, 2 hours each.

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