Saving money while eating healthy may sound impossible. Often, we get sidetracked by how expensive healthier foods are and forget that our health needs are just as important as saving money. To make it affordable to eat healthy, we've come up with some tips that are functional for anyone to use.
I always think about saving money when it comes to groceries since it is, by far, one of our largest monthly expenses. With larger families, especially, it is tough to manage to eat healthily and staying on a budget. These tips are things that any family can incorporate to begin saving more on their healthier eating habits.
7 Tips To Saving Money While Eating Healthy
Create meal plans around sales. Many of the healthier items on your grocery list are going to be at their lowest prices during seasonal sales. Shopping smart means saving money comes easily. What your local store sales each week for the healthy items on sale. In the summer months, that may mean that lean ground turkey and fresh produce are at lowest prices. In the fall, it may be turkey breast or whole turkeys and gourds or greens. Take advantage of the healthy items on sale to build your menu around instead of creating a menu and shopping whether it is on sale or not.
Grow your own produce. One of the easiest ways to begin saving money on your groceries is to grow your own produce. Even a small vegetable garden can make a huge impact on your weekly budget. Things like lettuce, herbs, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and cucumbers are the basic items of many meals and are very easy to grow in almost any climate. Corn, peas, beans, broccoli, asparagus, and more may take more work, but depending on your time and ability they can bring even larger savings.
Can and freeze for the future. Whether you stock up during seasonal sales or grow your own produce, storing for the future is always a great way to save money on healthy foods. When items are on sale you can buy extra to freeze for future use. Growing your own produce means you can plan ahead for larger crops to sustain your menu until the next season arrives.
Canning many items like soups, salsa, sauces, and similar has become a much more popular method of preserving foods again. While I know many prefer to can their vegetables, I don't care for the texture as much as if I have them fresh or frozen. So, I prefer to use a Food Saver to freeze at least a portion of my fresh produce for future use. This gives our family a variety of healthy options that I know have limited if no chemical additives, and are already on hand so no further expense.
Make more vegetarian meals. This is a common suggestion, but it truly does work. For a large family, adding meat to a meal can add easily $10-$12 for just one meal. A roast, whole chicken, turkey breasts, or even bison or venison range in price but add up fast when you are trying to feed growing boys. The cost of produce and things like lentils, quinoa, and dry beans is much less than meat products. We try to incorporate vegetarian meals into our menu by having soups, casseroles, and things like tacos or fajitas that are easy to create with just vegetarian or vegan produce and grain options.
Go hunting. During the annual hunting season in your area, go hunting for deer, turkey, rabbit, squirrel, and duck. While some of these meats may not sound great to you, there are many that are delicious. Deer (venison) and Elk or Bison are commonly sold in our local markets. These lean meats are excellent substitutes for beef in your recipes, and by hunting your own, the only cost is processing. You can find a local butcher or learn how to butcher the meat yourself and save hundreds of dollars per year providing your family with excellent healthy and delicious meats.
Raise chickens. Another huge expense in our grocery budget is eggs. Raising chickens requires a bit of work, but it is still cheaper than paying for free range eggs in the market. A bonus is that when a chicken is past the age of laying eggs, you can butcher and use that chicken in stews, soups, or meals your family loves.
Shop your local farmers market. We love going to the farmers market in our area because of the great prices on local produce. I prefer hitting the market toward the end of the day to grab discounted prices. While the selection may not be as good as early in the day, there are many vendors who would prefer to not pack everything to take home. Instead, they will give you a great deal on what is left in their booth. This means I often get great healthy produce at a fraction of the cost.
What are your best tips for saving money while eating healthy?
More tips for Saving Money:
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- How To Save Money Without Couponing
- Budget Tips For A Paleo Eating Plan