I have heard many arguments that one of the main reasons obesity is such a rampant issue is because eating well is so much more expensive than buying ‘junk food’. This is something I have always argued.
Buying convenience food is substantially more expensive than buying fresh, and I live in an area where food is very expensive. There are certain things you must do if you want to eat well on a budget.
Make it a Priority
If you don’t make eating well on a budget a priority the rest of your efforts won’t make any difference. I didn’t say it was easy to eat well, especially on a budget but it will be so worth it for you and your family.
Learn to Cook
You have to learn how to cook. If you can read then you can follow simple recipes and cook. The reason people shop for convenience food is often because they’re lazy, don’t know how to cook, lack time or simply don’t care. Basic cooking skills will go a long way in stretching your budget. At the grocery store this week I noticed a single-serve frozen entree on sale for $3.00 each. Instead I made a delicious pasta dish from scratch for $6.00. Double the price but provided 8 sizable servings. It definitely pays to learn how to cook!
Make Better Choices
This week I could have bought three large bags of chips for $6.00, instead I opted to buy the two-pound container of blueberries for $7.00. Though $7.00 seems like a lot for a single fruit it will accompany our meals for at least five days. There is often always a choice. Don’t waste your money on pop and juice, water is a healthier and cheaper option.
Canned and Frozen is Ok!
People often forget about both canned and frozen fruits and vegetables. I buy large bags of frozen fruit to make smoothies or add to yogurt at a fraction of the cost of fresh. We also stock up on canned goods when needed. Just make sure your veggies are not canned in salt and that your fruits are canned in either water or natural juices instead of syrup.
Grow Your Food
Even when I lived in a one bedroom apartment I grew some of my own food. I had a few small containers on our deck where I grew peppers, tomatoes and herbs. For a low upfront cost I was able to grow and enjoy a substantial amount of food.
Eating well is a challenge. You have to learn to meal plan and shop the sales. Putting the effort into learning or refining your cooking skills will go a long way for providing good food for you and your family. The better you eat now, the less complications you may experience long-term. Eating well may help keep your medical bills down afterall, living with obesity isn’t without its own costs.
What do you do to eat well on a budget?