Is health and wellness only for white girls in yoga pants? Hell no.
While the health industry does seem to cater to that crowd, we’re here to tell you eating healthy and taking control of your mind and body can and should be done by everyone and their mama.
Healthy food options can be expensive but there are ways to eat healthy on a budget that will not only make you feel good but keep your wallet fat too.
We like it when our waists are thin and our wallets are fat.
Here’s the thing: you have complete control of what you put in your body.
By becoming more conscious and aware of the food decisions you make each meal, you are putting yourself in the driver’s seat of your life. You’re also saving some dough by not making impulsive purchases around food.
If you don’t feel like you have control of your food choices, it’s very difficult to feel like you have control of your life.
By making conscious decisions instead of impulse decisions (which we make when we’re on auto-pilot), you start to become more aware and present. When we’re in this state, we make choices that are right for our bodies, mind and spirit.
So how the heck can we eat healthy on a budget? We got 6 different tips you can try on for size.
1. Buy the Dirty Dozen
We want to eat organic as much as we can within our means because of the pesticides and herbicides that are sprayed on our produce that is designed to kill off bugs.
If they kill other organisms, what does that do to us and all of our little party people in our gut (you know, that good gut bacteria in our microbiome)?
Organic food is more expensive, but luckily, we have the dirty dozen and clean fifteen list which the Environmental Working Group comes out with every year.
These lists tell us which foods are most sprayed with chemicals, which we should stay away from, and which are not as bad that we can afford to buy conventional.
Refer to this list when shopping and remember when you do choose organic foods off of the dirty dozen, you are voting with your dollar and encouraging farmers to grow more organic foods.
2. Buy in Bulk
Buying foods like grains, nuts, seeds, and good quality flours can be bought in bulk. When you shop for these foods in the bulk section, you are saving money by not paying more packaging and your saving our planet too.
You can also shop at stores like Costco and buy fresh organic food in bulk there or good quality packaged foods such as almond butter, salsas, or frozen vegetables.
3. Plan Out Your Meals
Save yourself time, energy and money by planning out your meals. By putting your meals for the week in the calendar, you can plan meals with foods that can be used several times, which will save you money, time, and the mental energy of needing to figure out what to eat.
For example, you can cook a large pot of quinoa and beans and use them for 3-4 meals in the week ahead.
Have you ever been “hangry”?? If you know what we’re talking about here, you can see how planning out your food can avoid this uncontrollable rage. You know what we’re talking about. We’ve all been there.
When we plan our meals out, we avoid the “hangry” decisions that not only hurt our health and wasitline, but our pockets too.
4. Shop at Farmer’s Markets
You know you love a good trip to the farmer’s market. You are not only buying foods that fill you with nutrients, but you’re supporting your local farmer and getting in that vitamin D all at the same time.
You’ll also save money by avoiding foods that are packaged and can easily buy in bulk at cheaper prices.
5. Planting your own Small Garden
Growing your own food is feeds your body and soul! Not only do you know exactly where your food is coming from, but you get to infuse that food with the good energy that it’s going to give right back to ya.
Growing your own food can be easy! You don’t need a massive backyard either. There are simple indoor growing tools that you can use to grow yourself some plump tomatoes or nutrient dense sprouts.
You might spend $30 upfront to start growing your garden, the time and time again that that garden will feed you will continue to keep paying you back.
Start small with your favorite herb or veggie and take it from there. Check out these companies that can help you get started if you don’t have a backyard: Back to Roots and Urban Garden
6. Go for higher quality dense carbohydrates or protein to fill you up.
You can build meals around good quality carbohydrates that will satiate you and keep costs low.
Foods such as yams, sweet potatoes, purple potatoes, and high-quality proteins such as whole grains and legumes (if they work for you) are great foods to not only buy in bulk but fill you up as well.
Add in greens like sauteed spinach, a side of kraut, and hemp seeds and you got yourself one fine balanced meal.