Sticking to a budget while remaining to eat high quality foods can seem like a daunting task. But the good news is that it is possible to eat healthy on a budget...you just have to play your cards right.
But eating this way adds up. My wife and I pay a lot more for food then the average person. Probably anywhere from 25-50%. But it is important to us. Something we are not willing to give up no matter what.
After all if you don't have your health who cares how much money you have in the bank!
So what do you do when times are tough? How does one continue to eat healthy and remain on a tight budget?
Follow The Clean Fifteen
Not all produce is grown the same. Some are fortunate enough to be grown with little or no chemicals while others are sprayed to control various “pests”.
The Clean Fifteen refers to the fifteen fruits and vegetables that meets the EWG’s cut off for pesticides and herbicides. These are the fruits and vegetables where sourcing organic is not as necessary. Perfect if you are trying to save a few bucks!
Source Cheaper Cuts
If beef is a staple in your house try ground beef, inside round (perfect for stir fry), or sirloin cuts.
Like chicken...eat bone in-skin on varieties.
If pork is your thing try pork shoulder, ground pork, or sirloin steaks.
If you really need to tighten up your budget and are adamant about sourcing grass-fed/free-range meats turn towards organ meats. Organ meats are significantly cheaper than muscle meats. It might take a little work to get used to them but once you do they are a excellent option. Oh...they are uber healthy!
Keep Meals Simple
Sometimes you need to keep it simple to keep it cheap. You might not be eating the most exciting meals but if health is important to you this may be a sacrifice you have to make once in a while.
For price per nutrient nothing beats a high quality meat, 2 sides of steamed veggies, and a baked sweet potato.
If times are tight avoid super foods for the time being. And you know what...they may not be all they are cracked up to be.
Lets look at whey protein...
Whey is the cheapest source of supplemental protein you can purchase. Just like every other supplement on the market you want to make sure that you are buying very high quality. The brand the I use is Kaizen Natural Whey.
It is a super clean whey that comes from grass-fed cows in New Zealand so the protein contains no hormones or antibiotics. There is only 6 ingredients with no sugar, to artificial colours or flavours, and it tastes awesome. It is great stuff!
A 5lb tub costs $67.99 and there are 71 servings per tub. That works out to $0.96 and 24 grams of protein per serving. If you compare that to chicken breast, a free-range skinless boneless chicken breast is going to be about $12 on the cheap end. Half a chicken breast has about 25 grams of protein so you are looking at $6 for the same amount of protein!
Switching to micronutrients...
Getting enough vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants is difficult even when you are not on a budget. Some studies have shown that you need to eat over 25,000 calories and spend over $33 per day to get optimal levels of nutrients from food alone.
A super high quality multivitamin may cost around $55 for a month's supply. That works out to $1.83 per day for 30 days. Not bad right! Sure beats $33 per day.
The upfront costs of supplements seem expensive but when you really break it down they can be a great choice for continuing to eat healthy when strapped for cash. Just make sure you don't give in and purchase low quality supplements.
Live Your Best Life!