Has inflation hit you through your grocery bill? I’ve noticed recently that my food shopping has become much more expensive over the past few months. Here are some ways to cut costs without sacrificing your health:
1. Eat in season – If you’re buying fresh produce, it’s always better to eat whatever is available right now. Sure, you can get apples in spring or early summer, but they’re more expensive – and less fresh – than the seasonally-ready strawberries or blueberries.
2. Buy local – farmer’s markets often have comparable or better prices on certain items that you might find in your grocery story. By buying from the farmer’s markets, you’re supporting smaller businesses, helping the environment and getting fresher food (since the produce doesn’t travel as far).
3. Buy organic selectively – some conventionally-grown produce is so highly sprayed that you would be better off buying organic to avoid the massive amounts of pesticides you’d otherwise be consuming. For some other items, it’s not as crucial that you choose organic. See this article on MSNBC for more about which items should be organic.
4. Go veg – Eating vegetarian meals can save you a lot of money as veg sources of protein cost substantially less than animal products. If you’re opposed to becoming vegetarian full time, you can try it part time – plan to have some vegetarian meals during the week. You can get protein from plant sources such as tofu, tempeh, and beans.
5. Reduce your protein – If you are still adamant about keeping meat in your diet, use the Chinese Medicine philosophy of eating meat – eat mostly vegetables, with meat as a flavoring or condiment in your meal. One serving of chicken, beef or pork should only be 3 oz. This is much less than you’d get in a typical restaurant or takeout meal, but this is all you really need.
6. Eat less – It may sound drastic, but frequently we Americans are eating more than we actually need. Slow down your eating, and tune into your body. Do you really need the next bite? Or are you satisfied? If you’re hungry later, you can always have another small meal.
7. Fast – It sounds extreme, but a one-day fast will not only save you money, it can also help you live longer and healthier. Fasting allows your body to take a break from digesting all of the time, giving it the crucial rest it needs to renew and repair. But before you jump into fasting, you should get guidance from an experienced health coach or professional.