Eating healthy can be hard, frustrating and expensive according to many of my patients. They are always asking me for tips on ways they can save money but still eat organic, Non-GMO, less processed, fresh whole grains, vegetables and fruit. I always remind everyone lifestyle changes are free and go a long way because it’s a way of life vs a temporary “diet.” Sleeping more, exercising, meditation and eating better are all “free” things you can do every day to enhance your quality of life. Small changes make a dramatic difference. These are my favorite tips to help you maintain a healthier lifestyle this year!
1.Shop locally & frequently
Many local farmers get together and sell their produce weekly at a community market. You can also try larger farmer’s market as well. I encourage you to buy fresh produce frequently as needed like Europeans do instead of once a week grocery shopping. That’s how my grandparents did their shopping in India; they went to the market, bought local fresh fruits and vegetables and cooked only enough without left overs. You will waste less food because food won’t spoil and will save more money when you don’t throw food away. It’s an inconvenience to our lifestyles today to go to the grocery store frequently, but you will save more money and eat fresh, healthier foods if you do so.
2.Buy seasonal foods.
Seasonal vegetables and fruits are a great way to diversify your diet throughout the year and can be very cost effective. It also forces many to go outside of their normal routine recipe ideas.
Look at Environmental Working Groups (EWG) for the“The Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” foods to help you pick healthy food options. They even have an app you can download to your smart phone to make it convenient for you when you’re shopping! I also like Good Food on a Tight Budget. You can also download the pdf with recipes and shopping list guides. They also include a $5 meal/day shopping guide and meal prep. It really makes it easy for novices to start eating clean and healthy economically.
Buy your foods in bulk and store them appropriately so you have it longer. You can save a lot of money when you do this for things you commonly use like oatmeal, nuts, coffee etc.
Plan meals in advance this way you buy what you need and waste less. Meal prepping can be hard and time consuming, but if you prepare in advance, you’re more likely to stick to your healthy lifestyle.