4 Save Money Buying Healthy Food

Eating healthy is going to cost you more than pre-packaged food. That is just the way the kale crumbles unfortunately.  Pre-planning will help you spend less on healthy food than you would buying processed foods that are full of chemicals. Last week by weekly trip to the grocery store cost me double what it normally does because I decided to try Paleo for a month. Normally there is limited processed food in my cart and instead it is full of organic and as much GMO free as possible. The Paleo menu I was using for the week wasn't made for the season so while I continued to buy organic and GMO free I was caught buying out of season.

Re-Think How You Budget
Budget food like you do utilities knowing that sometimes it is going to cost you more as you stock up on in season items for use throughout the rest of the year. Over the course of the year this is going to save you money, even though there will be a few months where you will be spending more than normal. You just need to change your thinking on what your "normal" grocery budget is each month. 

Money Saving Idea
Wild salmon is in season in my area in July and August. The rest of the year it is available frozen (major brands) or fresh but farmed. In July and August look for sales on wild salmon and stock up for the entire year. Ask them to cut the salmon into small portions that you can individual wrap and freeze.

Meal Plan To Prevent Eating Fast Food
Plan your weekly meals based on what is on sale and what you already have in your house. Keep the menu flexible and each night prepare what you need to for the following day. You are more likely to stick to your meal plan if you remember to pull things out of the freezer or if you make your lunch the night before.

Money Saving Idea
If you know you will crave pizza or burgers then include it in your meal plan and make them at home. The average pizza takeout for a family is going to cost you $20+ but you can make your own at home for under $5. 

Buy Fresh Instead of Frozen
Although it may seem easier to grab a frozen meal it doesn't take that much time or cost you more to make the meal yourself. Remember that when you are adding up the cost of buying all the individual ingredients to make a dish that you probably won't use all of them to make the meal.  Lasagna is a great example of this. A frozen lasagna can cost you up to $15 but when you add up all the ingredients to make it yourself it will most likely tally to more than $15. But you won't use the whole box of noodles, you won't use barely any of the cheese and you won't use all of the vegetables. I've added it up before and even with using meat it is less than $10 to make your own. Remember to make double of your favourite foods and freeze the leftovers for use later in the month. Look for recipes that can be made in the crock pot to save yourself time. You will be amazed at how many meals can be made in there!

Money Saving Idea
Buy fresh berries when they are in season (or go pick yourself!) and freeze at home for use in baked goods, waffles and smoothies. A bag of frozen organic berries in my area costs $5.99 but if I bought the same berries in season and froze myself they would cost me less than $3.

Start Baking and Cooking from Scratch
Don't be scared by the idea of making meals from scratch. We have been slowly brainwashed into thinking we need foods partly or fully prepared for us and that we are don't have the time or resources to make them ourselves. It's nonsense! If you have never cooked from scratch before then start small with something like pancakes or muffins before moving on to pie crusts or baked beans.

Money Saving Idea
Grow produce in your garden so you can make the canned goods that you use the most. If you can't grow enough then buy in bulk from the farmers market. Canning your own tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, salsa and pickles will cost you significantly less than buying them from the store.

What are your best money saving ideas for buying healthy food?

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Blueberry photo credit - Rich Renomeron via photopin cc

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  1. Thankfully I am not a fast food eater at all! Thanks for the tips!

  2. Meal planning is essential for us. And I also freeze a lot of produce we got with hour farm share this summer. Love taking out the frozen stuff out to add to pasta sauces.

  3. These are some great tips! We have a garden each year and we freeze a lot of fruits and veggies to enjoy during the Winter months. We also have a big herb garden and I dry them for use later on as well. Some of the more hearty herbs will still produce on into early Winter. Love using fresh herbs.

  4. The fast food one is tough for my family. After years of two working and over-volunteering parents' schedules, fast food became a norm in our household. Now it's a once a month "treat," and I can DEFINITELY see a difference in our budget!