One of the biggest struggles that many of us face when trying to adopt a healthy way of eating is coping with the increased cost. It goes without saying that switching from regular to organic vegetables incurs a significant price increase, and many of us simply do not have much leeway in our budgets to absorb that increased cost. Still, the long-term health benefits of making this change make the attempt well worth it, and there are several ways that you can bring down the costs to something just about anyone can afford.
Buy Local and Buy Seasonal
The best way to save on your grocery bills is to buy locally grown produce when it is in season. During the harvest season for a particular vegetable, there is a lot of it on the market, so the prices naturally drop, and the less distance it has to travel in order to reach your plate, the less shipping costs are incorporated into the final price. In many cases, you will be able to buy your fruits and vegetables at your local farmer’s market directly from the producers at a significant discount from what you might find in the supermarket. Sure, you will only be able to buy what is in season, but buying out of season produce carries its own risks.
Take blueberries for example. During the summer months when blueberries are in season, it is not uncommon to find them at the farmer’s market for $4 or $5 per pound. During the off season, however, you might find that the price doubles or even triples because they have to be shipped from half a world away, and the quality of the berries suffers considerably by the time they reach your local supermarket.
Eat Less Meat
Most of us eat a lot of meat. The United States eats more meat per person and as a percentage of our daily diet than any other country in the world. Meat also tends to be the most expensive part of our diet. When you switch away from the hormone and antibiotic-rich industrial meat and buy healthier organic varieties instead, the prices can double or even triple, depending on where you live.
The simple solution would be to cut back on the amount of meat you eat per day while ensuring that the meat that you do eat is the highest quality you can find. Going completely vegan in order to save money is certainly a possibility, but unless you have a degree in nutrition and hours to spend on meal planning, it can be a difficult transition. In order to be healthy and get all the essential amino acids your body needs, you only need to eat four to six ounces of meat per day.
One of the most common arguments against adopting a healthy diet is how much it costs. Money is tight all around, and most of us simply do not have any additional funds to shift into our food budget. While this can be a very limiting factor, there are still ways that you can improve the quality of your diet without taking on any additional costs. From reducing the amount of protein you eat while increasing its quality to shopping and cooking seasonally and beyond, there is always a way if you are determined. Your lifelong health is worth it.
This guest post has been contributed courtesy of Chicken and Apples.