The idea that eating healthy is an expensive undertaking has long pervaded society. And while itâ€™s true that some healthy options (especially brands that specialize in organic/gluten-free/vegan products) can be quite expensive, eating healthy doesnâ€™t have to drain your food budget.
In fact, saving money while eating healthy is actually easier than you might think. Hereâ€™s how.
Choose Less-Expensive Options
While you may be tempted to think that the only options for healthy eating wait in the aisles of often-overpriced organic grocery stores, there are plenty of less expensive food items available. For example, healthy snack options such as organic coconut chips contain no additives, similar to other health food products, but come without the high price tag so often associated with organic food. Fresh berries can be quite expensive, but frozen berries (which carry the same nutrients) are significantly less expensive. Looking for less-expensive options for your health food purchases can easily save you hundreds of dollars each month.
It also pays to compare prices between competing grocery stores. For example, one local market may offer the best prices on fresh fruit and vegetables, while another store has superior deals on organic breakfast cereals. Shopping around at multiple stores may take more time, but it can also save money.
Cut Unhealthy Habits
Eating healthy isnâ€™t only about what you buy â€” itâ€™s also about what you choose not to buy. Rather than simply adding healthy food items to your monthly purchases, you can ensure that eating healthy remains affordable by getting rid of unhealthy and unnecessary products. Eliminating unhealthy food and drink from your diet can go a long way in reducing your expenses, especially when you slash expensive items like alcohol or cigarettes.
Cutting pre-packaged and heavily processed foods can also have a significant impact on your food budget. For example, rather than buying boxes of prepackaged macaroni and cheese that will only provide one meal, you could buy the ingredients that would allow you make several servings of the meal yourself (and typically at a lower cost).
By replacing unhealthy habits with healthier options, you not only improve your overall well-being, you also make eating healthy significantly more affordable.
Long-term, choosing to eat healthy now can have a significant impact on your finances â€” especially in regards to medical expenses. In the United States and Canada, heart disease is one of the leading causes of death. And many of the factors that lead to the development of heart disease (such as being overweight or having an unhealthy diet) can be prevented simply by living a healthy lifestyle.
Even if you spend a little more now in order to support healthy eating habits, your improved overall health makes this a worthwhile investment. As your body gets the nutrients it needs, you benefit from an improved immune system and better sleep, reducing the need to purchase medicine and making it less likely that youâ€™ll miss work due to illness.
Long-term, a healthy lifestyle can help you avoid the development of heart disease and other serious medical conditions by lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol, helping ensure that you wonâ€™t need a lengthy and expensive treatment process to keep your health afloat.
Eating healthy is far from the expensive habit that some make it out to be. In reality, as you make smart purchasing decisions and commit yourself to living a healthy lifestyle, you can save quite a bit of money â€” both now and in the years to come. Donâ€™t wait to start reaping the benefits of healthy eating. Start eating better today to see how this affordable lifestyle can improve your well-being.