I work with a LOT of people on healthier eating. Especially this time of year. One of the most COMMON complaints is “eating healthier costs more money.”
And I don’t completely disagree. If most of your diet comes from the McDonald’s dollar menu, switching to eating wholesome and nutritious food will cost you more.
But it’s worth it.
It’s worth it to enjoy food that makes you feel and look your best. Food that nourishes your body and imbues you with vitality. Food that is an investment in your health today and in the future.
And let’s face it. You either pay the farmer now or pay the doctor later.
Does this mean you need to go into debt buying food? Absolutely not.
There ARE ways to eat healthily and SAVE MONEY. And today I’m sharing my top 7 ways to save money on healthy food.
1. Buy non-perishables from Vitacost.
Imagine Whole Foods combined with Costco and Amazon. High quality and healthy food options at discount prices delivered straight to your front door.
This is basically what Vitacost is. It’s an online health food shop that delivers to your home. The brands are high quality and prices are usually 30% off or more compared to the grocery store shelf.
Vitacost is the perfect way to stock your pantry with staples such as spices, grains, and personal care items.
Plus their customer service is great. Once, I ordered brown rice spring roll wrappers that arrived cracked. One quick email to Vitacost and I received a prompt refund and an apology.
And to get you started, I have a special code for my readers to receive $10 off their first purchase of $30 or more. Just use this link to get started.
2. Get acquainted with the bulk section.
Buying in bulk can save you 50% off or more.
Sure, it takes a few extra minutes to peruse the bulk aisles and label your bags. But it can actually be fun. And the savings make it completely worth it.
I buy spices, nuts, nutritional yeast, oats, and dried fruit from the bulk aisle. Oftentimes, I can find the same brands that are sold prepackaged in the bulk section at steep discounts.
How do you avoid mass bulk item confusion in your pantry? Just do some quick organization. Once I get home, I store my bulk purchases in glass containers with labels — smaller items go in Mason jars and larger ones go in sealable glass Ikea containers.
3. Buy local and in-season produce.
Produce becomes more expensive the farther it has to travel to you. When you buy local and seasonal, you are ensuring your food is fresh and affordable.
Not sure what in season when? Don’t worry! I’ve got you. Sustainable Table has an easy to use Seasonal Food Guide. Just input your state and the month, hit go, and you have a comprehensive list of seasonal produce.
4. Avoid processed “health” food.
A package of “organic” Oreos can run you $7.00 a box. Ouch! The same outrageous prices go for many “healthy and organic” processed snack foods.
The solution? Skip them and make something yourself. You will save money and probably make something healthier and tastier!
5. Go meatless.
One of the MOST expensive items when moving to organic and healthy eating is meat.
Seriously. The prices can be SCARY.
So instead of lamenting the $8.99/lb organic chicken breast prices, skip the meat section all together.
Instead, try portobello mushrooms, jackfruit, eggplant, tofu, and legumes. I have an AMAZING portobello mushroom fajita recipe where you don’t even miss the meat. Have fun, experiment, and feel satisfied you are helping your health, wallet, and the environment.
6. Join a local food co-op.
Investing in your local food co-op helps you, your wallet, and your community.
Most co-ops offer their members special pricing or special coupon days.
For example, PCC Natural Markets in Seattle offers members three discount days a month where you can get up to 10% off your entire purchase. This even works on top of sale prices. So you can save your largest purchases and staple replenishments for your special discount days.
7. PLAN, PLAN, PLAN
Waste not, wont not.
According to the NRDC, Americans throw out about 25% of the food and beverages they buy.
This means most people are tossing out 1/4 of their monthly food budget. Yikes.
American Food Use
How to avoid food waste? PLANNING! Not only does this save you money, it helps the environment.
Need green onions for a recipe? If so, strategically plan a few recipes throughout the week that use green onions (because you only buy green onions by the bunch). Have random vegetables leftover at the end of the week? Make a mixed veggie soup!
And find a way to use your leftovers. Pack them for lunch the next day. Or repurpose them into something else the next day.
How you fuel your body has a major impact on your health and wellness. Eating healthier can be more expensive than a diet of fast food. But there are lots of ways to save! Try my ways to save money while eating your way to wellness.
Do you have a great money saving tip for healthy eating that I missed? Let me know! I’d love to share.