This myth has bothered me for years.
If I had counted how many times people have told me that they wish they could be healthier but they just couldn’t afford it, well, I don’t know if I can count that high!
And it’s true, right? All you have to do is look at the price of some of that fancy, organic (insert the name of your favorite fancy product here) and compare it to the cheap, conventional version of the same thing, and the proof is in front of you, right?
Ok, maybe so.
But what if I told you that when our family transitioned to real, unprocessed food, our teeny monthly food budget didn’t change. Yep, I lost 70 pounds eating delicious, healthy food, without changing our small food budget. I’m talking $500-$600 a month for a family of four.
Boom! The “I can’t afford it” myth is totally busted.
But how? And how can you do the same thing?
Let me share with you a few of my favorite healthy money saving hacks!
- Use coupons and discounts as much as possible. I used to say that clipping coupons didn’t apply to me because I didn’t buy any of the things that coupons were for, because I thought coupons were for heavily processed, packaged foods. But then I started actually looking at coupons and realized that there were some that were for the things I was buying, especially things like non-food items. When you save money on the non-food items, you can then use that money to buy better quality food. Also pay attention to the front page of the grocery store ads. These are the things that are on the deepest sale, and now is a good time to grab them.
- Cook from scratch at home. The more from scratch something is, the less it is going to cost you. For example, frozen burritos are probably one of the cheapest foods you can buy in the grocery store. But if you make your own frozen burritos by using dried pinto beans to make refried beans, then make your own tortillas, and wrap them up with a few vegetables; then you end up spending pennies per frozen burrito instead of $0.50 to $1.00 per burrito.
- More fruits and veggies. Of course eating more fruits and veggies is healthy for you, but did you know it can also be cheaper? Think about it for a minute, you can buy a bag of chips for about $5 that lasts you for 2-3 snacks. Or you can spend the same $5 on a bag of organic apples, and have enough for 6-8 snacks, depending on how many apples are in the bag. You can save more money on produce by buying what is in season.
- Save money on other things to keep you healthy. It takes more than just food to live a healthy lifestyle. Exercise can be cheap or free by using the great outdoors for a good walk/run and YouTube for a fun yoga video. Make sure to use coupons or shop on sale to get the best prices on your clothing and gear.
- Ration expensive items, filling in with less expensive things. For example, in our family, we buy the more expensive milk because it’s higher quality, but we still spend the same amount on milk as we always have. How? We simply use less! Our girls know that milk is for mornings and they get one refill, then the rest of the day they can drink as much water as they want. We use the same concept with meat and other big-ticket foods, using less expensive things like fruits, veggies, beans, etc. to fill our bellies.
- Plant a garden. I used to have the blackest of all black thumbs, but somehow over the years, I have learned to grow more and more of our food. Even if all you have is a pot of herbs brightening up your windowsill, something you grow is something you don’t have to buy! What can you plant today?
Now it’s your turn. What are your favorite ways to save money while still living a healthy lifestyle? Comment below and let me know!