Our Last post was all about following through on your financial New Year's resolutions. But what about your resolution to eat healthier? Most of the time it seems like those two resolutions constantly compete! In order to eat healthier, you have spend more money , or to save money, you have to eat Ramen noodle all the time, right? Well hopefully these ten tips will help you complete both resolutions and lead you into a wonderful year!
- Have a Plan - it seems like most of our tips start off with this, but it really is important! Have a plan for the grocery store and then don't deviate. It will really help!
- Eat Meat Less - No matter how you look at it, whether you buy organic, grass fed meat, or the meat off the shelves at your local grocery store, it is expensive! Try substituting meat in one meal a week. Then, if you find that you enjoy it, transition a few more meals to vegetarian each week. Your wallet will thank you!
- Buy Cheap Protein - If you are not eating meat, you will need other ways to incorporate protein into your diet. Find cheap proteins like eggs, cottage cheese, milk, tuna, beans, etc.
- Buy Locally - Not only do you get better food, but you can support your local economy as well! Go to farmers markets, farm stores, or partner with a farm in a CSA (community Supported Agriculture) Program. Local Harvest is a great resource for buying local!
- Buy Seasonally - Buy food when it is in season and it will be cheaper (and taste better!) Follow our next tip to save even more when buying seasonally.
- Preserve - Stock up on food when it is in season and then preserve the items (either through canning or freezing) and you will have cheap, healthy food all year long!
- Buy in Bulk - whether it is produce, meat, or pantry items - buying in bulk can save you a lot of money! But always make sure that you know the expiration date and how to store items so you don't end up buying food that will expire before you can use them.
- Buy Organic...Sometimes - Know what foods you should buy organic and what foods you don't have to worry about. There is a list of foods, conveniently named The Dirty Dozen that lists the food that have the most pesticides on them. Culprits on the latest list includes: Apples, Celery, Grapes, Peaches, Potatoes, Lettuce, Strawberries, Spinach, Bell Peppers, Nectarines, Cherries, and Pears.
- Don't Buy Organic...Just Wash It - Many foods are not necessary to buy organic, but should be carefully washed before eating. You can soak the produce in a mixture of 1:1 water and vinegar for about 10 minutes, and then dry and store as directed.
- Grow it Yourself - This is by far the most cost effective way to eat healthy. Plant a garden and you will have a plentiful amount of produce that you know exactly where it came from!
Hopefully these tips will help you keep both your financial and healthy eating New Year's resolutions in 2014. Good luck!