Changing your diet and deciding to eat healthier may come with sticker shock. I hear it all the time, “I can’t afford to eat healthy.” I will be the first to admit, there’s definitely a huge difference between junk food and whole food. My raw walnuts usually run around $7 a pound compared to my kids jellybeans at just under $1 a pound. (By the way, though I point of this fact, also declare this is a travesty in the food industry.)
There’s some help and tips to alleviate the burden of paying large amounts of money to eat healthy. Let me give you a few.
1. When it comes to where you shop, be wise and humble. Don’t think you have to shop at the big whole foods super grocery. Surprisingly enough, you can find some great deals on good food at small, local groceries and even ‘out of the ordinary’ places like The Dollar Tree. We love The Dollar Tree and theit $1 sugar free vanilla coffee syrup!
2. Don’t be an “organic” diva. It doesn’t take eating everything organic, GMO free, glute free, or whatever other buzz word you want to use to be healthy. You’ll find cauliflower and “organic” cauliflower sitting next to each other in the produce section. The price difference should convince you…just eat cauliflower! Don’t worry about the “organic”labels so much. By the time the precious organic cauliflower goes from the field to the factory to the grocery it’s likely just as contaminated as non-organic. If you can’t afford $5 a pack grass fed Kerry Gold butter, just get butter. Store brand products are much cheaper and usually just as good as name brand. Use those coupons and rewards! And, stay away from “whole food” snacks. Really? Do you really need the air puffed snap peas or the seaweed chips?
3. Change your perspective. Are you paying more for food or less for doctors? I was paying $800 a month for insurance that I wasn’t using. My in office co-pay was $25 per visit. I had a $5000 deductible. My medications cost as much as my car payment. Many people would rather pay thousands for medications that manage their symptons than pay hundreds for the type of quality diet that would heal their ailment and get rid of such medications altogether.
Change your perspective! When my wife first noticed our grocery bill had grown, she lamented the fact. I reasoned with her by saying, “don’t look at it as our grocery bill has gotten bigger but that our food quality had gotten better.” It may be cheaper to eat at McDonald’s than eating a home cooked meal but…Get my point? Cheaper doesn’t always mean better. So, look through a different lense to see that by eating better, you are saving more money that would have been spent on doctors visits and medications. Plus, you get to actually enjoy what your money goes to!
4. Realize that quality food can be stretched further. Junk good and carb loaded food does not satiate. You find yourself hungry soon after. High quality, healthy fat, and good protein type foods will stave off the hunger. You just don’t eat AS much, and that will also stretch your pennies.
I came to a conclusion that I’m buying much more than food. With the small increase in my grocery bill, I’m paying for longevity. I’m paying for quality of life. I’m paying for the ability to heal and to reach my fitness goals. I’m paying for more time on this earth with the people that I love. And so, for all of that, it’s a small price to pay.