So maybe you have started your healing journey and you are realizing you are going through waaaay more veggies than you are used to consuming. And since vegetables are sadly more expensive than junk food, this can be a shock to our grocery budget. While I want to congratulate you on eating more fruits and vegetables, I also want to help you out. I wanted to share some tips on …
How to save money when consuming more high quality fuels for your body.
- Buy the Fruits and Vegetables that give you the most bang for your bucks. Some fruits and vegetables are very expensive per pound (like when one piece of fruit is 2$!) but others are very affordable. Check out this list from the EWG on the top fruits and vegetables on a tight budget. If that isn’t enough then treegugger.com lists 44 affordable fruits and veges to help you be healthy on a budget! What a great list! My personal favorites are cabbage, seasonal greens, sweet potatoes, garlic, onions, mushrooms, carrots and seasonal fruits. I shop at bulk stores and look for what is organic because if it is organic then it is also in season and at a bulk store like Costco, I can get a great price on a large quantity of organic apples (or berries, etc).
- Shop the Clean Fifteen and Save the Dirty Dozen for my “must be organic” list. When I go to stores like Costco or Wal-Mart or other big box stores, I can find things like Avocado and Asparagus for about 1$ a piece. An Avocado is very filling and has a ton of nutrients and healthy fats.. so it’s a great bargain! Especially when that same fruit is twice as much in a regular grocery store. I can also find a huge bag of frozen organic berries for the same prize as a tiny bag would cost at a regular grocery store. For the 2 lists, click here.
- Shop the Sales- Meal plan around what you find or freeze for later use. I rarely am in a regular grocery store but will occasionally find things like 2 large things of organic basil (one of my favorite herbs) for 5$. These large containers are 4 times the size of a clamshell which are usually sold at the same price. So when I see that they are on sale, then I make a dairy free pesto that week. We use it over zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice one night and then I use it as a salad dressing the next few days- thinned out with some lemon or extra olive oil. Sometimes I will find a “manager’s special” on some bagged broccoli and make a batch of broccoli soup, which I can eat on for a few days or freeze for an easy weeknight meal with some chicken. Look for deals on organic meats that can then be frozen to prolong the shelf life or fresh vegetables that can be put up in your freezer so that they last longer. Peppers and Greens don’t need to be processed before freezing but others may need to be cooked or blanched first.
- Shop around– We visit 4 different grocery stores regularly. We go to Sprouts because they have the best selection and prices for most organic produce. We visit a local store because they have the best grass-fed and organic meats and bones at the best price. We go to Trader Joe’s because they have the best prices on Organic Greens and specialty items. We go to Costco because we can get things like dried fruit, fish, chicken. lamb, greens, avocados, garlic, asparagus, seasonal fruits, peppers, and tomatoes for the best price. Each of these is either organic or on the “clean list” so we use these as our staples.
- Regrow or grow what you can. If you have a yard, you can grow things that you use the most. Greens, onions, and herbs are the easiest thingsto grow followed by tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and squash. If you don’t have a lot of room to grow things then look for container gardening items like sweet potatoes. You can also grow celery, green onions or leeks, and salad from kitchen scraps. This also applies to meats as you can easily raise chickens or a cow on a few acres of land if you have it available to you. If not, you can buy 1/4 or 1/2 or a whole cow from a local farmer and get a substantial discount. Ask around at your local farmer’s market.
- Buy things in season. I find that things in season are cheaper. Especially organic produce. Berries are much cheaper in berry season. Apples are cheaper in apple season. And in the winter, winter greens are the cheapest produce on the shelf.
- Ask for a bulk discount or buy bulk when you have a coupon. My local store sends out coupons for 15% on the entire purchase that can be used about once a quarter. I use this time to make a bulk meat order. I buy inexpensive cuts and then save an extra 15% on them and buy enough to last a month or 2. This will save me some money. Before the coupons, they would allow me to do the same and just give me a “bulk discount”. They will also give me a bulk discount on other items if I buy them by the case. Most grocery stores will do this for packaged foods like coconut milk, seaweed, teas, etc.
- Barter. If you know a farmer and have something to offer in return, trade services or products for produce. Win-Win.
- Make Broth from leftover scraps (or bones). Save the ends of vegetables you would normally discard and freeze them until you are ready tomake some broth. You can do the same with leftover bones from roasted chicken or other cuts of meats. If you are unfamiliar with making your own broth, here is a link to a bone broth lesson. You can make just vegetable broth but bone broth has some unique nutrition.
Now if you are Juicing regularly I have some tips for you as well.
- Use produce that is about to go bad for a juice. No need to waste a rubbery carrot as it will juice just fine.
- Use produce that gives you more juice per $. For example, Spinach doesn’t yield much juice so it is not cost-effective. But a couple of stalks of celery or a cucumber gives lots of juice so it is much more effective.
- Use Kitchen scraps to juice the next day. I use the ends of my organic produce to add to juice the next day for extra nutrients. Carrots, zucchini, cabbage, asparagus squashes can all be mixed with things like apple, celery, lemon and more to make a healthy and yummy juice.
- Use the same tips as above. It is apple season so I have been juicing a lot of apples. I juice a lot of celery so I regrow as many of them as I can. I buy a lot of cucumbers for juicing because I can get them cheap at Costco versus the celery which costs me 2$ a day.
Important things to remember also- a little tough love.
- When you invest in your health by buying vegetables and healthy foods, you are saving money later on medical bills. You can pay a farmer or you can pay a doctor. Personally, I think the farmer and me both benefit more when I buy the vegetables. The doctor will still be ok.
- You are worth the investment. You are worth 2$ for a thing of celery even if you eat it all at one sitting.
- How much would you pay to heal? If you are sick, or on your way to being sick, or just can’t play with your kids the way you want or can’t live the life you want because of where you are health wise… then how much would you pay to be where you want to be? Put your money where your mouth is. Literally.
So I hope these help you on your journey to health. For personalized guidance on your healing journey, feel free to contact me for a free discovery call to see if health coaching is the right next step for you. Also, stay tuned for more information on healing by following me on Instagram, Facebook and here on the blog!