5 Ways to Help You Afford Healthy Food


By Kyle Arsenault CSCS

You make it to the grocery store, grab a cart and venture into the aisles. You are on a mission. A mission to obtain foods that will help you achieve your newly sparked health and fitness goals, and nothing is going to stop you.

As you make your way to the produce isle, you remember you coach (and the rest of the world) telling you that organic products are healthier…so that is what you are going to get.

But there is one problem; the organic veggies and fruit are twice as expensive as the conventional brands.

 

 

And it doesn’t stop there! The Greek yogurt is far more expensive than the sugar bombed regular yogurt, the pasture raised eggs are 3x the price of the store brand and the price of the grass fed meat and all natural almond butter just about gives you a heart attack.

“This stuff is way too expensive,” you say allowed with a chuckle as you place item after item in your cart. You are just a little more than anxious to see the bill for this one!

As you grab the last item on your list which happens to be coconut oil, and the most expensive item yet, you snap, decide there is no way you can afford this stuff. In a frustrated rage you empty your cart, grab the items you typically purchase and get to the checkout.

If you have ever gone out shopping and either purchased or at least contemplated purchasing the “healthier items,” the scenario above may sound familiar. OK, maybe you didn’t stomp back through the aisles and empty your cart (I actually have at one point!) but it was a one shopping trip never to happen again.

While I can’t argue that the best items are more expensive, eating healthier (the key is healthier) is actually not that expensive…but there is a link below where I go into that.

So instead of going over that, my goal is to present to you a few ways you can save a buck or two, that you can then put towards obtaining healthier items such as fresh/frozen veggies and fruit, lean meats, omega 3 or pasture raised eggs, natural peanut butter, etc. during your shopping extravaganzas.

 

 

1)      Buy in bulk- Instead of buying just enough food to make dinner for that night, try purchasing in bulk, and take advantage of bulk item stores such as Sam’s Club, BJs, etc. While you will spend more money up front, you are saving money in the long run. Don’t get caught up with the final price, but rather pay attention to the per serving price of items and you will notice that the bulk items are far less expensive. Such items include meats (chicken breast, hamburger, etc.), frozen veggies, milk, Greek yogurt, etc.

2)      Buy on sale and stock up- My grandfather is, well, “the grandfather” of stocking up! Whenever there is a sale he will grab extra of that item and store it for later. Try dedicating a spare pantry to stock up items and invest in an extra freezer (you can get them cheap online…Craigslist). This will save you tons of money in the long run, and keep your family from starving during the inevitable Zombie Apocalypse.

 

 

 

3)      Drink Water- Stop purchasing juice (especially sugar infused “juice”), Gatorade, soda, energy drinks, beer (a 6 pack can easily be as much as 10 dollars), etc. and drink water instead…it is free and you can flavor it with fresh fruit, etc! And please, don’t buy water either, but invest in a water bottle instead! It’s healthier and cheaper.

4)      Make your own coffee/tea- Going along with the last point, drinking water is free and making your own coffee or tea, while not free, is much cheaper than purchasing one every morning. Think about it like this, if your coffee costs you two dollars (which is on the cheapest end), that is 10 dollars a week, 40 dollars a month, and roughly 480 dollars per year…that is a lot of grass fed meat you could be eating!

5)      Make and pack meals- Truth is, I have never once bought lunch at work. Whether it was when I was landscaping as a youth, interning at Cressey Performance or working at a local gym as a personal trainer I always made my lunch, packed it up and brought it with me. And now, it has been over two years I have been working as the Head Performance Coach at Momentum and the trend continues! Even a cheap salad will run you a minimum of 8 dollars and as I explained in THIS POST, you can make lunch for much, much cheaper.

 

 

Try these following these tips most of the time (I am not suggesting you can never again buy lunch or your favorite coffee) and you will find that you have an extra buck or two you can put towards healthier foods that will allow you to more easily achieve your health and fitness goals.

You will not only be saving money, but you will also save yourself the embarrassment of looking like a lunatic as you stomp your way back through Whole Foods, tossing the more expensive items back on the shelf…I can only imagine what people were thinking of me!

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