1) Go with home-made. Americans today spend 49% of their food budget on eating out at restaurants. When you make it yourself, you know what’s in it – and you can save a lot of money, too.
2) Use bulk bins. Buying beans, whole grains, and other non-perishables from bulk bins will save you an average of 56% over buying the same items pre-packaged.
3) Cook in quantity. Whether you live alone or are part of a big family, making big sauces, pots of soup, casseroles and other meals saves time in the long run. You can freeze extras for convenient instant meals, or create meal-sharing arrangements with friends or co-workers.
4) Grow food. It takes time, but gardening is the most economical way to enjoy the freshest possible food. In urban neighborhoods, community gardens are a great way to grow food and build community at the same time. There are an estimated 18,000 community gardens in the US and Canada. For resources to help you start one, visit this the American Community Gardening Association.
5) Buy direct from farmers. When you join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), you enter into a direct win-win partnership with local farmers. Farmer’s Markets are a fantastic way to support farmers while enjoying fresh food straight from the source. In the US, the number of farmer’s markets has more than doubled in the last decade. Click here for more info on Farmer’s Market and CSA opportunities near you.
6) Use what’s in season, economical and nutritious. Some of the most budget-conscious starches include beans, whole grains, and potatoes. Some of the most affordable and nutritionally potent vegetables often include cabbage, carrots, and onions.
7) Use – and stick with – shopping lists. Maintain an ongoing shopping list. Conduct a quick inventory of your kitchen before you shop to see if you’re missing anything important. By thinking your shopping through in advance, you’re more likely to get what you actually need, and less likely to waste money on impulse buying that you’ll later regret.
8) Cut down on animal products. As Dr. John McDougall has pointed out, approximately one-third of the calories consumed by people living in developed nations are from animal sources. Animal foods — like meat, poultry, fish, milk, and cheese, are usually an expensive source of protein and nutrients.
9) Eat before shopping. Grocery stores know the power of delectable smells. Everything looks good when our stomachs are screaming, “feed me!”, and that can lead to more impulse buying.
10) Join Green Polka Dot Box. This is a natural and organic buyers collective that makes healthy ad GMO-free foods available for great prices, delivered straight to your door, anywhere in the United States. Find out more and sign up here.
Healthy food is a fundamental building block to a healthy life. It’s an investment worth making. And in many cases, we can even save money in the process.
And most importantly and always love life, yourself and remember