There is this commonly held belief (*** read: a cheap excuse) that eating clean will take the shirt of our backs. If you’re not alone and want your whole family on the wagon of healthy eating, it gets even more daunting. But not thinking this through is an easy way out copout out of ever trying to climb on the green wagon. Why wold you if the brown chocolaty one tastes so good? Because some things we do for the long-term benefit and the shameful cookie cabinets in your home aren’t doing you (or your budget) any good.
If you like, keep your next few supermarket receipts before you really commit. Keep track of your groceries spending for a few weeks or months and then switch and follow a couple of tips based on those of Lisa, the momma of Downshipftology, who manages her autoimmune diseases by controlling what she eats. Here are some things to take into consideration when getting strategic about your food choices:
1. BUY LESS MEAT – if you buy meat grab that of highest quality and traceable origin. But for realz now – you need less meat than you think. Stuffing meat product into every meal is a gastronomic relic we’ve mostly picked up from our parent’s eating habits, especially in the Balkans. Substitute meat by other protein sources that are cheaper, better for you and the planet. Use plant derived protein sources such as beans, chick peas, and lentils or high quality dairy, preferably not from cow’ milk, (goat and sheep milk are far kinder to the gut). Or simply buy the tougher chucks of meat that are often half as expensive but just as nutritious.
2. EGGS – are a great cheap protein source and a good meat substitute and are far cheaper even if you buy the highest quality organic pasture raised you got a good deal. Again you don’t need to make a four egg omelette. Use them as additions to greens rather than a main cornerstone. Again – you most likely need far less protein than what you’re consuming now.
3. IN SEASON EATING – as the season for specific fruits or vegetables roles in, their price drops since the supply is overflowing and it’s better for markets to sell it cheap then to let them spoil and lose money. Look for what’s in season and stock up. It’s fresh, good for you, tasty and you can stretch out the benefits by blanching some greens and freezing them or cooking the meals that can be freezer stored for months in large batches. This way you benefit from the cheaper prices for a long time to come.
4. WALLNUTS ARE YOUR FRIEND – often cheaper than other nuts walnuts are actually the best for your brain of the bunch containing the highest Omega-3 count and are a great snack while you’re on the go, maybe to curb the afternoon cravings or TV munchies, which would otherwise lead you to cookies, soft drinks or coffee overdoses.
5. FROZEN FRUITS AND VEGETABLES – are picked at their prime and frozen within a few hours so they don’t lose nutrients or degrade as those siting in the produce section might. They are just as good for you as fresh produce while being far more wallet friendly and will get you through the colder moths when there are not m any fruits and veggies in season in your area.
6. MAKE YOUR OWN – If you’re avoiding dairy ( which you should if you have some inflammatory and/or gut biome issues) and are focusing on nut milks, instead of store bought expensive stuff, which is mostly water and may contain additives, make your own. You can easily soak cashews and blend them or mix some hemp seeds and water and get your very own creamy no nonsense nut milks. It takes a minute or two.
7. DON’T FALL FOR MARKETING of healthy pre made treats. They are far too expensive for bite size portions and you can easily find thousands of recopies on line on how to make your own . You’ll save a ton of money and know exactly what is in them.
8. SUB ZERO- use your freezer. You can significantly cut throwing away produce gone bad or leftovers if you freeze them. Most foods can be frozen and you won’t let food or money go to literally waste.
9. BUY IN BULK – there are some staple foods that are cheaper in bulk, they don’t take much space, and can be stored for longer periods of time such as good oils, spices, grains or quasi grains.
10. USE UP what you already have first. Most times we don’t even need to restock or think we need to follow recopies to the letter. Do your own things and use up what is about to go bad in new creative way.
11. WHAT A RACK – Invest little by little in a versatile spice rack. As you start to clean your fridge, pantry and body of junk you’ll get more sensitive to the subtleties of spies. A spice can completely transform a dish and you can play around. Food we prepare ourselves is creativity we can literally consume.
Implement some of these and compare your groceries bills with the previous ones. A little planning and strategy goes a long way and you’ll more likely go bankrupt by fixing the damage of eating junk than by beings smart about eating smart.