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One of the biggest excuses I hear people use for not eating healthy is that it costs too much. I’ll admit, I used to think that way myself. I thought that I couldn’t afford to eat healthy, so I was confined to whatever was cheap. I’m here to tell you though, that you CAN eat healthy without breaking the bank.
Eric and I have been working to become better people, and as part of that we wanted to get our weight under control and take better care of our bodies. We love to cook and wanted a better quality of food, but we thought that we couldn’t because we have a limited food budget. We found out that we were wrong.
Aside from one or two items, we have stopped buying TV dinners and canned food. This week was the first time in about 3 months that a canned product found its way into our shopping cart. We now eat about 95% fresh, home cooked food. And guess what? We’re spending less money.
We started off by switching from shopping at Wal*Mart to shopping at Publix. The prices at Publix are higher, but the selection and service are far better. Then we slowly learned how to make our meals with fresh ingredients. We started buying real fish with no breading, real cuts of beef instead of ground meat and so on. Then we learned how to cook fresh veggies and converted away from canned and prepared frozen vegetables.
We now fill our cart with real meats and tons of fresh vegetables. We eat more veggies than we ever did before. We eat less salt, carbs and fat and enjoy our few indulgences so much more. We feel better and keeping our weight down is a lot easier. All this and we are saving about $100 a month on food. We’re never hungry either. We get really full on delicious food and it costs us less than the carts full of frozen meals we used to buy.
The thing that gets expensive is if you buy products labeled as healthy. They trick you on that one. Don’t bother with things labeled “diet” or “organic”or boxed and frozen goods marketed as healthy. Don’t shop in the aisle(s) specified as “health food”. That stuff is crazy expensive. If you just buy fresh meat and vegetables, it’s really not that expensive.
So please, don’t use income as an excuse for not eating healthy. We’re on a limited income and we have learned to eat really well without going over our budget. And there’s nothing that can’t be bought with an EBT card. You can eat healthy without going broke. You just need to be smart about it.