Whether we are scrolling through Facebook or flipping through health magazines, we are constantly bombarded with messages that hail organic foods as ones that will shield us from evil toxins. While it is true that organic foods have unique benefits such as fewer pesticides and preservatives, let’s face the facts – the price tag that comes with them may not be realistic for everyone.
So, how can we still eat mindfully while on a budget? What will allow us to eat highly nutritious foods at lower costs? Here’s 3 ways to help your health and your bank account:
- Frozen organic fruits and vegetables. People often believe that frozen food is less healthful than fresh food. However, this does not necessarily apply to frozen fruits and vegetables, which can contain more nutrients than fresh. In fact, frozen produce is usually picked and chilled immediately versus fresh which can be picked and held in storage before being delivered to stores. Several studies showed frozen produce contained higher values of vitamins and phytochemcials than their fresh counterparts. For your health certain foods are good to buy organic, and by purchasing them frozen you will achieve a better value. Make sure to check the label for ingredients before purchasing – some have added sugar and sodium.
- Specific cuts of organic meat. Although organic meat is more expensive, the prices can range depending on the type you purchase. Turkey, chicken thighs, whole chickens and bone-in, skin-on cuts of red meat are typically less pricy than other cuts. Buying them organic lowers your intake of antibiotics and hormones. Keep in mind that grass-fed meat is the most nutritious since it is from cows that are grass-fed, versus corn/soy fed. Some opt to buy a half cow and shipped to them which can significantly cut costs.
- Eat at home. While many blame time as a reason for eating out more often, it is much more beneficial for your health – and your wallet – to eat a home-cooked meal rather than opt for a meal at your local restaurant. By cooking your meals at home, you’ll know exactly what’s in your food, and you’ll be saving money you could spend elsewhere. If time is an issue, with a bit of planning you can do most of the cooking for the week over the weekend. By making large quantities you will have leftovers and be able to freeze extras for meals when you are short on time.
Next time you are at the grocery store, keep these details in mind before you stick with your go-to foods that you know fit your budget. With the right kind of planning, you will be putting money in both your bank and your health accounts.
This blog was c0-written by Susan Dopart and Intern Candice Hannani