Saving money on food and eating healthy don’t always go hand in hand. For example, switching to a ramen noodle diet during college sure wasn’t the healthiest thing to do. However, if you’re resourceful and creative, there are still lots of ways to eat healthy and save money.
One of our favorite techniques to save on food is to grow our own. We live in a suburb and don’t have much green space, but I’m guessing that my 24 by 4 foot raised garden generates at least $1,000 worth of just tomatoes each year. Not to mention the peppers and herbs. With a few dollars worth of seeds and some homemade fertilizer and compost, a small garden can go a long way in saving money. Plus you can plant the things that you like.
Another favorite way to save money and eat healthy is to shop at low cost stores. We’ve found that Aldi’s has decent to good produce for often half the price of the local grocery stores. While we don’t do all of our shopping at these types of stores. A once a week visit for fresh fruit and vegetables saves us ten to twenty dollars per week.
To some, organic food is the healthiest way to eat. We found someone that also believes this and they wrote about it on their blog. Here is an excerpt about how they save money buying organic food:
Stay in season. When you’re eating organically on a budget, you should always stick to fruits and vegetables that are in season. These produce will taste a lot better, and it’ll cost up to three times less than it would if you were to buy it any other time of the year. It’s also important to remember that organic foods don’t always come into season precisely when their non-organic counterparts do, so you might need to wait a little longer for the good stuff to hit the shelves.
Learn to love farmers’ markets. When you shop at a farmer’s market, you can be sure that the food you’re buying is organically grown and good to eat. Since these local street markets don’t have the same overhead as big-box grocery stores, you’ll also save a bundle of money when you buy from them. The only downside is that some of these markets won’t accept your eco-friendly credit card, so you need to make sure you stop by the ATM before making your rounds.
Participate in community-supported agriculture. Community-supported agriculture is a new trend that’s helping both local farmers and healthy eaters get the most out of organic crops by cutting out the middleman. Instead of buying produce from a store, you and a group of other buyers purchase an entire season’s harvest from a farmer in advance. The farmers make more money than they would by selling to a vendor, and you get a bounty of fresh fruits and veggies for a fraction of the regular retail price. If you’re interested in giving CSA a try, then you can check out the programs in your area at Local Harvest….
Read the rest of this article at 4 Ways To Eat Organic on the Cheap (No Trust Fund Required)
We agree with their opinion about good ways to get organic food for good prices. During the summer, farmers’ markets are a great way to save, but we found that going to the smaller markets away from a large city are much much cheaper than the popular city farmer markets. And during the winter, when there aren’t outside markets, we agree with buying frutis and vegetables in season. Just as our summer season is cheap produce, somewhere near the middle of winter the cheap produce from South of the Equator arrives at good prices.
Besides these techniques, we also like to buy food in bulk and can and freeze things when they’re in season so that we can enjoy different foods year round. Every now and then you’ll find a sale that is too good to be true. For example, our local grocery store cut its price on fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts to $1.99 per pound for six months last year. Every time we visited, we bought a few extra and added to the deep freeze. I’m guessing this saved us several hundred dollars in food costs alone last year.
Now that we’ve shared our methods of saving on food and still eating healthy, tell us what you think.
Also see the following article for more ways to save money on food and groceries: