It’s an unspoken belief that junk food is cheaper than healthy fruits and vegetables, mainly because it is cheaper to produce. While it’s sad that processed, “bad-for-us” food can cost even less than a bunch of bananas sometimes, it’s a truth that we can learn how to buy better food cheaply with just a little effort. If we can concentrate of working out to get slimmer, it only makes sense to work just as hard to buy healthier food products…right?
1. Review the Grocery Bill
Begin with the grocery bill. When you go shopping, save the receipts for a month. Highlight any foods that are over-processed and generally bad for you. At the end of the month, look at the color of the receipt. Is it colorful and filled with junk food? If it is, don’t beat yourself up. This honesty is the first step toward a better life.
You want to refer to the price tag on this list during this kitchen overhaul. Add up what you spent over a month on junk food. You have now discovered the amount you have to spend on healthy food. You’ll also be able to review what you’re really putting into your body. Remember, even if you only walk for a half hour every day, you’re burning nutrients. That daily walk needs to be supplemented with nutrients, such as the potassium of a banana or potato.
2. Go back to basics
It is absolutely true that healthy food is expensive. However, you now have a working number for what you have to spend. It may be hard to believe, but it is completely possible to get healthy food using the money you discovered on those saved receipts. Begin with produce in season for where you live.
Search for these to find out what they are offering for sale at a lower price year round. Consider your workout as well. If you are a swimmer, you’ll need carbs to balance what you’ve burned, while weight lifters need added protein. Make sure you’re balancing diet with exercise.
Do your homework and find simple recipes that make the healthy food tempting, such as pairing apples with peanut butter for a snack. Balance fruits and vegetables with protein to create a balanced diet. Look for sales and virtual coupons to help build a healthier diet. Some grocery stores will offer specials on produce, so be sure to check weekly flyers to build up a better pantry. When this new diet is paired with a consistent workout routine, the results are remarkably noticeable.
3. Cut out junk food – but must all of it go?
The answer is an exciting no. In fact, it is better to nurse cravings with small portions to avoid binging later on. Decide what types of junk foods are must-haves, such as chocolate, then buy smaller amounts of these foods. Eating healthy does not mean eliminating all fun foods. It simply means making conscious choices and learning better self-control. Remember, the money is already there for healthy foods. It simply needs to be funneled from the potato chip aisle to the produce department.
Switching a diet is difficult. No one moves toward a different diet right away. Use the highlighted receipts to gradually reduce junk foods, starting with your least favorite. Work your way through the list, replacing each junk food staple with a healthier choice. The grocery bill will become less colorful in no time.