Health Hacks: Eating Better without the Price Tag
We all know it’s important to eat healthier. Vegetables provide important vitamins, nutrients, and even - gasp - protein to our diets! Knowing something is important and actually doing it are two very different things. From insufficient access to lacking cooking knowledge, there are lots of reasons why a family may not eat more produce or improve their diets. If cost is your prohibitive factor, though, here are some shopping hacks to try on your next trip.
Some people thrive on meal planning, others absolutely hate it but there’s no denying that planning can significantly reduce your spending. If your local store circulates sales on a flyer or coupons, take them and plan your meal accordingly. This will save you money and - BONUS- will also cause less waste since each fresh item is accounted for.
Strawberries are most expensive in the winter because it takes more (resources, time, travel) to grow them whereas in the heat of summer, they’re often on sale because they’re abundant. The same goes for any produce. By shopping seasonally you’ll score the best pricing possible. You’ll also be changing up your diet by adding things you don’t have year-round.
Often with those sales we mentioned, it will say something like, “2 for $10”! Most stores will still honor that pricing even if you only buy 1 so read the fine print of each sale and only buy what you need.
Place Value over Convenience
The individually-packaged apple slices or pre-cut watermelon may seem helpful but they often bear a heftier price tag. If convenience is something that you need, it may be worth it to pay the extra on some things but pay attention to the price difference. Slicing a bag of apples and packaging them yourself might take a half hour of your time on a weeknight but you’ll have saved quite a bit of money. Pop them in a bit of water mixed with lemon juice to prevent browning and say, “You’re welcome,” to your grocery budget.
Learn Some Knife Techniques
Butchering a chicken, for instance, will save you about $2/lb on chicken over buying boneless, skinless chicken breasts. An added bonus is using those bones to make delicious Bone Broth which is rich in nutrients and gut-healing gelatin. Buying a whole Watermelon and breaking it down yourself will also save you some cash. (Naturally KC Tip: It’s easy to find videos on how to learn these skills on YouTube!)
Shop the Farmer’s Market First
For high quality produce that’s more budget-friendly, the Farmer’s Market is often the way to go. These local vendors generally have fruits, veggies, meats, and other items (like honey) that are produced to USDA Organic standards but don’t carry the title (or the price tag). Local is also a great option because the food goes directly to you, never needing to travel on a truck (meaning it’s more fresh). The fresher the food, the more nutrients it contains!
With a few techniques and hacks you can help your family eat better and improve your household budget at the same time.