Eating Healthy On A Budget

This topic comes up all the time.  People say, “It’s too expensive to eat healthy” or “It’s too expensive to eat clean.”  I will completely agree it costs more.  BUT…it can be done!  Here’s some tips:

Tip #1: When buying organic produce go by “the clean 15” and “the dirty dozen.”  The Environmental Working Group did a study in 2010 and determined which fruit and vegetables were more likely to absorb, and them you consume when you eat them, the chemicals that they are treated with (pesticides, fertilizers, etc).

The clean 15 (you DON”T need to pay extra for organic) are:

  • onions
  • avocados
  • sweet corn
  • pineapples
  • mango
  • sweet peas
  • asparagus
  • kiwi fruit
  • cabbage
  • eggplant
  • cantaloupe
  • watermelon
  • grapefruit
  • sweet potatoes
  • sweet onions

These are the Dirty Dozen, so do spend a little extra here:

  • celery
  • peaches
  • strawberries
  • apples
  • domestic blueberries
  • nectarines
  • sweet bell peppers
  • spinach, kale and collard greens
  • cherries
  • potatoes
  • imported grapes
  • lettuce

According to the EWG, the rule of thumb is that the fruits and veggies with a protective layer of skin are less likely to absorb the chemicals.  so something soft, like a strawberry, is going to absorb everything it is sprayed with and pass that along to you.  On the flip side, that cantaloupe has that think rind.  Most of the spays won’t get through that.

The EWG has a cute Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 pdf you can download here.  You can keep that handy when you make your shopping list

Tip #2:  Shop at Walmart.  OK, if you know me well this may come as a serious shock!  My mantra was “Walmart is from Satan.”  UNTIL I had Joe, that is.  Like I would’ve given you an A-chewin’ if you told me you shopped there.  AFTER I had Joe, I started doing a little shopping there when I couldn’t sleep.  3 AM is a good time to do your grocery shopping if you’re not sleeping but your baby is (and your baby-daddy is home sleeping too).  And Walmart was the only place open here.  1 of the ways they impressed me is, at least in this area, they have the best selection of grass fed meats!  Yes!  I know!  Free range and grass fed are truly better for you.  They have better nutrition and because the animals were allowed to live naturally, they were not treated with all the antibiotics, etc that livestock can be treated with these days.  AND the prices are a little cheaper than the grass fed meat at Publix.  I have also been impressed at the local produce I have gotten at Walmart, and the variety of organic produce.  And the prices are cheaper than the regular Publix price.

Tip #3: Shop Farmer’s markets and local farms and dairys (what is the plural for dairy???).    Farmers markets are fashionable now so there is probably more than one in your area.  You can get beautiful, fresh produce straight from the farm a lot cheaper than the supermarket prices.  You can get fresh bread and other baked goods without the preservatives that you get from the store.  You can also get fresh local honey which has TONS of benefits.  Not only will it not be processed or have preservatives, but the bees will have used local ingredients for the honey and can help YOU fight off allergies!  Bye Bye Claritin (maybe?!).  Also, if you have local cattle farms or dairys check them out to see if you can buy direct from them.  There is a place not far from here where you can buy a whole, half, or quarter cow.  By skipping the middle man you get fresher meat AND better prices AND you can find out how they treat their animals to know EXACTLY what your family is consuming.

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