Somewhere along the line, we lost track of the idea that food should be our medicine. In fact today, it’s quite the opposite: our modern eating habits are polluting our bodies, making us more susceptible to many preventable illnesses and diseases. We are no longer getting the nutrients from our food that’s necessary to function at optimal levels. The water we drink and the food we eat are loaded with toxins, robbing us of our innate self-healing abilities.
The good news is that we have the ability to regain control of our health by eating well and by eating clean, health promoting foods. I believe that most of us would like to eat healthier, but we’d rather not spend our whole paycheck on weekly groceries. We know we should be buying more “whole foods” and less processed junk. But what exactly are whole foods? The term whole food refers to unprocessed and unrefined food. If it comes from the Earth, it’s probably a whole food.
So how can we afford more of these foods in our diet? Here are five ways to add healthy whole foods to your diet, without spending an entire paycheck on them:
1. Join a CSA at a local farm or farmer’s market.
Fruits and vegetables are cheaper (and taste better) when purchased in season. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way to buy local, seasonal fruits and vegetables directly from a farmer for much less than buying them at the grocery store. It’s also a great way to get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking.
2. Embrace the bulk bins.
Buying from bulk bins is an affordable way to add spices, dried fruits, nuts, beans and legumes to your meals. First, you are not paying for packaging, labeling and advertising, and second, you only buy what you need, so you’re less likely to throw away food.
3. Grow your own.
Even if you have a tiny apartment, you can grow fresh herbs and lettuces in your kitchen window. With a deck, you can add tomatoes and pepper plants. And with a sunny yard, your opportunities are endless. Growing your own food is an inexpensive (and rewarding) way to eat more veggies.
4. Use your freezer.
When you see something good on sale, stock up and freeze. This is a great way to save on local or organic fish, poultry and meat. Also, look for organic frozen fruit and greens in your freezer. They’re cheaper and perfect for those green smoothies.
5. Reduce waste.
Don’t let leftovers go to waste. Freeze leftover soups, stews, sauces and casseroles. Or use leftovers from last night’s chicken dinner to make a delicious sandwich or wrap for lunch at work.
Use these tips to save money and better your health on your next grocery shopping trip. Your body (and your wallet) will thank you.