Would you like to eat healthy whole food, buy only organic and not totally blow your budget? At first this might seem impossible when you check the price tags, but stay calm and keep reading – I’ll give you my personal tricks for feeding your family awesome food while keeping the cost down.
Let’s start by seeing healthy food as an investment for your future. The money you save on medical bills and skin care products, is just a bonus, but feeling fit and having energy is priceless. You probably wouldn’t fill half your car’s tank with water just because petrol is expensive. It would ruin the engine, everyone knows that. So why would you feed yourself anything but the best?But, money is money and we shouldn’t just throw it out the window. Here are a few tips for keeping food costs down while eating healthy:
Now, the water that would ruin your engine, might actually become your biggest money saver when it comes to yourself and your diet. How much money do you spend on juice, soda, energy drinks and the likes? Tap water definitely helps keeping a fixed budget.
Stick to the basics as often as possible
The best advice I have ever gotten when it comes to shopping is to stick to the basics and work with that. Carrots, green beans and spinach (or kale) is on our table more or less every day in one form or other. These are some of the cheapest options in the shop and you can happily invest in organic produce.
You think this sounds boring? Actually carrots will take you much further than you think with a bit of imagination – just check out my suggestions in a blog post called 7 days – 7 ways to cook carrots
I tend to do the same with meat. There is an organic butcher in Naturata in Rollingergrund, and they have a fantastic selection of meat. Even so I mostly end up buying the same things every time I go there. Their turkey escalope (Putenschnitzel) is awesome for cooking a variation of dishes and the price is low. So it’s either that or ground beef for me. And again, if you’re tired of making meatballs (or whatever you tend to do with the ground beef), I have a great post on my blog with 7 suggestions on how to cook ground beef.
And just to mention it – the organic ground beef at Auchan is even cheaper.
Look around for better prices
Naturata is great for buying healthy food, but not always the cheapest option. Luckily, Luxembourg is a very small country, and within 25 minutes you can pretty much cross the border into three other countries. We go to Trier regularly to stock up on nuts, seeds and dried fruit, as well as cleaning, laundry and bathroom products. The big DM in the outskirts will get me all of those things and some of it is half price compared to here. And yes – all of it can be found from organic brands.
Buying online is another option and we buy for example chia seeds in bulk at amazon.
Take a look around the stalls at the weekly market in town. Most farmers won’t be labeled “organic” but if you chat with them you’ll find out that their produce is grown on their own farms in an organic way and that the eggs they sell come from hens walking their grounds freely. Most of these farmers will also throw in a salad, an extra apple or a few more eggs for free once you become a regular.
Cook from scratch
This one goes hand in hand with the one ingredient rule, but should be mentioned again. Cooking from scratch is not only healthy but tends to save you a lot of money as well. You are probably already aiming for this so I’ll just add a tip that most people don’t know about. You can actually make your own coconut milk – and it’s not even difficult!
Have you seen the prices of the canned version? Especially if you buy the organic ones with no extra added stuff. I stopped buying canned coconut milk a year ago, and instead make my own – fresh for the occasion. It tastes better too. You’ll find a step by step instruction on how to make your own coconut milk in under 5 minutes HERE.
I hope this inspired you to make healthier choices. Feel free to add any other useful budget tips in the comments
Text and photos by Lisa Fuchs, April 2014
Lisa normally writes about healthy and creative baking, under the name Liesel on her blog: lieselathome.com You will never find sugar or gluten in any of her recipes and most of them are also lactose free.