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The excuse many people make for not eating healthfully is that it's too expensive. But it doesn't have to be, if you plan well, shop well and are willing to trade a little time for savings.

1) Skip convenience foods. I know it is so tempting after a long day to grab a frozen meal, open a few cans, or call for takeout. But that stuff is generally way more expensive than making your own food, and if you are willing to give it a little time on weekends, you can make great freezer meals for those nights you just cannot stand the idea of cooking. You can even start a freezer club with friends, where you all exchange a number of freezer meals so no one gets bored or has to cook all. that. stuff.

2) Rethink meat. Try meatless Mondays. Even meat and potatoes people tend to like Tex/Mex-ish flavors, for example, and you can whip up a batch of veggie chili or black bean enchiladas that costs a few dollars per serving, at most, and tastes delightful (beans are the go-to for cheap protein in my house). And if you just can't skip meat in these dishes, you absolutely can stretch a pound of hamburger into a hearty dinner and leftovers the next day.

3) Buy in bulk. Many health food stores and ethnic markets have a bulk food section where you can buy just what you need for a recipe. Whole Foods might get called Whole Paycheck for a reason, but it's actually a great choice for bulk grains, spices and more because you can spend just a few cents for the exact amount of a spice you need for a recipe versus buying the whole bottle for $5.

4) Accept less than perfection. Buy baked goods and produce from the "manager's special" racks. They might be less than lovely and you'll need to eat them right away (or freeze them) but it can be a great way to save bucketloads of money on stuff you'd buy anyway if you look there first. Alternatively, shop the farmer's market at the end of the day....the farmers might be wiling to cut you a deal so they don't need to truck all that perishable food back home.

5) Don't forget coupons! Yes, there are coupons available for healthy food, but you have to dig (and sometimes give up a little personal info). Mambo Sprouts (which appears to have been taken over by Coupons.com) is great, and there's a huge list from Mother Nature Nature Network of natural food manufactuers that offer coupons on their sites. Combine these with sales from your local grocery store and you can save a bunch.

How do you save money on eating healthfully?

Image ŠIStockPhoto.com

by on Sep. 11, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Replies (41-43):
sweetheart4171
by Peggy on Sep. 12, 2013 at 8:22 AM

Love the tips....ever since my son was diagnosed with food allergies eating processed or convenience meals is definitely out of the question...everything is pretty much fruit/veggies/meat, home cooked!

I use coupons as much as I can (thank you for the "healthy food" coupons.  And love the "manager special" racks at the store

Basherte
by Bronze Member on Sep. 12, 2013 at 8:30 AM

#4.) Don't get canned goods that are dented though. You could get botulism from it. That is the only place you can find that particluarly nasty food borne illness. 


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JennMcBride
by Bronze Member on Sep. 12, 2013 at 2:26 PM
Thanks for the ideas.
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