Healthy Cooking on a Budget?

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On this topic I seem to have more questions than answers. I want to feed my family food that is as healthy as possible. I try to make healthy choices as much as I can (though I totally fell off the wagon yesterday and brought home take out burgers!), cook at home, and use ingredients that are natural, organic when it’s available, and free of chemicals, pesticides, and other junk. I’m working on cutting way back on sugar, meat, and gluten, and incorporating a lot more fresh produce into my cooking.

I have been inspired lately by a couple of great healthy eating blogs – Elena’s Pantry and My New Roots. They are both filled with delicious recipes, great information, and gorgeous photos that will make even the most devoted junk food fan crave quinoa and veggies.

My big dilemma is this – the healthy ingredients can be so expensive! We are really lucky to be able to find so many options in the grocery stores these days, from cashew and almond butters to flaxseed and coconut oils to almond and rice flour – but you will pay more for these products than the old standbys. I am thinking that cutting back on meat which is also pricey will make room in the grocery budget for some of these alternative ingredients, and that cooking more from scratch rather than buying prepared foods (where exactly do I think I’ll be finding time for this??) will offset the cost as well.

I have always believed that a healthy lifestyle is a smart economic choice as you’re likely to save big on medical costs over the long haul. Instilling healthy eating habits in my daughter at a young age is also something I see as a wonderful investment in her future.

I’d love to know if you have any ideas for eating healthy on a budget? Are there some foods that are worth the extra costs to you?

 

Anna Platz is an Editor at ForTheBestRate.com, a leading mortgage rate research website, as well as the Lead Contributor to GoodCentsSavings.com, a blog about budgeting and personal finance. Anna is immersed in the world of real estate, mortgage, and home financing and is here to provide valuable resources for homeowners and soon-to-be-homeowners on buying and selling real estate, researching a mortgage broker or lender, and securing a home loan. Check back often for news, updates, and remember that you can find today's current mortgage rates at ForTheBestRate.com. My Google Profile+

7 Comments to Healthy Cooking on a Budget?

  1. Healthy eating CAN be expensive, but I think that once you take the time to build up your healthy pantry, most of your costs come from restocking fresh fruit and veggies. If you find a good green grocer, you can reduce those costs even further.

    • That’s a good thought. It will be even easier once the farmers markets and road side produce stands open up in the spring.

  2. I find that buying the vegetables that are plentiful is a good idea. Vegetables can be used in a variety of ways, so you might not have to buy the very expensive items.

    PS. Thanks for those two links…

  3. You need to pick your groceries based on what is cheapest that season, just as a couponer would pick her groceries based on the supermarket deals of the week. You might be a good candidate for a Community Supported Agriculture farm — signups are starting for the two in my area so so that research now. Also look up “Make the Bread Buy the Butter” book. It was written by someone who did a cost study as to which foods were cheaper / worth the effort to make from scratch and which ones were not.