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Healthy Eating Isn’t Expensive, Here’s How

Your Guide to Inexpensive Healthy Eating

Have you tried eating healthy this year or ever before? I’m curious, what did you buy or what did you use as your guide to go grocery shopping? On the other hand, did you overspend on items that were gluten-free and organic? Maybe you didn’t make it to the grocery store because you thought that it would be too expensive to eat healthily. Well, I’m here to tell you that you can’t afford not to eat healthily.

Did you know that health insurance for individual coverage averaged $440 per month while premiums for family plans averaged $1,168 per month? And that is just what is paid on a monthly basis, this doesn’t include the co-pay or deductible that has to be met when something goes wrong. So how can we decrease or prevent our chances of developing a chronic disease that requires so much out of pocket expense? Eating healthy is one of the major factors, and you can do it for yourself with a family of four on a budget.

Here’s how:

1. Look at your food spending budget. Start by pulling up your debit spending log for the last month and add up all the money you spent on food. This includes fast food, coffee, groceries, anytime you bought anything food related, even going out to lunch with your co-workers. When me and my husband did this we were blown away! We were way over budget. Life gets busy but we weren't being consistent with the next few steps and that's how it got out of control. I use the Clarity money app to make this process quick! Based on what you spent and how many people you are planning to set a realistic budget. I say add $70 more than what you plan for.

2. Decide how many healthy meals you are preparing at home and how many days you plan to eat out that week. Monday -Thursday I try to plan meals that will last through those days because I know on the weekend we will want to eat out, which isn't against the rules. We live by the 80/20 rule, it just takes the stress out of being flexible with what we eat. If you have kids, you might plan meals every other day Monday -Friday and splurge on the weekends. Either way works, just stay within your budget.

3. Next, Map out your meals! One of my personal favorite apps is FitMenCook. If you're stuck and you're an intuitive cook, then head over to the meal delivery sites like Hello Fresh or Green Chef and get meal ideas and plan your week that way. The more specific you are, the more you avoid overspending. I recommend choosing batch cooking options to make larger portions with less effort.

4. Based on your meals, map out your grocery list and go shopping! If your significant other, friend, or relative will distract you in the grocery store, then leave them at home. You are likely to get off track and pick up extra items when you're not as focused. Cook according to your schedule that you made in step 2

The biggest key to eating healthy is actually eating the right food. Eating at least an 80% plant-based diet is not expensive. The expensive items in the grocery store are the meats and the preserved food in between the aisles. Choose 2 types of meat to cook if you eat meat (hormone and antibiotic free) and plan your meals with those. Utilizing a nearby farmer's market can help eliminate the markup on organic vegetables.

Want to try this for a week?

Check out the 5 Day Meal Plan in the Wellness Library!

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