Eat at Home
Most of the food at the typical restaurants is cheaper in quality to maximize profits. So, not only is the meal more expensive than you making the same thing at home, the healthiness of it is far less superior. A typical restaurant meal costs $8.00 plus tip. For a family of four that is about $40.00; whereas at home, you are able to make the same meal for about $10.00 or less, and you are sure of the ingredient quality because you made it yourself.
No, I am not advocating a complete elimination of eating out. However I do encourage you towards eating healthy on a budget by reducing the times and then take the savings to pay down debt or establish an emergency savings account.
Grow Herbs and Vegetables
Another incremental step for eating healthy on a budget is to grow some herbs and vegetables. You do not have to have a big lot to make small differences. Some carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, and a few popular herbs are easy to grow and helps you to save a little at a time. To avoid the GMO garbage, go online and buy some heirloom seeds; and to keep from purchasing new seeds each year, harvest your own from the current year's crop.
What is a result of your efforts? Fresh, organic herbs and vegetables that are incredibly cheaper than the store or local farmers market.
There are many groups around the country that make one large purchase combined with several families. We use Azure Standard and are able to purchase organic oats and wheat berries for much cheaper than the lower quality off the shell stuff sold at the grocery stores.
Plant Fruit Trees
Years ago, I took about 10 pits from nectarines that I ate and threw them in our guarden. A year later I had five trees going. After transplanting, one survived and has given us 30 to 40 pounds of fruit each year. My bad pruning habits has reduced at down to about 10 to 20 pounds of good fruit.
Even if the tree dies this year, I have had years of fruit for no cost. I did the same a couple of years ago and now have two white peach trees growing right where I threw the pits. No need to transplant (I am learning). As it takes three to four years to get some good bearing fruit, plant a couple of fruit trees now and learn how to thin and prune for optimal fruit for years to come. Mostly, though, I prune for shape and low height.
Juice Some Fruit
And speaking of fruit, grow an orange tree and then juice the fruit yourself. Each year, a friend of ours invites us to pick oranges from his five trees. This year we picked 150 pounds! We shared some, ate some, juiced some, and now have over two gallons of fresh organic juice sitting in our freezer.
We do the same with lemons and enjoy great tasting organic lemonade on those hot summer days for no cost. We now have two orange trees and a lemon tree that should be bearing fruit as the years go by. It takes no effort as a sprinklers water them automatically. Well, I do have to keep the snails out.
Start Baking More
Instead of frying chicken and bacon, bake them in the oven. It is much healthier as much of the fatty oil drips off the meat as we use a folded down cookie rack on a quarter inch high edged cookie sheet.
Listen, eating healthy on a budget makes sense (and cents) when it comes to saving money and living a healthier lifestyle. If you are eating less healthy because of perceived costs, then try one of these ways or look around for something different. Use some creative thinking and imagination to come up with one small way to eat healthier and cheaper. And when you do, please let everyone know below. Thanks.