BUDGET HEALTHY EATING

It is a sad fact of life that unhealthy eating is not only quicker – it can be cheaper. But don’t do it!! We’ve got some budget friendly tips for eating healthy and clean. Your waistline and your pocketbook will thank you.


OBESITY AND FOOD COSTS

You may not be aware of it, but the sad truth is that many low-income communities and sparsely populated rural areas do not have sufficient opportunities to buy healthy, affordable food. A number of research studies have found that decreased access to healthy food means more diet-related diseases like obesity and diabetes.

You may have noticed that healthy food at the grocery store can cost more than unhealthy high-fat or high-sugar food. A huge bag of chips for example, could cost less than a bag of greens.

Fret no more!! We’ve got budget-friendly tips for you to use when food shopping for your family.



FOOD BUDGET SAVERS
  • Buy in Bulk. While it might cost more to buy huge sizes of grains, nuts or even spices, you’ll save money in the long run. Food suppliers can charge less when they can spend less on packaging. And when you’re not buying all that packaging (better for the environment) you can save money too.
  • Buy In-Season. Grocery stores buy food that is in season to save money. You can do the same. Load up on those berries. If you have more than your family can eat in a week, you can freeze them before they start to go bad. Trying separating them and placing them on a cookie sheet before freezing so they don’t clump together. Then you can transfer to a plastic tub or bag, and eat them a few at a time in smoothies. Summer is the best time for strawberries, cherries, peaches and plums.
  • Buy Off Brands / Store Brands. Read the labels. Store brands often have the same nutrition value as the name brands. Whole Foods 365, Wegmans, Trader Joe’s and Cub Foods all have a number of store brand products.
  • Buy Organic Occasionally. Some foods you don’t need to buy organic at all – like a banana where you peel the fruit and throw away the peel. Don’t worry about buying non-organic corn, cabbage, avocados, onions and pineapples which absorb chemicals minimally compared to others foods such as tomatoes, strawberries or apples.
  • Eat Your Leftovers. This may take some getting used to although we think some dishes are actually better the second time around. We like leftover spaghetti, lasagna and pizza. Many leftover meats, such as chicken, are very tasty when eaten cold or cut up and added to a salad. You can also search for recipes that use the same or similar ingredients to repurpose leftover food into new dishes.
  • Find a Farmer. Can you find a farmer’s market nearby? Just like the grocery store, you’ll find that you can buy in bulk and buy what is in season. Some vegetables, such as corn that has been cut off the cob, freeze just as well as the fruits.
  • Make Your Own. Pre-made sauces and dressings can be expensive – and may not even taste as good as ones you can make at home. They are also often filled with added sugar or sodium.  If you have a few ingredients on hand at all times, like olive oil, vinegar, garlic and mustard, you can be your own gourmet chef on a budget.

We hope these tips will get you thinking of other ways to stretch the family food dollar.


© 2016 UNITED STATES AIR FORCE, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Privacy Notice and Consent