If you want to eat healthy you have to cook for yourself, and if you want to cook for yourself you have to grocery shop (if you can afford to have someone shop and cook for you.... no need to read further). The quote above is from Dr. Ann Wigmore, and if you've decided that healthy eating is the best medicine, you may have noticed your weekly grocery bill get a teeny bit higher. I'm no shopping expert, but I thought I'd share a few of my little tips that help keep my fridge stocked and save some money. Because saving money is making money, right?
- Stay on the sides at the market - that's where you'll find produce and proteins. Venture to the middle only for things like coconut flour, nuts and oils
- Eat in season - have you ever had a home grown tomato in July? Tastes waaaaayyyy better than something trucked in from Mexico in December and will be much more reasonable. Check your local farmers markets or try Field to Plate to see what's in season in your area.
- Check the sales - Buy proteins when they go on sale and freeze them. We haven't run out of chicken in over a year. Side note - I rarely ever buy chicken breast. Thighs are much cheaper, and more flavorful in my opinion
- Be prepared - yes, that means make a list. Pick some recipes you'd like to try out for the week and add those ingredients to your list. It's much easier to eat healthy when you have a plan! I use this app to keep organized when I'm food shopping.
- Forgo the organic - Hold your gasps, while I would love to eat everything organic, my budget cannot accommodate. Dr Weil has some lists what you should always buy organic (aka, the 'dirty dozen'), and items where it's no big deal.
- Frozen fish isn't that bad - Not all fish is created equal. There's plenty of info out there about the nutritional differences, but what about the environmental impact? I love fish and want to continue eating it, I also want my future children to enjoy it, so check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood watch app to see what's a good, sustainable option. For example, Bigeye tuna (also called ahi, maguro, toro) is a great choice if it comes from the Atlantic and is troll or pole & line caught, but if it comes from anywhere else avoid it!)
- Stock the spice! - make sure you always have a lot of spices, onions, garlic, and lemons/limes on hand. On a busy weeknight, some ground beef in a pan with onions and spices can be a lifesaver. Citrus juice and zest can also add a lot of flavor without adding calories or price.
This list is hardly complete but some food for thought. What are your tips for finding good food and not breaking the bank?