Eating Healthy Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank By Rachel Schwartzman | #WellBeingWednesday

Young housewife exploring checks after grocery shopping in kitchen

It’s often believed that eating healthy has to cost a lot of money. In my naturopathic practice, I am always trying to bring healthy food to the table and teach people cost effective ways of making this happen. Here are a few healthy tips that can help you stretch your dollar while still maintaining healthy food choices.

1. Buy Bulk items. I cannot stress how much you can save by starting to buy unpackaged food. When food items are packaged and wrapped, you are paying for what ultimately is going to be put in the trash. Head on over to your local health food store and pick up all your pantry items, such as beans, rice, nuts/seeds, granola even herbal teas can all be found in the bulk food section. You can start saving all those glass mason jars to store your food items, making for a neat and organized pantry while also avoiding plastic bags.

2. Buy foods in season. I know with it being winter our fresh food items are not the most exotic, but that’s exactly the point. When you buy those tropical foods that are being shipped halfway around the world, you are paying a premium for those items.

3. Buy frozen fruits and vegetables. Since a variety of fruits and vegetables are hard to come by, consider buying them frozen. You can add mangos or strawberries to oatmeal or smoothies and vegetables to rice, pasta or soups. A health tip is in summer to pick your own fresh produce and freeze it. You will be happy when winter comes around again to enjoy these summer treats.

4. Avoid processed foods and quick snack items. We pay a premium for these packaged food items that are quick and convenient and generally lack essential vitamins, minerals and fiber. Aim for whole grain foods and fresh produce. Try making your own snacks such as muffins or putting together items from your bulk pantry. A small apple and handful of dried apricots and almonds is a great and inexpensive snack option.

5. Get in the kitchen and start experimenting. There is no doubt when you cook your own food as opposed to buying the packaged version, you are saving money. Try that hummus recipe, make your own chocolate chip cookies, and cook a pot of soup. Most dishes homemade are a fraction of the cost of the prepared version.

I hope you can have fun with food. Try things out and see what happens. Get your little ones involved. Research shows that when children help out in the kitchen, they are much more likely to eat healthy themselves. As a parent that sounds great to me, but what you also need, is a big dose of patience. ☺

Rachel Schwartzman is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor, Doula and Acupuncturist. She practices in Toronto and can be reached at 416-371-3422. To learn more about Dr. Rachel take a peek at rachelschwartzman.com

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