Don’t destroy your hard work at the health club with foods that your body does not need and should not have! I always hear my clients say, “Eating healthy is just too expensive” or “I can’t afford to buy all-organic.” Your grocery list does not need to break the bank in order for you to live a healthy lifestyle.
Eating organic seems to be the new trend these days. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for organic, but you don’t have to pinch your pennies just to put an organic chicken on your table for dinner. Ease into it; gradually start replacing certain foods with the organic option. There are certain foods that are more important to buy organic than others, this is because of the amount of pesticide residue.
For the following foods, you should immediately begin buying organic: apples, cherries, grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, raspberries, strawberries, bell peppers, celery, potatoes, and spinach.
If buying all-organic is important to you, start by cutting out the junk food and frozen meals. These foods will drain your bank account, and will provide you with little nutrition. Essentially, you should be able to spend about the same amount of money when purchasing all organic necessary foods for good health if you refrain from buying the sweets, snack foods, alcohol, and processed foods.
Navigating the Grocery Store
A rule I like to follow to help me navigate the grocery store is to purchase the majority of my groceries from what you find going around the perimeter of the store. What will you find on the perimeter of the store? Think about it: you will start with fruits and veggies, continue on to the meat section, and finish up with dairy. You will be avoiding the tempting snack aisles of chips and cookies, the processed frozen meals, and unnecessary items that you did not have on your grocery list to begin with. Of course there are exceptions to this rule, mainly your healthy grains and frozen fruits and veggies.
Secrets and Strategies
Here are some ways to help you budget your grocery list:
- Make a list. Don’t step foot into the grocery store not knowing what you need. If you make a healthy list, it is easier to stick to it and avoid tossing extra foods into the cart, thus saving you money and calories.
- Do not go to the grocery store hungry or if you are craving unhealthy food. You will end up throwing just about anything into your cart.
- Look high and low, most of the time the store brand product or the less expensive choice is either on the top or bottom shelf, they put the expensive stuff at eye level.
- Stick to purchasing foods that go bad within 1-2 weeks time, by doing this you know you are purchasing fresh choices that are not filled with a ton of preservatives that could last on your shelf for months or even years.
- Check for coupons! Take advantage of the ads you get in the mail, you will be surprised how much you will save in a month’s time.
- Buy in bulk. Foods that you know you will need that can last for a while should be bought in bulk; whole grain pastas, low sodium soups, frozen foods (meats, veggies, fruit, etc.).
- Avoid the snack aisle all together, don’t even make it difficult on yourself to turn down that box of cookies, and don’t go down that aisle at all! Seeing a specific food makes it harder to say no then if you just avoid it all together.
- Don’t sabotage your workouts because you think you cannot afford to eat healthy. Use these helpful tips to help improve your nutrition without draining your bank account, happy shopping!
Kelly Morris is a Personal Trainer at Gainesville Sport&Health.