Are you a young professional trying to balance your career and social life, all while trying to budget in a healthy lifestyle? Or maybe a mother of 2, that is just starting out and wants to make healthy choices. Or the University student that money is tight, but you still want to take care of yourself cause you know it's important!
We all want to enjoy the benefits of eating a healthy diet, but for some people and families, eating healthy is just too EXPENSIVE! Or so the story goes. The long held belief that eating healthy is more expensive is turning out to be just that..... A belief. And worse yet, a FALSE one!
A meta-analysis published by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), evaluated the price point of a healthy diet, (one rich in nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables and lean meats) vs. a unhealthy diet (high in refined grains, processed foods, and red meats.) They found that the healthy diets cost about $1.50 more per day than the unhealthiest diets, that's about $550/year.
I can see how for some low-income families, this could cause a strain on their finances. However, the study also stated: ''On the other hand, this price difference is very small in comparison to the economic costs of diet-related chronic diseases, which would be dramatically reduced by healthy diets.” said Dariush Mozaffarian, the study’s senior author and associate professor at Harvard Medical School. Long story short, the burden of chronic disease caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices causes increased taxation to Canadians, to support the healthcare system, and you end up paying in the long run.
However, the meta-analysis did not evaluate the potential savings of implementing simple strategies and tricks that can save you 20-30$/grocery bill, and which could definitely end up making healthy eating cheaper than a highly processed and refined diet.
Here are 5 simple tricks and tips to help you save money on your next grocery bill:
Buy more of the fruits and vegetables in season, or on special. Every grocery store has weekly specials on fruits or vegetables, and buying them fresh and in season ensures more nutrition and less waste!
Shop 2X/week for fruits and veggies, it reduces waste. The average family Canadian family generates 4.5 kg of food waste every week, of which, roughly 2.3 kg were avoidable or still edible, according to a research conducted by Kate Parizeau at the University of Guelph. Ralph Martin, Loblaws Chair of Sustainable Food Production at the University stated ''...that 4.5 kg of food is equal to about $28 every week or $1,465 a year.''
Buy nuts, seeds, and cereal grains in bulk, and ditch the bread! Skipping the fancy packaging of these items, and buying in bulk can save you lots of money. Also, buying in larger quantities instead of packages with individual portions is good for you, your budget and the environment.
Buy your meat and eggs in bulk with friends or family directly from the farm. Often purchasing grass-fed or conventional meat you can save up to 50% off grocery store prices when purchasing directly from the farmer, although quantities have to be larger... Solution, get your friends and family together to split the bill.
To save on costs of Organic, use the Clean Fifteen and Dirty-Dozen! This list shares with you the foods that are the most contaminated with pesticides, which you should buy organic, and those that are the least, which you can buy convential! Go to : https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/
Over the next few months we will help you debunk myths about food, teach you how to eat healthy all while on a budget and saving enough money to enjoy life!!