One of the biggest complaints I hear is that it's "too expensive to eat healthy." This is a fallacy, what I like to call fake news. If you don't change anything and buy everything organic, then yes...I would agree. But a few simple changes in your buying, usage and prepping habits reap rewards that free up money in your shopping budget to buy the free range meats and organic labels where it matters most. Changes that reap rewards in your overall health now, and most importantly later, in life.
Here are three great tips to surely pay off in your grocery budget, courtesy of Kitchen Stewardship, who always offers up great, everyday and do-able health tips. I couldn't agree more with these tips, it will easily save you over $25 a week at the market.
1. Homemade Yogurt
I remain amazed at how much I save with this one little kitchen task! I’d never give it up!
A quart of organic yogurt is about $4 on sale in my part of the country, and Greek yogurt is even more. I make a quart of organic yogurt for $1.75. And I make 4-5 quarts per week.
Assuming I couldn’t always find yogurt on sale, let’s say $5 is a fair price. That means I save between $13-16.25 every week. Who wouldn’t want a savings of around $650-845 every year?! That’s a lot of wiggle room in the food budget – enough to buy lots of grass-fed beef and organic veggies.
Here’s a homemade yogurt tutorial with lots of pictures to make it totally simple. (Did I mention I only spend about 20 minutes a week making this? That means I “earn” over $40/hour making yogurt!)
2. Homemade Chicken Stock
It can’t get any cheaper than free, folks. Now that I’m actually saving ends of carrots, onions, and celery in the freezer and growing my own parsley in the summer, then freezing it too…AND reusing the bones a second and even third time…I am truly getting gallons of organic bone broth for the cost of my gas range and my time. I haven’t priced organic broth in a long time, but I’m willing to bet that I’m saving $20-50 each time I make stock, PLUS having plentiful broth on hand encourages me to make and consume more soup, which is definitely healthier for my family (and usually less expensive than other types of recipes!).
Many of my recipes include at least some broth, so I always keep some on hand in the fridge - here's real food recipes via pinterest. Y’all. If you’re not making stock yet, resolve to start NOW. Here’s how.
3. Cooking with Dry Beans
This is sort of a cheater, really, because I’m hitting two birds with one stone.
Particularly in the real food, traditional foods, well-sourced world that I live in, meat is the most expensive thing we eat (and maybe cheese). That means that cutting down on meat here and there really helps the budget. I use less meat when beans are either part of the meal (like making a double batch of chili but not doubling the meat) or the main attraction, like chickpea wraps, black bean soup, or veggie bean burritos.
And if I’m cooking my own beans from the 25-pound bags of dry beans that I have in the basement, the savings is pretty huge. (You caught me – drat – that’s actually 3-in-1 here isn’t it? Cutting meat, using dry beans, AND buying in bulk. Sorry about that – I always ask if ice cream places can put two flavors in one dish, too.)
Here’s how I cook dry beans in bulk and freeze in can-sized containers to make any recipe a cinch, and here's a video on youtube about how cooking beans in the Instant Pot actually makes them healthier!
Hi, I'm Teresa. I am a Certified Integrative Health Coach who focuses on autoimmune diseases and building your immune system.