I hear people say all the time how expensive it is to eat healthy. All. The. Time.
"If only healthy food was cheaper, I would eat better..."
A load of crap that is. A total load of crap. I am about to blow the doors off that lame EXCUSE right now. Eating healthy doesn't have to cost a lot. Putting good food in your body is a choice that virtually all of us have.
In today's blog I am going to give you 10 ways to eat healthy on a budget.
I will tell you right off that bat that my goal is not to make life easier for you. Eating healthy is hard. I am also not going to tell you that it is going to take less time. No sir! If your excuse for not eating healthy is "I don't have time..." then I would give you some different answers. Eating healthy does indeed require effort, time and dollars.
Isn't your health important to you? Are you really going to give your health to the lowest bidder?
Sometimes it is a matter of perspective.
Here are the 8 rules to eating healthy on a budget.
RULE #1: Set a food budget. This summer in the house it is my wife and I, Teresa's mom, Teresa's 2 kids (age 8 and 12) and sometimes my 6'2" 14 year old son. This month we are doing the 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge (the adults are). This should drive our food budget up but it does not because this is how we normally eat. We budget $160 per week for food.
That is $23 per day. Ends up being roughly $5 per person per day. (My son Colby isn't with us very much and he hardly eats anyway so I won't include him just to keep the numbers as accurate as possible) 5 people eating healthy for $23 per day. That's how much food we buy. PERIOD. No more no less. More on this later....
RULE #2: Make a plan then make a list from that plan. When I say "make a plan" I mean MAKE A PLAN. 7 days of breakfasts, snacks, lunches and dinners. When you are super meticulous about your plan you tend to not buy fluff. You buy what you need and that is all.
Also, STICK TO YOUR PLAN. I'm not gonna lie. I remember trying to do this why my ex wife and it was a train wreck. She would decide to make something random because the mood stuck her. Screwed up the whole plan.
Don't do this. Make a meal plan and stick to it.
RULE #3: Don't hold inventory for Publix. Seriously. Why do you need to stock up on crap that you may or may not need? I am all for using coupons and stuff but you don't need to carry inventory. Use what you have in your fridge and cupboards before you buy more. I bet that most of us could eat for a week on stuff that we have after we run out of food.
RULE #4: Do your research. I'll be honest. Coupons are cool and sometimes you can get a good deal but most of the stuff that is on sale with coupons is crappy food that you don't need. Look for coupons for things like cleaner and shampoo. When I say research I mean: which store have the cheapest fruits and vegetables. Where can you get the best deal on meats. Sometimes Sam's Club or Costco is a really good deal. Sometimes you over buy. Be careful. Once you make your list look around for the best deals.
RULE #5: Be consistent. Make you meal list on Sunday. Go shopping on Tuesday. Have the same breakfast, lunches, dinners and snacks. What if you know exactly what to buy EVERY Tuesday because you you have the same meals every week with little variation. This will save on time and as the weeks go on your will learn where to buy better food at a better price.
Also, make a habit of doing a "clean out the fridge day". Be honest. Show of hands. Who have handfuls of rotten grapes, tomatoes and a mango sitting at the bottom of the refrigerator?
Come on. You know this happens! Its a waste of money. Stop it!
RULE #6: Water is free from the tap. Drink it and like. Check it out. If you buy a two liter of Coke per week, per person, for a family of 5 like ours is going to cost you an extra $5-10 per week. Add to that juice, coffee and the other things that we drink the cost can get prohibitive.
Honestly, I drink my water with Spark which is not in my food budget. If money is really an issue with you and you need to save then you will live with strait water.
Visiting the vending machine for drinks in when the real money can add up. Talking about that next....
RULE #7: Going out to eat and visiting the venting machine. It you TRULY want to eat healthy then your food budget will be 100% what you buy in the super market. 100%!
Remember the numbers I told you early? Eating healthy for $5 per per person per day? Try going out to eat and see what that does to your budget. Let's take a look at some made up numbers that could be pretty accurate. Check this out:
1 time going out to eat at Applebees: $50+ (entrees 2@$10, 2@$ plus drinks and tips)
Going out for pizza: $30+
5 lunches at work: $35+ ($7 each)
One soda from a vending machine each person, each day: $45+
3 stops at inconvenience store: $18+ (assuming $6 each stop)
Bottle of wine for mom and six pack of beer for dad: $20+
TOTAL: $188 <--------- crap="" holy="" nbsp="" p="">
Yeah. That is more than my food budget. Are these number our of line? OK. Which ones? I would argue that these numbers could be a lot higher.
It is such crap that people say that eating healthy is so expensive. Of course it is a burden to spend $100+ per week on groceries when you already spend nearly $200 on convenience.
RULE #8: Prepare meals in bulk. A package of beans is a couple of bucks. Same goes for a package of rice. Soak them up. Cook them up. You feed a family of 5 for a couple of dinners and lunches for under $10.
This also helps to save time. My advice to people is that when you discover a meal that your family really like you cook double the amount and now it's dinner and two lunches.
RULE #9: Pack for the road. We went to the beach on Saturday. It cost us no extra. We packed lunches into a small cooler and brought water bottles.
Lunch should not be Subway. Lunch should be from a sack for dad at work and the kids at school.
My son had a camp last week. Each day for a lunch he got scrambled eggs and fruit. He ate healthy and it didn't cost a lot of money. If you head out the door without a PLAN for how you are going to nourish yourself until you get home then it is YOUR FAULT if you spend extra. Don't blame it on the expensive food. Blame it on you not making the right choices.
RULE #10: You and your kids don't need desserts and treats. You really don't don't. You want treats? Add money to your food budget but DO NOT buy packages of popsicles, Little Debbies, and the like and claim you don't have money to eat healthy.
THAT is on you. It's not about the price of food.
From today's blog post you didn't get any tips on where to buy cheap healthy food. You didn't get tips on how to prepare a healthy meal for pennies....
Why? It's not about the details. It's about YOU and your PURPOSE. It's about building a foundation and then building your life. When you develop the right habits and have the right priorities then the details get filled in.
The point of this article is to demonstrate to you that eating healthy is a expensive is a bull shit excuse and not you should know it. It's a priority. It's a decision. You are making it right now. It's on you.
How well are you feeding your family? What are the choices that you are making?
I hope that this blog today helped you. I hope that maybe you got a little pissed off at me and maybe at yourself. Sometimes anger will spur you to action.
If you still blame the food industry for your issues then there is nothing that I can do for you.
Did you get benefit from today's post? If so then please bless others by sharing on social media. To do that go to your Facebook and post this link "www.yourbestfitnesscoach.com" or simple click "share".
We appreciate that!
Our 30 Day Clean Eating program has been a huge success. Here is what some of the participants are saying:
"Happiness is fitting back in to the shorts you couldn't wear last week!!!" Angela H.
"I just want to share. Strict Clean Eating for 2 weeks (No Cheating) and I have lost 2.5 inches and 2% of my body fat. Those are huge results for me." - Teresa
"Love the recipes!! I can see my abs really getting defined! I love how I'm eating more and am never starving when I used to carb starve myself! Thank you guys!" - Libby
"Really love the deliciously filling food, lots of energy and feeling different in my clothes!! Look good, feel good!" - Kristi
The program is currently closed BUT we are going to re-launch soon. Do you want to be part of the re-launch? If so then simply send me an email and tell me. We would love to work with you!
You are a champion. Happy Monday!
To your success!
Rick Copley, Your Best Fitness Coach
"Empowering YOU to be a champion"
P.S. My wife did a super powerful blog post yesterday. It is an AWESOME post with a female perspective on muscles and "bulkiness". I think you will be surprised at what she says and some of the transformations that she talks about. What till you see Rachel's before and after!
Read her blog here: http://ladygurusfitkitchen.blogspot.com/2014/07/women-and-weigtlifting.html