10 Ways to Save on Your Healthy Food Grocery Bill

 

Feel like you’re spending a fortune on your grocery bill since you started eating a healthier diet? 10 Ways to Save on Your Healthy Food Grocery BillThere is often the concern that eating for optimal health can also break the bank. We might argue that if there is one area in your life that you may want to be willing to spend a little more money on – it’s food – since it pretty directly affects your health. Without good health, well, it’s a tough road. Still, you don’t need to spend a fortune to eat well. Here’s how you can save money and fuel your body and soul:

1) Buy in bulk. Purchase grains, beans, nuts, flours, etc., from the bulk section, rather than individually packaged units. Dry beans for example, are much less expensive in the bulk section than in a can.

2) Stick to basic whole foods. You don’t need to buy every “superfood” green powder or acai-berry bar to boost your health. While some of these “super foods” can do a lot for our bodies and are fun to include, they aren’t necessary. Enjoy these as a special-occasion-addition to your diet and pantry. *As a side note, always check ingredient labels – just because something is market as a healthy choice, doesn’t mean it is. Stick with whole foods as much as possible.

3) Go for foods that give you a big bang for your caloric buck. You don’t need to eat as much of foods that are high in nutrient content and sustain you for longer periods. Stock up on avocado, whole grains (not refined, while flour foods), raw nuts and nut butters.

4) Look for sales. Is the price of that almond butter just too much to bare? It will likely go on sale – wait to purchase it then and maybe get two! You’ll save money in the long-run.

5) Make your food from scratch. Yes, that raw, sprouted granola might put a dent in your wallet – we often pay for the convenience of truly healthy packaged foods. Try making your own instead, with bulk oats, nuts, coconut oil and honey. The more you make yourself, the more money you’ll save!

6) Check out deals on the web. Websites like Vitacost.com have great deals on healthy foods and products. The only downfall – this often doesn’t support your local economy. Still, getting foods like coconut, hemp and olive oils at these websites can save some cash.

7) Get thee to the farm. If you can buy directly from the farmer, you’ll save the extra cost from the middle man (or woman). Visit farmer’s markets and farm stands rather than the grocery and health foods store. (Supporting local here!)

8) Join a CSA. A CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) allows you to purchase a share of the farm’s food produced for a season for a much lower cost than if you purchased this fresh, often organic produce in the grocery store.

9) Plan out your meals. Not only does this save you some sanity and can help you to eat better, it also saves your pennies. Food is wasted far less.

10) Eat more vegetable protein and smaller amounts of animal protein. Quality animal foods, like beef, eggs and chicken, can be quite pricey. When you upgrade from the generic grocery store brand of meat to an organic meat from a local farm, you’ll definitely notice the price difference. Enjoy these quality animal foods in smaller amounts and get more of your protein from plant sources, such as beans and lentils, which is much cheaper and healthy addition to your plate!

What tips do you have for reducing food costs?

New to Juicing? 7 Tips to Get You Started

 

We were once juicing virgins too, and it was a bit overwhelming to know where to green juice smstart. Still, underneath that juicing newbie anxiety, there was some serious excitement brewing! We were ready to take that step to see what all the fuss was about, knowing we would be doing something amazing for our health. It’s kind of like going into a health food store or visiting a farmer’s market for the first time. It’s unknown territory, but also a bit of a thrill to be exposed so much healthy food and healthy living practices.

If you’re new to juicing, we want to help get you started, so you can begin your raw juice adventures with a little more security. Then, when you’re ready, you can take on our 7 Day Juicing Jumpstart Challenge!

Step #1: Get an Electric Juicer. You may want to borrow one from a friend or be tempted to buy a very inexpensive one for under $50. Borrowing is great. Buying a cheap juicer is usually not so great. You definitely want to make sure you have a juicer that will last, can juice leafy greens and wheatgrass, and cleans fairly easily. It’s likely you’ll need to spend over $100 for a decent juicer. There are three main types of juicers (in order of expense, low to high): centrifugal, masticating, twin-gear. We both own a masticating Omega juicer (Kendall upgraded from the Jack Lalanne centrifugal style, which worked well, but didn’t juice leafy greens as well and was a pain to clean!). We love the Omega 2006! Be sure to give your new juicer a good wash before using it (soap and hot water).

Step #2: Buy some vegetables and fruit. Keep in mind, juicing mostly vegetables will result in lower naturally occurring sugar that is found in most fruit. A good rule of thumb is to stick with a 4:1 ratio of vegetables to fruit. Fruit helps to sweeten, if that makes your juice more enjoyable. Great produce to juice includes: carrots, beets, kale, collards, spinach, lettuces, parsley, celery, fennel, cabbage, cucumber, ginger root, apples, pears, oranges, lemons, limes – just to name a few! Also, it’s best to stick with organic produce, since one of the biggest reasons to juice is to help flush toxins from your body. Using produce that has been sprayed with chemicals defeats that purpose.

Step #3: Decide on your juice combo. Which veggies/fruits are you juicing first? There really aren’t any rules – just juice what appeals to you. Two easy combinations to try are 1) carrot, spinach, cucumber; 2) kale, lemon, apple, celery, ginger root.

Step #4: Prepare your produce. Wash your fruit/veggies – scrub with a produce brush. Use a natural produce cleaner if you prefer. Get out your knife and cutting board and chop up your fruit and veggies small enough to fit down the juicer chute. Don’t worry about seeds, apple stems, skin – for the most part these can stay on. Cut off any “bad” or browned areas/stems/roots. With citrus fruits, remove the bitter peel, but leave most of the white pith on. How much to prepare? It’s really up to you! The amount of juice you get will vary by juicer and fruit/veggie, so start with a smaller amount and add more if you wish. A good goal would be to produce 12 ounces of juice.

Step #5: Start your engine! Power up your juicer, and add your fruit and vegetables a little at a time. The juice will be caught in one container (some juicers include this containers, some don’t – use a glass or bowl to catch juicer if needed), and all of the fibrous parts in another.

Step #6: Clean your juicer. Ok, you don’t HAVE to do this now, but we recommend quickly cleaning your juicer before drinking your juice. Otherwise, you might procrastinate like we tend to do. Then you have a mess.

Step #7: Drink your juice! Enjoy your juice and all it’s nutritious goodness soon after juicing. Juice can be stored in an airtight container for a day or two, but keep in mind that the longer it sits, the more nutrients it loses, and of course, it will spoil.  Still, a fresh juice made from home that is a day or two old is most likely better than a bottled juice you buy at the store!

So…what’s your first juice gonna be?!

If you’re ready for a week of juicing, along with some healthy whole food recipes, try our 7 Day Juicing Jumpstart Challenge!