Three hundred and thirteen

Back to the poverty line posts, although don’t forget to vote for my last month!

Eating healthy on a budget

Today I went to the grocery store to pick up cereal and bread.  Damn me for enjoying and wanting to eat the whole grain, natural, healthy options.  I debated for a few minutes in the cereal aisle whether I should buy the healthier cereal for $5.50 or the less healthy one for $3.99.  I chose the natural, whole grain option and decided to postpone the juice I wanted to buy (I didn’t have enough left over to buy the juice when I got the natural cereal).

The problem is that ready-made natural, organic options are more expensive.  Amy’s Organics soup costs more than Campbell’s.  But – and this is the key – homemade soup is always healthier and more delicious, and is fairly cheap considering you can make more than one meal at the same time.  The trick to eating healthy on a budget is making time to cook from scratch (and I now have lots of time because I don’t have money to spend on nights out).  I had my friend over for dinner yesterday and made the most amazing Carrot Apple Ginger Soup.  It only cost a few dollars to make and was delicious and super healthy.  It’s not hard to make a big batch of soup, stew, curry, or chili, that you can eat over a few days.  It can be taken with you to work so you aren’t tempted to eat out (a huge money sucker).

Farmers Markets are a great way to buy produce for cheap.  They have them year round in most cities (click here to see those in Ontario) and there is no tax because you’re buying directly from the farmer (thanks Sarah for this tip!).  Or check flyers of your local grocery stores for sales.  I haven’t gotten back into the extreme couponing yet, but that’s also a great way to get discounts on healthy food.

I’m going to revisit this topic towards the end of the month to let you know any other tips and tricks I’ve learned.  It’s easy to eat crap food cheaply (why a lot of low income people in North America are obese), but I want to keep being healthy on this strict budget.  So far so good, but I’m only on day seven!