I don’t have many tips but I have done a little research on healthy eating on a lower income. And maybe I’ll come up with some more ideas as I’m writing this. That’s how I roll peeps. I just pull things out of my ass and hope for the best!
So I live on a pretty limited income. Especially after removing money for things like bills and gas money and it is a struggle to eat healthy if you don’t know what you’re doing. Especially if you don’t have time.
I must admit that I got a little lax with my cooking because I have so much going on. I love to cook. It’s a calming thing for me. The cleaning isn’t though. I hate that part. And my mom can attest to that. 🙂 and I think with everything going on and the lack of space and a dishwasher, I just feel like its more convenient to grab something out.
I will admit, my mom and I eat out too much. It gets too late and we do the whole, “what do you want for dinner?” “I don’t know what do you feel like.” spiel. Then we finally say lets just go grab something.
I’m getting off topic so let me get back to the subject.
So. Buying healthy things can really add up. Trust me I’m still trying to work through it myself. But I thought I’d share the little bit I have learned so far to pass it on because I know there are plenty of us that could use the advise.
Farmers Markets– if you are lucky enough to live near one, anyway. They seam really popular right now so I’m guessing most people do… Being in Sacramento, we live near a LOT of farms so we have quite a selection of farmers markets to choose from.
The great thing about them is you are buying straight from the growers which makes it cheaper and you can get recipes and ideas of how to cook or eat what they’re selling. Most of them let you try a sample of their produce as well.
You can find foods other than fruits and vegetables too. The big one we have in downtown Sacramento has florists selling both cut flowers and potted plants, different vendors selling nuts, honey, lavender, cheese, baked goods, and meats and fish too.
The markets I have been to have a wide selection of seasonal fruits and vegetables and I am able to walk around and find the best looking and best prices before choosing who I buy from.
Another great thing about farmers markets is that you can sometimes find less common fruits and vegetables that you can’t find in a regular grocery store. Which would be good if you were adventurous enough. I can go on and on about farmers markets. Maybe I’ll do a day trip post on one or two of the markets in Sacramento.
Plan, Plan, Plan– I know, I know, easier said than done BUT there are so many benefits to planing meals. Not only are you preparing yourself for what you’ll eat so you aren’t thrown for a loop at any particular time, (and I know, shit happens, but that’s implied.) and in turn it helps you by knowing what you need to get at the store.
Lists– Pretty much goes along with the planning. It helps SO much to write down what you need because it helps to prevent impulse buying. Just keep to your list and get to the check out line.
Don’t go to the store hungry!– it’s one of the worst things you can do both money and health wise. If you do go in hungry everything will look good to you and before you know it you have several bags of chips, a case of cup o soup, and 3 pound-cakes in your cart, and that’s just the start of it!
Coupons, Deals, Etc.– there are less and less coupons out there as grocery stores are opting for club cards or whatever, but take a look at the free adds that come in the mail for your local grocery stores, and you’ll find all of their weekly deals. You can even plan a meal or two around what’s on sale before going to the store. (don’t forget to write it on the list)
Bulk Buying– A lot of grocery stores (especially specialty stores like Whole Foods, not that that is a good example of saving money despite my love for that store…) have bulk sections where it’s cheaper and you can choose the amount of what you need. Mainly there are options like different kinds of flours, nuts, seeds, and a few other things.
Costco– I love Costco. And I know sometimes Costco doesn’t actually have the greatest deals, but often times they are great, especially for staple items, especially spices you use a lot. We always get paper towels and Kleenex there because it’s always the best price and you don’t have to buy all that often (unless you have a huge family…)
Trader Joe’s– I’m giving TJ’s it’s own spot because it is my aboslute favorite grocery store and they have fantastic prices. Be wary though that not all of their foods are great, but they do have a lot of staples that you can’t get anywhere else. They have the best price on spices (although not the largest selection, but they are good for basic spices) and other staple items like olive oil, cheese (they have great cheese there), certain fruits and vegetables (I’m wary of where my produce comes from, I try to get it from California as much as I possibly can.) Anyway, I can go on and on and on but I won’t.
So that’s all I can think of right now but I’m sure there’s a lot more so I may have a part 2 coming up in the not too distant future, but for now, I’m past my bed time!