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Eat Healthier and Save Money

Updated on July 22, 2012

Save Money by Eating Right

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How to ...

In today's world we have a multitude of distractions that take focus away from our families, our health and our emotional well being. We've been given lots of distractions to focus on besides feeding ourselves good, healthy, fresh food. TV's, stereos, cellphones and computers, film, television, music and sports is where we've been taught to spend cash and we have been lead to believe that we don't have time to cook.

What I'm witnessing is a world where no one has time to spend with each other either. This fast paced society has created a dependence on prepackaged, pre-constructed foods of convenience. But the health risks involved with a processed food diet are well known now. In North America families with huge debt, still insist on eating out in restaurants and fast food joints on a regular basis. Most people buy prepackaged foods because they think it saves time and that it's cheaper.

fresh veggies, cheap and easy to prepare
fresh veggies, cheap and easy to prepare | Source

Actual Costs

I'm going to let you in on a little secret, it's cheaper to eat fresh fruits, vegetables and meats. Or freeze, can or dry them to use later. You'll start to enjoy eating what you've made from scratch.

We feed a family of 3 on $25 of fresh local, seasonal fruits and vegetables for one week from our local farmers market. We spend $45 on quality local meats and 2 dozen eggs from the local butcher shop, and that is more than enough protein for one week. We don't buy any processed meats anymore, we cook a chicken, turkey or roast and carve our lunch meats fresh. Then use the bones to make stock for soup. I make bread and it costs me approximately $1.20 for a large rustic spelt loaf that costs $5 in the store.

Instead of buying chips for snacks I make popcorn for pennies a bowl and put in my daughter's lunches. Fruit is a much cheaper and healthier dessert than the prepackaged ones. Ice cream in our house is a combination of frozen fruit and water or coconut milk (aka a smoothie) put through a hand cranked ice cream maker. The kids have fun making it and they love it... and it costs less than 25 cents a serving. Homemade cookies and Rice Krispie squares are regulars in the house too; store bought just isn't as good and so much more expensive.

a Basic Recipe for Everyone

brown rice is healthy and pennies a meal.
brown rice is healthy and pennies a meal. | Source

Actual Time to Make a Meal

Making simple, easy, fresh, healthy meals can be done quickly, in 20 to 30 minutes if needed. I was skeptical when we started on the path of eating fresh. I thought it would take forever to make meals and it doesn't. It really depends on how elaborate the meal is going to be and how much effort I want to put into it. I didn't think we would have enough variety of food choices, but we do. Once we had systems in place and knew what ingredients were our staples, it became easy.

There was an adjustment period but now we know what we like and can eat, and we shop accordingly. We don't bring food into the house on a whim. We bring minimal prepacked food home. We sale shop for the products that we use to support our staples; cheese, condiments, spices, dried goods etc. Remember when you cook fresh, let the food be tasted and keep it simple: it's tastier and is cost effective.

Prepackaged Costs More

We are cooking and shopping like they did back in the old days before all the "time saving" "money saving" prepacked meals existed and we feel better for it. As important, if not more important, our food bill has gone down. We have been very surprised to see that making healthy food choices is saving us money on a consistent basis. We've saved enough money in fact, that it's a budget saving tip that should to be shared.

So if you're on a budget consider exploring a fresh food diet and you'll be amazed at the savings you'll see.

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    • eye say profile image
      Author

      eye say 6 years ago from Canada

      Rachel, glad you found another interesting read!

    • profile image

      Rachel 6 years ago

      Very positive, very informing hub, once again. good work, keep it up

    • eye say profile image
      Author

      eye say 6 years ago from Canada

      It's so important we realize that the food we make from scratch is worth the time it takes to make and really does save money,

      thanks for reading and glad you found the hub enlightening!

    • duffsmom profile image

      P. Thorpe Christiansen 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

      Fantastic hub - would love to read more. I am a non-cook - absolutely hate it - but the body has suffered as a result and we are anxious to learn new ways. Thanks for the great hub.

    • alvinalex profile image

      alvinalex 6 years ago

      It's an awesome hub again from you. Keep it up :)

    • Anjili profile image

      Anjili 6 years ago from planet earth, a humanoid

      I support you 100%. Freshly made food tastes better, is cheaper and is much more nutritious. Prepacks often come with a funny stale flavour with a compromise on nutritional aspects. Re-warming such food ruins it even further. Keep up. Lol

    • eye say profile image
      Author

      eye say 6 years ago from Canada

      You'll be amazed when you start shopping for fresh food and cooking it yourself how much money you will save weekly. Happy shopping!

    • kidsview profile image

      kidsview 6 years ago from Earth

      great hub, I didn't realize that eating fresh would actually save money, I'm going to give it a try...

    • eye say profile image
      Author

      eye say 6 years ago from Canada

      kwill510; simple food can still taste great, and taking time to make your own food bringing an appreciation for it, good luck with the diet change, I'm sure you'll save money too.

    • profile image

      kwill510 6 years ago

      Nice article, I'm actually in the process of changing my eating habits and its been rough. I will take some advice from your hub and see if it helps. Thank you

    • eye say profile image
      Author

      eye say 6 years ago from Canada

      Eating fresh just means eating local, can you garden Cardisa? I can't believe those prices, but there must be lots of great fresh fruits and veggies there, no?

      thanks for your insights ... kind of shocking

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 6 years ago from Jamaica

      The truth is healthy foods in Jamaica cost 2 - 4 times more than crap, but we have to make the sacrifice. The past six months I gained weight because we had little money and I had to buy that crap. Since December things started looking better and I went back to my former eating habits. A pound of parboiled rice is $60 and a pound of brown rice is $100+ (it varies depending on the quality and brand). A pound of broccoli is $360, one bosc pear is $80 and imported apple is $70. Trust me is hard here but we just have to keep the faith. The good thing with healthy foods is that they are more filling so we end up eating less and that's one of the bonuses so instead of buying 2 lbs regular rice I buy 1 lb brown rice.

    • eye say profile image
      Author

      eye say 6 years ago from Canada

      dinkan53 - glad to have that confirmation of your personal experience as well ... I feel we have been duped into thinking fast food is cheaper ...

    • learner365 profile image

      Saadia A 6 years ago

      Fresh food is always the best food. It really help save not only your money but also keeps you healthy as nothing compares to what is eaten fresh. Enjoyed reading your Hub. It is very thoughtful of you to share something very important which is been overlooked by many people these days!!!

      My vote up and useful!!!

    • dinkan53 profile image

      dinkan53 6 years ago from India

      You are right and I know it from my personal experience. Your savings will be get doubled by spending a little time for buying fresh products and cook it at home. Moreover it is healthy too. rated up^^

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