Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Eating Well Doesn’t Have to Cost a Fortune

By: Kerry McKenzie

In my previous blog, Eat Well to Be Well, I discussed how to engage your family with eating nutritious foods, low in sugar and how to make meals fun. After that post, I got to thinking about how people are sometimes not sure how to wisely spend their grocery money and how sometimes eating nutritiously can be…well…expensive if you don’t know some secrets!

What we must remember as adults and parents (so that we can teach this to our children) is to prioritize eating well to be well. Yes, high-quality food can be costly, but the high cost of poor health and diet-related disease is far more expensive. Prevention is the best cure, and here are some ways to save when sourcing whole, nutritious foods…
Take field trips to local farmer’s markets
Comparison shop
Start your own garden at home in windowsills, in containers or in raised beds

Buying food from local farmers is one of my favorite ways to save on nutritious foods. Your local farmers don’t grow their crops for fun – they do it as a business so they make sure that their products are the best. Plus, when you buy local, you are getting the produce as soon as possible. There isn’t any packaging that needs to be done, no pre-treatment to ensure the product doesn’t spoil before the gets from point A to point B. Because of this, it is less likely that nutrients will be lost because of the shorter time frame from farm to table. And one of the best parts of buying local is that you are supporting local families. The wholesale prices that farmers get for their products are low, often near the cost of production. Local farmers who sell direct to consumers cut out the middleman and get full retail price for their food - which helps farm families stay on the land. Remember to visit your local farmer often as new crops come into season at different times. Prices are the lowest when crops are in full swing!
Comparison shopping is also another way to save money on your grocery bill. A lot of stores will be out competitor prices so watch your ads. Stock up and save when you can as well. Produce can be frozen but is always best when used as soon as possible. There are also great grocery apps for your smart phones that will save you anywhere from a quarter to upwards of $5 for just buying what you need. I don’t know about you, but I don’t ever see sales on milk but I always make sure to use my grocery app to get that $0.25 off! It adds up fast!

My last advice for you is to start your own garden at home. Research tells us that children are more likely to eat fruits or veggies they have helped nurture and grow. A packet of seeds is VERY inexpensive (check out your local dollar stores!) so starting from seed is cheap and can save you a ton of money! Research what you desire to plant so that you are aware of how it grows in your area. Many seeds can be started on window sills and can be transplanted once they are big enough. This also helps keep the wildlife from getting your seeds. Planting a garden can be great fun for you and your children. 

What are some ways that you save on your groceries but still serve healthy, nutritious foods? 

About the Author: Kerry McKenzie, B.A., M.S., has been working in education for more than 13 years. She is a Certified Health Coach, a 500 level (E-RYT500) yoga teacher and specializes in early childhood motor development. She has a passion for working with expecting moms, babies, toddlers and preschool age children and their caregivers at Greenville Health Systems pediatric clinic, child care centers and in the community. Click here to learn more about Kerry.

22 comments :

  1. We have never been to a Farmer's Market but would love to find one near us. Eating healthier does seem to cost more but it's so much more worth it. I always make sure to have fruits & veggies for them to snack on. We have tried to plant our own container garden a few times but haven't since we've moved last year. We need to get that going again.

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    1. I am totally with you on growing your own garden. It is hard work but it is well worth it in the end.

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  2. Kerry you are on point with a lot of things ideas. I have taken to eating more organic foods and letting go of sugar as well.

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    1. Fantastic!!! Good for you! Eating organic is becoming a lot easier as the population becomes more aware of the benefits.

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  3. Great post! So much positive information! We try and get our meat, eggs, and produce from local family farms, too! (I have not been sick in three years! I wonder why?!)

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    1. Isn't it wonderful being able to buy from others that you know directly where your food came from?!

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  4. I agree. We have many great farmers markets in the south Florida area to choose from.

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    1. I can imagine your fruit selection is wonderful!!!

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  5. I am all for shopping at local farmer's market. Not only is it fun as a family but you get the fresh fruits and veggies.

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    1. You bring up a good point of making it a family event. The children can learn about how to grow the fruits and veggies and then help you prepare them at home!!

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  6. Great post! I'd have to agree that buying food locally or at farmers' market is probably one of my favorite ways to purchase healthy, affordable food.

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    1. I always feel awesome knowing that the money I spend at a farmers market is going directly back to the farmers and growing their crops.

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  7. I am a price comparison shopper. Too bad bananas weren't on sale this week.

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    1. I hear ya but I use the Ibotta app and I can get $0.20 back on bananas this week!!!! Yay!

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  8. Cannot agree more with every word written here. Farmers markets are the BEST resource in TOWN! We love growing our own garden, it's nice to go outside and have tomatoes and peppers available right in your backyard. We always make salsa and can the leftovers. Great article.

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    1. Thanks girl!! Salsa is a really yummy and healthy snack! You can make so many variations of it too!

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  9. These are great tips and you just reminded me that I need to get to our local farmers market soon. We just planted our 1st garden so hopefully that will flourish!

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    1. Good luck with your first garden!!! I hope you have a lot of success :)

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  10. I would much rather go to our local farmer's market over grocery stores any day! I like knowing that my fruits and vegetables are fresh ;)

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  11. I really do want to start a garden at home. Getting started is the hard part.

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  12. I really do want to start a garden at home. Getting started is the hard part.

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