Frugal Ways to Eat Healthy

by Mary Cunningham

There’s a fallacy in today’s society that it’s too expensive to eat healthy…but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  We all are aware that we should be eating fruits and vegetables that are free from as many pesticides as possible…but what are we to do?  There’s a great list, found at http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/ that shows which foods you should buy organic and which you don’t have to worry as much about.  Granted, foods bought at farmer’s markets, or fresh foods, force us to use some culinary skills to prepare them but even if you’re not a gourmet cook, you can prepare a simple meal for yourself or even your family.

COMPARE THE COSTS

Let’s have a look at what I spent at the farmer’s market on Saturday.  At one stall, I bought 2 containers of local, organic greens for salads for $6.00.  At the local grocery store, these would have been $3.99 each, a savings of $1.98.  In talking with the vendor at the stall, I was assured these were locally grown and there were no pesticides used on them, something I cannot be assured of from the supermarket.  At another table, I bought a bunch of beets, which will provide me at least 3 side dishes between the beets and the greens and 2 bunches of green onions, one white and the other purple.  Of course, these will go great with my salad greens and I can use the rest in the stir fry I plan to fix.  These cost me $5.00 and again, I’m assured they are pesticide-free and just picked that morning.  At the next stall, I picked up the balance of my veggies for the week – 3 sweet peppers from a local hydroponic greenhouse, fresh picked asparagus and local carrots.  Cost here was $5.50.  So, for less than $20, I had all the veggies I needed for a week (or longer).  Could I have gotten these cheaper at a grocery store – possibly?  But, if you count the cost of the transportation from the U.S. or further and consider that those veggies were picked before they were ripe, I came out way ahead – and I supported the local farmers.

MY ONE SPLURGE

At the market that morning was a local farmer that I had dealt with at another local market who sells grass-fed beef, fresh maple syrup and fresh ground wheat flour.  Since my friend works for him at times, I’m aware of the truthfulness of his claims both by word and taste.  Since I was out of ground beef, I decided to treat myself to 2 lbs. of his beef and a bag of marrow bones to make broth.  The total for this was $11.00 and the beef will make 2 meals and the bones can be cooked into broth for either soup or to use to cook rice, grains, and/or pasta.  The ground beef was the same price I would pay at the grocery store and the bones were actually cheaper…so a very frugal cost for a quality product.  If you would like to learn more about the health benefits of broth or the ease of making it, please let me know.

This post is from Mary Cunningham.

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Mary Cunningham

Mary Cunningham would never claim to be a financial expert but has worked in the area of finance with personal taxes for over 15 years. Those personal taxes included all personal aspects, rental property and small businesses. She will be offering some Canadian insight to this venture but she came to live in Canada by way of Kentucky.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Sheila July 9, 2012 at 6:58 pm

Mary, You could be writing for National magazines or have a syndicated column for newspapers! Great posting! Sheila

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Poor to Rich a Day at a Time July 10, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Love this post and I could not agree more, Even if you can not always eat organic foods , you can still eat a much healthier diet for surprisingly very little money a month. Last month I spent $260 for the month but $35 of that was spent on organic raw honey and organic raw vinegar, carob powder and such and the 25# bags of whole wheat (actual wheat that has to be ground which I do in a blender) costs $14 which is an organic wheat.

While everything we purchase is not healthy all the time, we do try to eat healthier than most and has been a baby stepping process switching over to getting healthier options all the time. It can be a difficult transition though when you were raised on processed and chemical ladden foods!
Poor to Rich a Day at a Time recently posted..What I Would Tell Myself Going Back In TimeMy Profile

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Mary July 20, 2012 at 10:45 pm

Thanks for the compliment, Sheila…:-) Poor to Rich, you are so right that it’s hard to take the first step to eating healthier when you’ve been raised & lived on crap. My mom always made sure we had a “balanced” diet but it still contained crap that we shouldn’t have been eating. Don’t know about you but I really love being able to taste things as they used to be when we go back to eating local, vine- tree-ripened things and not the tasteless things you get in the grocery stores now.

Mary

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