We’ve all heard it time and time again, the healthier the diet, the more expensive it is. Consumers may use that claim as a crutch to hang on to some of their unhealthier habits. However, it’s simply not true.
It’s definitely possible to eat healthily on a budget; you may even find the cost is less than your normal grocery cost.
Suzanna McGee, author and athlete, shared her thoughts on the subject in her new book, “The Athlete’s Simple Guide to a Plant-Based Lifestyle: How to Easily Improve Your Health, Performance, and Longevity.” In it, she provides comparisons on the cost of meat- and plant-based diets and suggests ways to keep the costs of fruits and vegetables down.
In the book, she offers some simple tips on how to follow a healthy, plant-based diet in a way that doesn’t break the bank.
Buy in Season
It’s cheaper to buy whatever produce is in season. Instead of sticking to your favorite fruits and vegetables, gather what seasonal produce you can. Farmer’s markets are a great place to find what local offerings are available. With their growing popularity, it’s nearly impossible to not find one close to you.
Take a Look at the Real Cost
McGee researched the cost per day of various diets, and the results are a little surprising. Through her research, she found that, on average, a meat eater spends $14.65 per day, a fish-eater spends $13.50, and a vegan spends $11.15. So, when you look at what food costs and how much you eat in a day, a vegan lifestyle is the most budget-friendly way to go.
Keep Shelf Life in Mind
Some foods keep longer than others, meaning you can splurge a little on them initially because they aren’t something you’ll have to buy on a regular basis. Foods like legumes, rice, potatoes, carrots and apples can all be purchased in large amounts without you having to worry about them spoiling quickly.
Make a Grocery List
I know when I go to the grocery store without a list; I end up spending way more than I planned. Whether you use pen and paper or an app on your phone is up to you, but definitely take a list with you when you go shopping. If it’s not on the list, don’t buy it. You’ll amaze yourself with the amount of money you save.
Never Shop Hungry
No matter what kind of food you are purchasing, you’ll always end up with more of it than you planned if your stomach is growling while you’re filling your cart. Sure, they’re good for you, but you probably won’t eat a whole basket of bananas, even if they sound great at the time.