EATING GREEN ON A BUDGET
A Healthy, Thrifty Way to Eat Green!
HUNT FOR THE DEALS
It may sound old-fashioned, but clipping coupons is back in vogue, as well as looking for store specials. Chain stores such as Trader Joes, Whole Foods, and of course
Here’s another old-fashioned idea: grow your own. Even if you just have room for a couple of pots in your kitchen, you can grow your own basil, dill, sage, and other fresh herbs, saving money and adding a burst of fresh flavor to your meals. If you do have a yard, consider planting a vegetable garden for your very own organic produce.
The first thing you can do to eat green is to limit your intake of junk and processed food. Most of this food is not only high in fat or salt, but prepackaged food is more expensive than bulk items, and it uses excess packaging. If you crave chips or crackers for a snack, buy them in large amounts (it’s much cheaper) and make your own serving-controlled plastic snack bags or containers. Give up soda, flavored and bottled water and drink filtered tap water; you’ll feel better and save a ton on not buying bottles.
Purchase your produce at a farmer’s market or farm stand. Seasonal food is fresher than what you’ll find at the grocery store, and you generally get a better price. If you’re an urban dweller, sign up for a food co-op or organic grocery delivery service that will bring boxes of fresh, seasonal, and usually organic produce right to your door even during the winter months.
BUY IN BULK AND STAY SLIM
Get to know those bins of dried goods at your local health food and grocery stores. Purchasing grains such as millet and brown rice in bulk, along with beans, lentils, and pasta will stretch your food dollars further, and provide you with nutritious, healthful Mediterranean diet-style meals. Experiment with soups and casseroles that use less meat and more grains and veggies, and cook extra so you can freeze the leftovers to eat later - or take the leftovers for lunch the next day.
Don’t be afraid to shop at “big box” stores such as Costco or Sam’s Club. They often carry bargain-priced organic foods such as cereal, and even produce and milk. And if you buy large cuts of meat you can divvy it up and freeze in meal-sized portions as long as you have room in your freezer.
Article Written By: Julie Mitchell; Julie is an accomplished writer from San Francisco who loves ballet, yoga, walking, cooking and reading. Her experience as a wife and mother of two lend to her articles and blogs for DivaVillage.com and VillageMAMA.com in the areas of wellness, fitness, beauty, parenting and food.