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Eating healthy on the cheap

September 9, 2009

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We’re all cutting corners these days and finding ways to make our dollar go further. That might mean eliminating lavish items and activities, and even paring down the basic necessities. While some of us are tightening our wallets when it comes to spending, many are expanding their waistlines by turning to inexpensive, low-quality food. According to Slate, fast food giant McDonald's is making a killing off the nation’s recession, with sales in 2008 surpassing the previous 2 years. They opened nearly 600 additional stores in 2008.

Many people have the perception that eating healthy is expensive and in fact, a luxury. We maintain that buying wholesome food is possible, even if your family is sticking to a tight budget. The truth is, buying processed foods and eating poorly can lead to a variety of diseases, including diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. Choosing fresh, healthy foods can improve your diet, quality of life and also prevent food-related illnesses, saving you costly bills at the doctor’s office.  

With just a little preparation and grocery list in-hand, you can make healthy shopping an affordable and achievable goal.  Check out graduate Michelle Pfennighaus’ blog, where she shares some of her penny-pinching tips for eating healthy food on a budget.

1. Cut back on animal products
2. Eat more beans and whole grains
3. Learn to adore the bulk aisle, buy only what you need
4. Drink water, cut back on bottled beverages
5. Eliminate prepared/processed food
6. Use what you have already, even if it means changing a recipe a little.
7. Plan, plan, plan. Don’t put it in your cart without knowing what you’re going to do with it.

Finally, be creative with your shopping and meal planning and have fun!

About the author

Joshua Rosenthal is the Founder and Director of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. He has worked in the nutrition field for more than 25 years, teaching at the school alongside health leaders including Andrew Weil, Deepak Chopra and Barry Sears. At Integrative Nutrition students are trained as Health Coaches, receiving the holistic nutrition education necessary for them go out into the world and help others improve their health and happiness.