Finally, I have made it to this topic! So many of you have written me requesting it, and here it is.
I know, I know- it may seem that eating healthily is hugely expensive and that you can’t really afford it, but rest assured that that is not really true! It doesn’t have to be. Check out some of these tips that may help you along your path, ensuring that you can eat well, and maybe still even have money afterwards to get those hot new sandals you want for summer or save up for a beach trip somewhere!
1. Put your money into your food, not your beverages. We want to eat, not drink our way to beauty. If push comes to shove, you really and truly could get by on fresh water with lemon squeezed in. Expensive beverages like bottled Kombucha, or even coconut water, are far down on the list of priorities if we are in a bind. They are like the icing on the cake, but remember that the “cake” or as it holds here, our beauty, is built from organic greens, vegetables and fruits.
2. Along those lines, nix that bottled water! What a waste of money it is to buy bottled water day in and day out. And (and!) bottled water 1) Is often just tap water that has been filtered, see my blog on water HERE and 2) All the plastic bottles add to so much waste on the planet, and energy even if it gets recycled! Get yourself a nice water filter and use your stainless steel reusable bottle. I still use the nice blue one I got from the movie Hall Pass!
3. Buy spices, nuts and condiments in bulk. That is clearly the way to go! There are so many websites on line that you can source them from. If I had to spend $6 for every tiny little cayenne pepper container or coriander container, I would be broke. Now I buy them by the pound or half pound since I use them so much!
4. ALWAYS support your local farmer friends! Oftentimes they are not labeled as organic, but they still use organic farming practices. It can cost them a lot of moola to get an organic certificate, so they might not always have the certificate or paperwork done. But often they aren’t using scary chemical pesticides, fungicides and herbicides, and are rotating crops. Not mass production! When possible, I always love to meet the people that are growing my food.
5. Buy or grow your own sprouts. Sprouts are pretty cheap, and they are a really abundant source of beauty enzymes and minerals. Rare is the salad I eat without some sprouts thrown in there. For my ambitious, green-thumbed friends, you can get a jar with some holes on top, or buy one of those sprout kits and grown your own! That would make the cost of your enzyme-filled treat a few cents a day!
6. You can actually get some organic, bulk food at Costco. Yes Costco! Check out their bagged organic baby spinach and their organic 5 pound bags of carrots. Great for families that really plow through huge amounts of produce. With such large quantities, why not make green smoothies ahead of time and freeze them.
7. When push comes to shove, stick to the most important foods to buy organic. They include (but are not limited to): celery, strawberries, bell peppers, pears, apples, spinach, apricots and tomatoes. Some that are not as important (they don’t attract as many bugs, don’t require as many fertilizers, etc.) include avocados, sweet potatoes, onions. Of course if we had unlimited funds we would but all organic…but sometimes choices are necessary. You can soak your inorganic vegetables in a diluted raw apple cider vinegar soak or some grapefruit seed extract. It won’t increase mineral content, but it will at least help remove some of the creepy chemicals! For more info on this see my feature in Life & Style HERE.
8. Join a food co-op, where you would work a certain amount of hours each month in exchange for really cheaply priced bulk foods and produce. In NYC there is a good one in the East Village, some in Brooklyn, and all around, really.
9. Join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. How does it work? You buy into a certain amount of “shares” of a local farm, and every week you get a box of vegetables or produce that is in season at the time, at a set pick up/drop off location that that farm establishes. It is a wonderful way to get a ton of organic produce at a great price. I would totally do it but I travel so much I would miss most of the drop-offs! Highly recommended though, and it helps out our friends the local farmers, who we must all support as much as possible in this increasingly commercial, genetically modified world.
Here is a great website to find a CSA near you! www.localharvest.org/csa/
10. Bring your lunch…or at least part of your lunch!! Check out the blog HERE I wrote on great lunch ideas, complete with a link to some beautiful lunch bags my friend Isolde makes. They are great. I have the blue and grey bag.
11. Skip all that dehydrated, expensive raw food. That is what makes food shopping expensive! You don’t really need it. Make your own smoothies, your own salads, your own simple nut pates or dishes. Those foods are really dense anyways. I don’t buy them myself!
12. Plan ahead so you don’t get stuck having to eat out or buy expensive food. I always try to keep something in my purse- like my chlorella tablets (more info HERE) or an apple or something so I don’t have to buy a $12 pre-made salad at Au Bon Pain (sorry, but it is mostly barf food anyway 🙂 ). Also plan to meet your friends for tea, instead of going to spend $30 for a salad and some veggie sides you could easily make yourself for $7 at home. Allocate your funds wisely!
I think I’ll stop here because 12 is a good number. 🙂
Happy eating well, and without breaking the bank!
Lots of love, Kimberly
This is exactly how I shop! College student and a health nut, I’m always looking to purchase organic and healthy foods while still maintaining a good balance on all fronts.
I like to buy my vegetables and eggs at my local health food store, as they have a local and organic farmer’s market there every Saturday. Usually I spend only $5 for the entire week (and then perhaps even more vegetables are left over).
Avocados are a good nutrient rich fruit that I really enjoy, and they don’t really”break the bank”. In fact, you’re the one who got me into them Kimberly! I like to put them in my green smoothies sometimes for a creamy consistency.
Right now I am starting my own vegetable garden, complete with summer vegetables. Okra, eggplant, green beans, banana peppers and tomatoes. I think I may even try my hand at blackberries. I’m hoping for a fruitful harvest in 2-3 months. Wish me luck!
Wow Brandon, that is so wonderful!!! I’m so happy to hear about your new found avo love.
And good luck with the garden!! Keep us updated. I can only really grow herbs and possibly some tomatoes (iffy though with the sunlight) in my backyard.
The links to the websites don’t work.
Thanks for the tips! I’m glad you addressed cost as an issue in getting healthy.
Yes, it is certainly an issue in the real world!!
thank you for the information,I always thought organic foods wee exspensive but after reading this i know there are ways to make shopping for oganic alot more affordable.
Great ideas; thanks for the apple cider vinegar trick 🙂
Yes! It can be handy in a pinch. 🙂
This is a great list for healthy eating. Thanks for sharing.
Hi Kimberly, as always, I just love reading your info packed blog but on this one I couldn’t click on any of the links marked “HERE”. Can you include the links in an email please?
Thanks so much for tip no. 11! I’d been stressing b/c I didn’t want to have to buy a food processor, and was under impression to really move forward, raw wise, I’d need to have one. So glad I can keep it simple and have fun playing with the pates, etc. By the way I’m back to eating salads daily (which I haven’t done in years), and really feel so much better. And JOY!, my husband is eating all my salads and asparagus too :). Still can’t get him to touch a green smoothie (haha!) but this is real progress. Merci Kimberly!!
Oops, actually meant dehydrator. Have the processor 🙂
Hi Kimberly! I’m very inpired by your story of traveling the world! I want to take a break and backpack around the world too and I just want to ask what countries do you recommend? (probably a lot…:]). and also, when you were backpacking, where did you stay? did you do homestay? I’m trying to lower the budget as much as possible. how do you find more information about this? Thanks!!
Many natural personal care products are also environmentally friendly because they are biodegradable. This result can not be associated with more mainstream products, health and beauty. Using all-natural products, personal care products, consumers can be assured that no harm to the environment.
Do you recommend a specific water filter? I see the tube-like ones at yoga centres, which doesn’t seem to come with the bulky other attachments that you install under the sink or in your basement (reverse osmosis?)/ But I’m not sure what type of filter it is…
Thanks for your tips!
Great site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends!
Such a great, timely post. For various reasons, I’ve really had to watch my budget this summer, but I’ve chosen to look at it as an adventure! I made a deal with myself not to eat out or buy anything prepared–that’s not too hard because there aren’t a lot of options here (none healthy). My other goal is not to spend any money on beverages. In place of my regular weakness for lemonade/bottled drinks, I’ve been bringing my own filtered water to work, and to mix it up I’ll blend frozen fresh fruit and herbs with water–like agua fresca, sort of. Yum! Thanks for the advice on what to do with non-organics–there really aren’t any organic options at my store (and the farmer’s market won’t be open for another 2 weeks). I’ve been saving money (more than I had planned) and feel great–really enjoying and being mindful of summer for once!
As usual great blog kimberly.
Keep it up…
Thank you very much my friend, you are very kind in sharing this useful information with? others….
The details were such a blessing, thanks.
A friend recently introduced me to your site and I love it! One question I have is if you have suggestions for where to buy and which brands for a lot of the products you talk about (coconut water, frozen acaiberry packets etc etc). For example, there are a lot of coconut waters on the market now and it’s hard to know which one to go with.
I am lucky to have my parents to support me but I do buy about $50 dollars worth of organic food and healthy items.Which leads my mother to actually use the items I buy, slowly but surely it helps(my family to be healthy too).Also, when college starts I am taking almonds not snack bars.I buy organic veggie/fruits for my GGS only.Thanks for blogging this helps!
Hello, how’s it going? Just shared this post with a colleague, we had a good laugh.
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