Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

5 Ways to 'Eat Real' on a Budget

Food

Food Day, which is Oct. 24 every year, is a nationwide celebration of healthy, affordable and sustainably produced food, and a grassroots campaign for better food policies. It aims to help people "eat real," which means cutting back on sugary drinks, overly salted packaged foods, fatty factory-farmed meats and junky restaurant foods in favor of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and sustainably raised protein.

How can you "eat real," every day, without breaking your bank? Here, Food Day uncovers how what’s good for your health and the environment can also be the best thing for your wallet.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

1. Know your options

While you may be in the habit of dropping into the nearest grocery store, checking out the options and comparing prices of local farmers markets, community supported agriculture (CSA), and co-ops can save you money while giving you more bang for your buck. If your grocery store proves to be the best option, choosing house brand over name brand packaged foods can save you money.

2. Compare your options

Look at unit prices (typically per-pound or per-quart) rather than just the price tag. For example, though the price tag on a bag of pre-packaged spinach might read $2.99, the unit price could be much more expensive than even loose-leaf organic spinach.

3. Buy in bulk

You’ll create savings just by cutting down on packaging. Look for a bulk goods section the next time you go shopping (big self-fill containers often carry goods like rice, legumes, beans and dried fruits).

4. Buy seasonally

Not only is it less expensive, but eating seasonally can make it easier to buy locally grown and sometimes more nutritious produce. In the winter, canned, frozen and dried fruits and veggies are great options too.

5. Cook your own meals

Buying prepared food is expensive, while cooking your own meals can be an enjoyable experience that connects you to your food and gives you more control over sodium and sugar intake. No time? Prepare a big meal over the weekend, then store it in the refrigerator or freezer to eat as the week goes on. Better yet—cook together with friends or family! Looking for recipes? Here are some Food Day favorites. Or check out the Capital Area Food Bank’s Healthy Recipe Database.

If you count up the dollars you spend every week on food, including fast food meals, morning cups of coffee, muffins, bagels, doughnuts and vending machine snacks, you might be surprised how easy it is to change your eating habits and "eat real" on a budget.

——–

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

6 Spring Foods to Buy at the Farmers Market

11 Ways to Vote With Your Fork

How to Limit Added Sugar in Your Diet

——–

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Fino Menezes

Everyone adores dolphins. Intelligent, inquisitive and playful, these special creatures have captivated humans since the dawn of time. But dolphins didn't get to where they are by accident — they needed to develop some pretty amazing superpowers to cope with their environment.

Read More Show Less
Protesters face off against security during the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. ROBYN BECK / AFP / Getty Images

In just two weeks, three states have passed laws criminalizing protests against fossil fuel infrastructure.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Donald Trump and Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listen to White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx speak in the Rose Garden for the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on March 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images

President Donald Trump has bowed to the advice of public health experts and extended social distancing measures designed to slow the spread of the new coronavirus till at least April 30.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Charli Shield

At unsettling times like the coronavirus outbreak, it might feel like things are very much out of your control. Most routines have been thrown into disarray and the future, as far as the experts tell us, is far from certain.

Read More Show Less
Pie Ranch in San Mateo, California, is a highly diverse farm that has both organic and food justice certification. Katie Greaney

By Elizabeth Henderson

Farmworkers, farmers and their organizations around the country have been singing the same tune for years on the urgent need for immigration reform. That harmony turns to discord as soon as you get down to details on how to get it done, what to include and what compromises you are willing to make. Case in point: the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038), which passed in the House of Representatives on Dec. 11, 2019, by a vote of 260-165. The Senate received the bill the next day and referred it to the Committee on the Judiciary, where it remains. Two hundred and fifty agriculture and labor groups signed on to the United Farm Workers' (UFW) call for support for H.R. 5038. UFW President Arturo Rodriguez rejoiced:

Read More Show Less