A lot of people (including the writer of this post) would like to eat healthier and more organically than they do, but find the task to be economically unfeasible. The frugal thing to do is to buy six packets of ramen for a dollar, then add imaginary bits of carrot and stir them in with the noodles. Yum yum. Real, fresh fruits and veggies are costlier to come by, an expense that seems impossible to mix with an already strained budget. If you’re eligible for a SNAP EBT card, there’s a super cool program going on called “fresh bucks” that could assist you in your pursuit of non-imaginary produce. You can use fresh bucks within Seattle Farmer’s Markets, the program offering to match any amount over ten dollars with an equal amount of credit to use for more fresh fruits and veggies. Even if you don’t qualify for the program, eating local and checking into farmer’s markets can help anyone trying to eat better without having to come up with imaginary money, which most venders don’t recognize these days. While we’re on the subject, here are some other methods to eating healthier/more organically on a ramen budget:
Eat more Grains and Legumes
Both pasta and rice are cheap options to look for while shopping, and if you want to go the extra mile health-wise you can try whole-grain pasta and brown rice, which contain more nutrients than their white counterparts. Coming in at around $2.19 a pound, frozen peas are also a great way to boost nutrition, one cup containing more than half a day’s worth of Vitamin A.
Buy Less Meat
Not trying to push anyone to be a vegetarian, or join me in pescaterian land, but buying quality meat products can be a budgetary drain, so in order to do it, you may have to simply consume less.
Buy in Bulk
Just as this applies to shopping cheap in general, it can apply to shopping healthy. Dried fruit, grains, and whole wheat pasta are all great items usually available to buy in bulk and save cash in the long run.
What I mean by this, of course, is to eat seasonally. Seasonal fruits and veggies often cost less, so again, buying them in bulk while they’re “in” is a good idea. Here’s a list of what’s seasonal when.
After you buy all those fresh in-season fruits and veggies, you can preserve it all by freezing them, having them readily available later when they might not be so available in stores.
Do you have any other ways of eating healthy on a budget that you’d like to pass on? Assume we don’t have the stealth to rob a grocery store.