An extremely common myth with nutrition coaching is the idea that healthful, nutritious food costs more than regular junk food. Because of this, people often use the excuse that they can’t eat healthy because those foods won’t fit into their budget.
The truth is, you don’t need to do all of your shopping at Whole Foods or a speciality health foods store. There are MANY ways to make your nutrition a priority without breaking the bank.
You don’t need to be buying ‘superfood’ drink powders, paying for expensive collagen supplements, or making fancy avocado toasts everyday in order to eat healthier. Good nutrition coaching will give you the knowledge of how to shop smarter for your food when you really want to make your health goals a priority. Follow the tips below in order to make the most out of each grocery store haul:
Picking Proteins: I promise you my friend, you don’t need to be buying grass-fed beef that is going to cost you an arm and a leg. Meeting your protein needs can be extremely easy while still staying within your budget. Consider some of the cheapest and healthiest options like eggs, canned chicken or fish, tofu, or whole cuts of meat. Frozen meats are also a great option. You will bypass the food waste that usually happens at the end of the week. And although buying protein powder may seem like a high price for the product, consider the SERVING cost of the item. A $30 tub of protein powder will average about $1 per serving!
Picking Carbs: Carbohydrate sources are generally much less expensive than meat sources. Your best options for starchy carbs will include dried beans, lentils, potatoes, and oats, among others. As for your vegetables, stick to canned and frozen in order to get the most bang for your buck.
Picking Fats: While you will most likely get certain amounts of fats from your chosen protein source, you’ll still need to add in extra fat sources to meet your daily needs. The most inexpensive options include peanut butter, sunflower seeds, full fat yogurt, and olive oil.
Buy Frozen Produce: Yes, frozen fruits and vegetables are JUST as nutritious for you as fresh produce, and they are much more affordable. Frozen foods are able to retain their vitamin content, and there is no change to the macronutrient content. What might also surprise you is that frozen produce can potentially have MORE vitamin content than fresh produce, because freezing preserves the nutrients while fresh can lose some over time.
Buy Canned Foods: Canned foods are ALSO just as nutritious for you. Fruits, vegetables, and beans are usually canned at their peak freshness. For you, this means great flavor and high nutritional value. This is an extremely affordable option, and it can also prevent food waste. If you’re used to buying fresh produce that goes rotten by the end of the week, switch to canned food and you can increase the shelf life by 1 or more years!
Make a ‘Menu’: This shouldn’t be fancy. Get a notepad and jot down the meals you’ll want to have for the week. Once you have your ‘menu’, write down a list of what you’ll be buying at the store. This will save you from walking in aimlessly and throwing whatever looks good into your cart. Another perk of planning your meals for the week is that you will reduce food waste, thereby reducing the amount you spend on food. How often do you buy a bunch of random items at the store, only to forget about them by the end of the week when they have already spoiled. Stick to your list to avoid this!
For some final tips, don’t be afraid to take advantage of discount grocery stores and coupons whenever you can. Or, if it’s an option for you, consider utilizing bulk food stores to lower the overall cost. You’ll end up saving money in the long haul by reducing fast food purchases! No matter what recommendations you decide to implement, understand that you are in control. You CAN prioritize your health and nutrition goals while staying within your budget in a nutrition coaching program.