10 ways to save money & be healthier
Being healthy can be expensive!
When we first started purchasing organic food our cost of living definitely went up.
Organic food is more expensive, but I want to share a few simple money-saving tricks I've learnt and that've made a big difference to our grocery bills (and our medical bills);
- cook simpler i.e. with fewer ingredients. This has made the biggest difference. Meals don’t need to be a gourmet affair every night. I prefer cooking and eating simply and without complication and I feel it’s easier on our bodies and digestive system at the same time.
- buy foods in season. Food is always cheaper when it’s in season and it gives us many more nutrients and enzymes plus it tastes so much better. Checkout the FREE seasonal fruit and veggie guide on my website.
- follow the dirty dozen and clean fifteen guide and common sense. It doesn't always have to be organic. For example why does coconut need to be organic? Isn't it naturally chemical and pesticide free with that impenetrable outer husk?! Generally most foods with an outer skin (or layer) are going to carry less chemical and toxic load.
- don’t allow waste. Use veggies that have lost their crunch in stocks, stir fries or steamed with seasoning and/or condiments to make up for any lack of ‘freshness’. Fresh is best, but it’s not always going to be the case.
- freeze bits e.g. ends of carrots and celery or other vegetables and then use them in a stock or soup another time. (This was one of my clients great ideas)!
- buy in bulk or wholesale. In Western Australia I usually buy bulk food items from Manna Wholefoods. There are many options available online too e.g. 2 Brothers at http://2brothersfoods.com. Woolworths Macro range is also a great option.
- shop at farmers markets where food direct from the farmer can be a little cheaper, plus you get to chat to the farmer and it’s a great morning out!
- cook in bulk. If you’re buying in bulk you might as well cook in bulk and have leftovers the next day or freeze for another day. Cook once and eat twice or three times.
- buy cheaper cuts of meat e.g. a whole organic chook is expensive but the drumsticks and wings are not. I buy a load of drumsticks and wings to use in stock or as a meal. Other cheaper cuts to use are mince, brisket and beef cheeks. These cheaper cuts are best slow cooked.
- grow your own food. In Western Australia it’s the perfect time of year to be getting into the veggie garden and planting herbs and vegetables. These are optimal plant foods to eat, straight out of your garden – dirt and all! (Great for the immune system). Or if you’re up for it, get a couple of chooks for backyard fresh eggs!
And with all this, our costs have come down.
Another idea. Some people recommend meal planning. Personally, this doesn’t work for me. It may be different for you which is absolutely fine, we've got to do what works for us. For me, I always have the freezer and pantry stocked with supplies so that I can go with the weather, how I’m feeling and what I have time for cooking. If you haven’t already got my pantry / fridge and freezer essentials checklist you can grab a copy here. I hope it helps.
What's been our greatest cost saving?
How much money do you spend on medical bills in a year? Taking into account Doctors visits, medication, time taken off work to recover or to nurse sick children (plus the heartache and worry that goes along with having sick kids) … It adds up – financially, physically and emotionally.
If you’re eating and living well, medical bills are one cost that don’t need to be a big-ticket item in the family budget.
We don’t spend money on medications or Doctors visits anymore. In fact I can’t remember the last time any of us went for medical treatment. Our kids have had a dose of antibiotics each in their life at some point but I can't remember when - it was a while ago. We do visit the Doctor for checkups and I’m not promoting not going to the Doctor, but it does make life a whole lot simpler, enjoyable and less expensive if you don’t need to.
At the moment we spend some money on preventative treatments e.g. supplements, essential oils and with health practitioners including Naturopaths, and these costs have also come down as we continue to improve our health and wellbeing.
Our bank balances, as well as our minds, are a whole lot healthier when we have the capacity to work productively and learn consciously, while at the same time lowering our healthcare costs AND our food bills.
The ONE dietary change we made to skyrocket our health... Green smoothies!
While it seemed weird, blending up food and drinking it! It’s just part of what we do now. These green drinks of goodness were instrumental in kick starting our immune systems, feeding our flora, detoxifying and energising our systems. If you’re not already, or you’ve taken a break from them – now is the time to get into them.
With the changing seasons and the larger number of illness bearing bugs – it’s the perfect time to be reinforcing a strong immune system to help shield our vitality and keep the winter bugs at bay.
Check out the versatile recipe here for beginners and a few tips for the well initiated. Or try these different versions;
A word of warning: If green smoothies are new to you, you might just go through a gentle detox and feel a bit worse before you feel better. Go easy on the fruit / sugars. And if you don’t feel good at all, listen to your body and try something else.
Being healthy can be expensive, especially when we're just getting started, but it's THE best investment for our future health and happiness. Being unhealthy and the affect on our quality of life - is a FAR greater cost.
QUICK TIP: If you’re feeling run down, have a lot on, feeling stressed and sense you’re coming down with something, get some green smoothies into your day.