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Since the beginning of the year we have changed a lot of our habits and practices in our household. We have completely overhauled our finances, we have de-cluttered and minimized, we have switched to essential oils instead of over-the-counter medicines, and we are trying to clean up our diets.
We all have our own food vices in this house, but junk food is a big one for all of us. It isn’t helping with my husband and I losing weight, and diet can be a big factor in ADHD for my daughter. She would really like to get off of her meds and try some natural treatments, so eliminating triggers in her diet is a must. Dairy, sugar, bad fats, and additives can all trigger ADHD and can be hidden in even seemingly healthy processed food.
Eliminating processed food and sticking to our budget are both huge priorities. Here are a few tips we have found helpful in navigating healthy and cheap.
Take baby steps.
The key to any big change is making choices that you will stick with. If I went through my cupboards and threw out every questionable food, not only would we completely blow our budget, we probably wouldn’t stick to it. I am taking this transformation choice by choice. We eliminated processed bread and started making our own. I used regular white flour, which isn’t the best, but its what I have. Would I eventually like to bake with organic whole grain flour? Of course, but we took one step in the right direction and I won’t beat myself up about the rest.
Define your goals.
What is your end game? To eat all organic? To eliminate dairy? To go vegan? When you have a clearly defined goal its a lot easier to make decisions that will propel you in that direction. Our goal is to eliminate processed food and artificial dyes and preservatives. So the breakfast cereal is definitely gone, but the white flour is ok. Eventually we may clean up our diet even further, but for now this is our goal.
Know what your budget is. I buy as much organic as I can, but sometimes it isn’t in my budget. So to set the goal of eating 100% organic isn’t realistic for me. Would it be healthy to eat 100% organic? Absolutely. Will we die if we eat regular bananas? No.
Make what you can.
I already talked about making bread. This week we are going to start making peanut butter. I make muffins for breakfast, crackers for snacks, and all of our meals. It may seem like you don’t have time, but make time. I work a full time job, blog, freelance write, and sell Young Living. I know all about busy.
Menu planning and preparing food ahead is key. Frozen fruits and vegetables are a good, much lower-cost replacement for fresh, and just as healthy.
Its definitely true that processed foods can be a frugal way to eat, but with some determination and planning you can eat healthy on a budget too.