Healthy Foods on a Budget

healthy foods on a budgetCalorie for calorie, healthy foods can’t hold a penny to the cheaper, highly processed alternatives available in every grocery store around the country. Budget constraints are one of the leading excuses that dieters bring to their weight loss surgeon. After bariatric surgery you will no longer have to worry about the cost of food as you will only be able to eat a few ounces at one time, but that doesn’t mean that you are free of the responsibility of feeding your family. As you lose weight, take the initiative to help your family improve their health as well.

Making a healthy lifestyle a family affair can be pricy, especially in an era when financial woes are plenty; it is a hard sell to give up the dollar menu for a healthier and more expensive diet plan. While you may be able to cut down on how much you are spending on your own food, consider the ways that you can save money and still feed your family a nutrient rich meal.

This mentality is causing a lot of health food advocates to propose ways to make junk foods more expensive, which would then encourage those who are more likely to avoid the produce aisle in fear of sticker shock to give in and eat healthier. It is hard to say whether making junk foods more expensive is going to curb shoppers’ desires for a sugar-fix, but if money is your concern then you might be surprised to learn that healthy food isn’t as expensive as so many people make it out to be. In fact, if you approach the produce aisle with the right mentality you can walk away saving money with a shopping cart full of healthy foods to help you lose weight.

Junk food items like hamburgers and French fries have a lot more calories per serving than nutritious options like apples, bananas and beans. But these nutritious foods actually cost less per recommended serving than the junk food items. This means that a big part of rethinking your food budget involves rethinking your portion sizes. The good news is that after weight loss surgery you will start eating smaller portion sizes, so opting for fruits and vegetables could become the economically viable choice.

The next time you are headed to the grocery store, keep these budget produce buying tips in mind:

  • Grab the bag. If there is a pre-bagged option for your apples or potatoes, purchase that instead of filling your own bag of individually picked items. At most food stores the quality isn’t different between the two, and the pre-bagged fruit is often several dollars cheaper.
  • Purchase fruit in season. When a specific item is at the peak of its harvest it will be a lot cheaper, and there will be a lot of it. By buying fruit in season you can switch up the fruits that you eat throughout the year and you won’t get burnt out on one type of fruit.
  • Buy whole fruit. If you buy any pre-sliced, dried, peeled or chopped produce, you are also paying for the several minutes of work someone put into packaging it correctly. Even if it makes you cry, buy the whole onion and cut it up yourself.
  • Buy more beans. Beans are a great form of protein, and cheaper dollar-for-dollar than purchasing meat products.

With a bit of planning, you can find items at the grocery store that are part of your healthy eating plan after weight loss surgery without busting your budget.