Eating Healthier On a Budget

Many people think eating healthier is complicated, hard-to-do, and expensive when really it is the total opposite.
My approach to eating healthier is to do it simply, easy, and inexpensively and without a lot of fuss.  Leave yourself some breathing room in case you can’t find an ingredient.
1. You do not have to buy everything organic.  I view health as good, better, and best.  So of course eating organic is always best but it is not always feasible because of budget restraints as well as because of accessibility.  Buying local is actually better.  Many local farmers cannot afford the organic certification and they may actually be practicing organic methods.  I am in contact with two local farmers in the Pennsylvania area who are in this very predicament.  There are some vegetables and fruits that you should absolutely buy organic like celery, peppers, apples, potatoes, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, etc, but again depending on where you live and your shopping budget, do the best that you can.
2. Keep some basic staples stocked in your pantry or refrigerator so that you can make just about any raw foods or vegan recipe.  Some basic staples are Braggs liquid aminos, olive oil, nori sheets, nut butters, coconut oil, sea salt, cacao powder, lemons, and dulse flakes.  With these basics you will be able to whip up most recipes.
3. Buy in bulk as much as possible.  You may not see the cost difference in the beginning but in the end it will save you some money.  Buy nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, and lentils in bulk.
4. Buy produce that is in season.  Produce that is in season, not only tastes better but it will be cheaper than if it were out of season.  Right now pomegranates, leeks, squash, and pumpkin are approaching our fall harvest.
5. Patronize your farmer’s markets, local co-ops, ethnic grocery stores.  The produce is slightly more inexpensive and sometimes of greater quality.  Caribbean and Asian produce stores are my favorite.
6. Purchase your kitchen equipment on e-bay.  I’ve gotten great deals on Vitamix blenders and Cuisinart food processors from e-bay.  Make sure you check out the seller’s past selling history before you buy.
7. Learn to substitute where and when you can.  If you do not have agave nectar, use honey or maple syrup.  Use lemons instead of limes.