Friday, October 2, 2015

How to make healthy/organic/local eating affordable

Hi everyone!

So today I want to talk about healthy eating. As you may know from my previous posts on nutrition I mainly live of veggies and meat and some pseudograins. I buy everything at the farmers market or an organic food store. Now a lot of you might think that that must be pretty expansive. And yes it can be. But grocery shopping can get expansive even if you buy at a discounter. The main reason for that is that you go to the store without a plan. And what happens then is that you buy a lot of food that you do not need, that you will not eat and this also causes a lot of food going to waste and I also think that that is the main reason for mass production especially in the meat industry. This is one reason for me to buy local and at the farmers. First thing is I know that the animal I eat hasn`t suffered it has had a nice life outside eating fresh gras and running around in freedom. Second reason is my veggies are 100% pesticide free. How I know that? - Very simple if your fruits or veggies are sticky they are not pesticide free. Your fruits and veggies might not look as perfect as you are used to from buing at the usual store, but you will definetly see that they taste better and that they are more filling. So all these points are reasons for me to buy my foods the way I do.

So today  I want to show you how to make your healthy/organic/local grocery haul more affordable.

#1 So first things first. You need to make a plan. And by that I mean you need to plan what meals you will eat in one week. Now we usually tend to plan more than we actually eat. I did that a lot too. But expectations are higher than reality. When I started eating the way I do I often spend 30 euros just for myself in a week. Now it is 15 euros a week which I think even students can afford. So making a realistic plan is the non plus ultra. The easiest thing is to take a cook book (I use the Hemsley and Hemsley one at the moment) and find recipes that include mainly the same ingredients. So that you do not buy a whole broccoli when you only need half a broccoli and then you have to throw away the other half. If you want broccoli in that week make sure that nothing goes to waste. Plan that other half of the broccoli for a salad for example that you will have another day. Instead of buying a new broccoli the next week for that salad (I hope that makes sense). So all I want to say is plan smart.
As an example I will show you my meal plan for next week:
mon, tue, wed, thu - Buckweatcreme and Fruitsalad (still having frozen fruits
from our summer harvest)
fri, sat, sun - Chia Chai with Pumpkin breakfast porridge

mon, tue, wed - broccoli pea soup
thu - eating at the farmers market
fri - Broccoli Salad with ginger and some meat (still having frozen one from a bigger haul)
sat + sun Shepherds Pie

#2 So after you wrote down your meals you are going to have you will have to make a grocery list. and I frankly believe that a lot of us just write down
And by that we again buy a lot of things we do not eat up. Be specific. Write down the exact amount you need. Example of my of next weeks grocery list for the farmers market:
3 Dates
1 Butternutsquash
4 Celery
30g Parmesan
1 big broccoli
1 red onion
Small ginger root
2 carrots
2 small Cauliflowers
1 medium sized zucchini
3 lemons

So as you can see I only wrote down the foods I exactly need so I really just pay for what I need and I can just eat what is at home (so no snacking and cheating possible for those who want to loose weight) and nothing will go to waste. I of course checked my freezer for frozen fruits and veggies that I still might have (see the next point on that)

#3 If your organic food store offers veggies that are not that nice any longer for a discount go for those you can freeze them right away and they will stay fresh.

#4 Another tip is to go for seasonal veggies and fruits. Most times veggies and fruits are cheaper when they are in season than when they are not. So yes you might eat more pumpkin during fall/winter than during spring/summer because they are way more cheaper and way more easy to get during fall/winter than spring/summer. Same counts for fruits. So if you think now well all the time eating the same is boring, yes it is. But you do not have to cook the same recipe over and over again. They are so many recipes out there that uses pumpkin for example so try them don`t stick to the one you know. Mix it up. Search the internet. Think of all these beautiful food blogs that are out there as the one by my Tone it up friend from mangoandcoconuts that has a lot of beautiful vegan and allergyfriendly recipes. Think of all the cookbooks you have at home.

#5 If you have leftovers freeze them don`t make your plate too full. We tend to have the feeling we need more as I already said above than we actually do. So eat a small portion, wait a few minutes and if you are still hungry go ahead and get yourself another portion. For me I mainly noticed I do not even eat the portion size that the cook book recommends. I am often full after half of that portion. So for the future I will still cook the exact recipe but freeze half of it for the end of the month for example and then do not need to go shopping for that last week of the month for example and bonus save the time for cooking in that week.

#6 Now the basic haul I did was of course a more expansive one. And by that I mean buying things like buckweat, amaranth, chia seeds, acai berry powder, ghee, spirulina, coconut flour, etc. So things that you will have for a longer time than just that one week you plan for. I am still stocking up on my basics as I do not have the budget to buy them all in one month. So what I did was to plan my whole month so 4 meal plans and 4 grocery lists (lists sorted after where to buy what) and fit my basics that I need to my budget and meals. So when meals included basics I am not able to afford now and that I didn`t already own I had to take them out of my meal plan and take a meal that fit better. So it is a bit like jenga in the beginning and it takes some time but having 15 more Euros per week are so worth that time you invested.

So these are my main tips on how to make healthy and organic eating affordable. Plan, plan realistic, make a detailed grocery list, go for seasonal foods and don`t be afraid of freezing your veggies and even fruits (for smoothies). 
I hope this post helps you to rethink your buying behaviour, to maybe inspire you to buy organic foods and to buy local foods. If you have any questions left, leave me a comment below and I will be happy to answer them. If you liked this post and wish more posts like this one let me know in the comments as well.



  1. Thanks for sharing!
    We really tend to eat more when we have too much at home or cooked too much. In the past I always thought: I´m not hungry, but I don´t want to throw food in the trash.
    I´m so glad that I don´t do that anymore and only cook and buy what I need.

    1. Thank you! We used to buy so much and throw away so much.
      We learned to control portion sizes and freeze leftovers. Use Broccoli stamps for smoothies or the dogs food instead of throwing it away. There are so many ways to save money and especially to rescue food.