Comfort. We seek it out during times of fatigue, unrest, and all the negative sentiments captured by its counterpart, discomfort. The same is true of comfort foods – those go-to items we turn to when in a negative state of mind. The problem with comfort when it takes the form of food, is that we lean towards sugars and additives that increase our stress and lead to health problems.
Eating well is an excellent pillar in healthy living, but lending to the issue of sugars and additives is the cost of better food. In an ideal setting, our groceries would work for us both nutritionally and financially; today, you must forfeit one to have the other. Coming full circle, eating healthy can cause us to worry about our spending, and opting for budget-friendly alternatives are rich in sugar, which cause stress.
So, how do we break free from this cycle?
It’s a conversation seeing a lot of attention. Consider that Amazon’s foray with Whole Foods grocery store, slashing prices to make fresh produce and meats more affordable, has seen significant coverage from the press and it starts to add up how pressing the topic is. Slashing prices is a trend anyone would want to see more of, but there are a few alternative habits you can pick up to make eating well easier on your wallet.
Let’s dig in:
- Buy fresh produce when it’s in season, and freeze it. Stocking up is the best way to ensure your fridge is full of the good stuff – all you need to do is thaw!
- Go in on cheaper cuts of meat. Often, they’re more flavourful than their pricey, marked-up counterparts. New cooking methods will ensure you get a delicious meal and your recommended protein intake at the same time. When it comes to recipes and methods, Google is your friend.
- Try adding more beans and grains to your diet. Not only do they fill you up, they’re also generally affordable and a great way to bulk up meals like chili.
- Leftovers! Reusing old meals or ingredients is among the best ways to get more bang for your grocery bucks. By converting these things into new dishes (think soups, pot pies, etc.) you won’t feel like you’re eating the same meal again, either.
- How’s your green-thumb? Try growing herbs and veggies in your own garden. Even for apartment-dwellers, growing herbs or tomatoes is easy to manage if you have a nice, sunny spot.
- If you’re really feeling motivated, and you have some spare time, you can try canning food or pickling ingredients. Take those in-season items and can them to prolong their life!
At the end of the day, eating well is as much about organization as it is about doing groceries. Planning accordingly will keep your refrigerator and cupboards full of the good stuff for longer, limit what you waste, and preserve your budget. Think of the positive effect on your stress levels as a welcome bonus.