If you are on a budget, how can you eat healthy while at the same time holding your costs down?

One way to hold expenses down is to make your diet more plant based and organic. This way you not only lower your costs but make your food go farther and maintain a nutritious diet. For example, a nutritious meal could be something like dried garbanzo beans cooked in a broth with root vegetables and served with wild rice. Another healthy recipe is cannellini beans cooked in lemon broth with garlic and spinach and a mint couscous.

These meals cost less because it costs less to grow a bean or a grain than to produce meat or cheese.

This doesn’t mean you have to become a vegetarian, but adding these plant-based foods to your diet will help stretch your dollars.

Buy Local, Organic Fare

In today’s globalized economy, you can get any kind of food you want pretty much year round. But that doesn’t mean you should. First of all, buying food that has travelled long distances to reach your grocery store will be more expensive. Plus, it may have come from areas where the wages are low and the labor practices sketchy.

It’s much better to buy local. Look for what is in season around your area because it will cost less. In winter, for example, you want to look for things such as potatoes, squash and root vegetables. Cook them up with sausage, cheese and whole-grain bread and you’ve got a delicious meal.

In the spring, look for green, leafy vegetables, as well as fruits. In summer, good meals can be made from things such as watermelon, tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggplant.

Buy in Bulk

Look for whole, organic foods to buy in bulk. For example, buy a whole, organic chicken. This way, you avoid the cost to have it cut up and packaged in plastic wrap. Buy a whole head of cauliflower or stalk of broccoli, each of which can be used down to the core – chopped, steamed, stewed, sautéed, or stir-fried.

You can also buy nuts, grains and beans in bulk. Buy organic avocadoes and mash them yourself to make guacamole.

If you buy organic, you will avoid the toxic chemicals used in producing the fruits and vegetables, as well as GMOs. Buying organic also helps the environment, maintaining more fertile soil and clean water and air. So, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to eat healthy.