A lot of people tell me they can’t afford to eat healthy. I think the problem is not that the unhealthy, pre-packaged foods are cheaper, it’s just that people don’t want to bother cooking from scratch, or maybe they don’t know where to start. You can save a lot of money by making your own pizzas, breads, dinners, desserts, etc… You just have to be a bit more organized.
I make the following as much as possible from ‘scratch’, using my Thermomix (which saves me heaps of time and money) – tomato sauce (ketchup), pasta sauces, mayonnaise, vege stock paste, meat stock/broths to freeze, baked goods, rice & nut milks, custards, desserts, juices, pizzas, breads, snacks, crackers, meals (limit fast foods!!!) – this saves so much, and is so much better for you. I also make my own pasta (noodles) when I have time. I buy my grains bulk and grind my own flour too (in my Thermomix). I don’t bother looking at the grocery store ‘specials’ catalogues – they’re mostly junk food or stuff I don’t buy. I just make my menu plan, and buy what’s on it, except if something I use is on special, then I buy lots of it.
I also buy bulk as much as possible! (Don’t pay for packaging if you can avoid it.) I probably do most of my shopping through co-ops and local growers, not the grocery store. Get a few friends together and start your own wholefoods co-op, if you can’t find one near you. We have one for organic grains, flours, beans, dried fruits, oils, & natural sweeteners. We have another for nuts & dried fruit (also has organic flours, etc). We have another for organic veges – part of the year they are locally grown (a CSA), but during the wet season we get them from further south. By doing my shopping for organic wholefoods and fruit and veges this way, I usually pay much less than what is charged in the shops, and usually less than the non-organic fruits & veges cost!
So don’t be afraid to try eating healthy – you can do it on one income – we do!