To get tips on mindful eating and spending, we talked with Jessica Thiefels, a full-time blogger and ACE Certified Personal Trainer, as well as an NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition specialist and the owner of her own personal training business, Honest Body Fitness in San Diego.
Here we are February 2017. So I’ve got to ask, how are your resolutions holding up?
If you made a resolution to eat healthier this year and need a boost to keep going, get excited because it turns out you’ll save a lot more than a few extra calories.
You Eat Out Less Often
The top expense for most people is eating out. In fact, 2014 data reveals the average American spends $232 per month eating food prepared outside the house.
When eating healthy, however, a restaurant is the worst place to be. With no idea of how much salt, butter, dairy, and oil goes into a dish, you could be eating double or triple the amount of fat you should have in one day.
You soon come to realize that eating in is not only less stressful because you control the ingredients and portions, but that it’s saving you hundreds of dollars a month.
Planned Eating Cuts Down on Food Expenses
When eating healthy, it’s important to plan your meals and snacks in advance so that when your 3 pm craving rolls around, you can reach into your trusty stash of almonds nearby to avoid hunting for sweets instead.
This healthy eating strategy helps you save at the grocery store. When you know what you need, you can buy just that.
All too often we buy more than is necessary and end up tossing it. This is a nationwide problem, with 40% of food in the United States going uneaten. This means we throw away the equivalent of $165 billion dollars each year, according to the National Resources Defense Council.
By planning your healthy meals for the week, you waste less and save more.
Vegetables Are Versatile
Vegetables are not only some of the cheapest items in the grocery store, but they can be used in so many ways. Save money and time by buying them when they’re fresh and freezing some for future meals, or by simply buying them frozen to begin with.
“Frozen vegetables are a lifesaver and can be extremely versatile for any entree. Aside from sautéed or mixed into a stir fry, veggies can also be a great accompaniment to any grain-based dish or bowl…or baked/broiled in the oven for that roasted flavor,” says Sarah Schlichter, MPH, RDN, and LDN in North Carolina who runs of bucketlisttummy.
Next time you need vegetables for a quick meal, you can reach into the freezer instead of spending more money. No waste and less spending equal money savings.
Lean White Meat is Cheaper Than Dark Meat
Eating healthy requires you to reconsider your regular meat choices. While everything is good in moderation, healthy eaters should be regularly choosing lean, white meats like chicken and turkey, rather than steak or ham.
Luckily, this ends up saving your arteries and your bank account.
A recent turkey pricing analysis found that turkey and chicken are actually two of the cheapest meats available, with frozen turkey costing just $1.62 per pound and chicken at $3.12, versus ground beef at $3.66 and pork chops at $3.76. Not to mention, turkey and chicken can be cooked in a variety of ways, whether you’re making soup, burgers, meatballs or sandwiches.
You Take Less Sick Days
Eating healthy allows your body to more effectively ward off sickness.
“Diets that are high in bad fats seem to suppress our immune systems. And lackluster immune systems mean we’re constantly vulnerable to infections and sickness,” says Mike Kamo, of Nutrition Secrets.
If you’ve already used your allotted sick days, this can end up cutting into your paycheck. By eating healthier, you decrease your chances of calling out sick, and therefore save the money you would have otherwise lost by staying home.
Eating healthier is a great resolution for any time of the year. Not only do you feel better about yourself but you also end up saving money in the process.