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Is it possible to eat healthily and save money? The answer is YES, but you have to monitor prices closely and avoid buying any processed foods—which implies cooking from scratch—and avoid buying fruits and vegetables that are out of season or pre-prepared.
Did you know that in western countries, grocery shopping represents the third highest budgetary spend for families, after housing and transport? In Canada, it was 12% of the family budget until recently, but it’s now on average 15%, and even higher for families on lower incomes. It is therefore important to mention some basic principles:
The cost of animal products has much increased these last few years. Buy only cheaper cuts, for example beef blade or pork shoulder, and cook them longer to obtain a more tender meat. You can mix minced beef to other foods to increase the number of portions from the recipe. With beans, lentils, chickpeas and tofu (much cheaper than meat), your chillis, spaghetti sauces, casseroles and stir-fries will become almost vegetarian.
Cook eggs, a nutritious, economical and versatile food.
Forget fresh fish, but monitor the offers on frozen fish and go for canned light tuna (less expensive and less contaminated with mercury than white tuna) and salmon for their precious omega-3’s.
Buy dry legumes rather than canned, as they are even more economical.