Sadly, these days sometimes eating healthy is not always cost effective.  Organic fruits and veggies, especially, can often cost an arm and a leg and be expensive for those of us with multiple incomes let alone those of us on a fixed income.  Fortunately, eating healthy on a retirement budget does not have to be out of your reach.  Finding deals and trying healthy recipes can be fun and easy too.

When it comes to fruits and veggies, stick with what’s in season.  If it’s in season there will likely be an abundance of whatever it is and therefore the cost will tend to be lower.  If you’re looking to buy strawberries in the winter you will be paying a premium while buying them in the summer when they are plentiful will surely be more cost efficient.  Check out local farmers markets too.  By cutting out the middle man and going right to the source, not only are you getting the freshest produce, you’re saving money too.  Often times local senior centers will offer vouchers worth a fixed dollar amount for the purchase of fresh produce at local farm stands during the summer months.  Definitely worth looking into…free fruits and veggies??  Yes, please!!  If you’re in good health and are interested in a fun outdoor activity there is always fruit and veggie picking offered at many local farms.  You pick all you can carry and pay per pound.  Fruit and veggie picking is usually offered between the late spring through the fall.  Check the websites or call the farms to see what’s picking that day.  Again, by cutting out the middle man (and doing all of the labor!) you can cut costs and have the satisfaction of eating something you picked! If you want to continue that feeling of satisfaction and you’re also feeling a little adventurous, let’s take it one step further!  Save mucho, mucho dinero by growing your own!  Depending on your climate and the space that you have, you can grow a really nice veggie garden.  But don’t be deterred if you have minimal space.  Lots of veggies can be grown in pots on balconies or on window sills.  If that seems too difficult, start with some herbs.  They grow well on a sunny windowsill and are the perfect compliment to all of the healthy dishes on a budget that you will be whipping up!

Grains and legumes are another healthy option that can be purchased on a fixed income without costing an arm and a leg.  Buying them dry and in bulk is a surefire way to save some bucks!  Grains and legumes are super healthy and have a shelf life of practically forever when dried.  They may take longer to cook because usually they have to be soaked in water for many hours first but if you’re willing to put the time in the payoff will be great…legumes specifically lower the risk of heart disease, lower blood glucose levels and are great sources of protein and fiber.

I mentioned above that buying grains and legumes in bulk can save you money.  Well buying your basic proteins in bulk can save you money as well.  It may be worth it to look into joining a big box warehouse store.  You can buy and freeze lean cuts of meat such as chicken and beef for way cheaper per pound than buying at the supermarket.  Having these staples on hand will also assure that you always have something to eat at home therefore reducing those ”We have nothing to eat!  Let’s just go out.” moments.  Definitely not a good way to eat healthy or cost effectively on a fixed income!

Hopefully you’re inspired to try some new ways to eat healthy while saving at the same time! Good luck!

 

Check out these tips and recipes below.  You won’t be disappointed!

http://iowagirleats.com/2012/05/14/farmers-market-recipe-collection-farmers-market-skillet/

http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-yam-and-23331

http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-cook-beans-43766