The prospect of eating all organic, non-GMO, whole foods can be a little daunting when you take a look at the price tag attached to some of the popular superfoods at your local health food store. It can be hard to justify the switch to healthier food, especially when you’re also swamped in other bills!
One of the reasons that health foods can be so expensive, is if you’re buying packaged items instead of fresh whole foods. But there is a better way! With these strategic tips, you can start eating healthier, all while saving time and $$$.
Top tips for building a healthy pantry
- Deep Clean – Empty out those cupboards, and sort through all your packaged goods. Compost or dispose of what is expired, and donate unopened & unhelathy food that you don’t plan on eating to your local food bank. Read the labels on all your packaged food, and watch out for ingredients that you can’t pronounce / additives, and preservatives. Purging your cupboards will make room for healthier food, and easier organization.
- Make a list of important staples that you would like to have on hand in your pantry. You don’t have to go out and buy them all at once, but this will help you have an idea of what you’d like your pantry to look like in the end. If you can stock your shelves with healthy “staple” foods, you’ll cut back on time spent at the grocery store. See my list of staple foods below for ideas.
- Buy in bulk whenever you can, and avoid packaged foods. Start collecting glass jars and re-usable containers for easier organization. I like to store bulk items in glass jars because they will keep longer, and are easier to organize and see. When things are organized, it always sparks my creativity and makes it easier to plan a healthy meal.
- Eat what’s in season – Berries and tropical fruits can be quite expensive if you live in North America in winter. Plus, they are less likely to be organic and may be sprayed with preservatives. If you can, try freezing fresh berries and even tomatoes when they are in season and grown locally.
- Stock up on plant based proteins – Beans, pulses, nuts, quinoa, spirulina and tempeh are all great sources of healthy plant based protein, and are very cost effective. If you do eat meat, try limiting your consumption to weekends and get creative with plant based proteins during the week!
When you swap out packaged and processed foods for whole food alternatives, you’ll start to notice a difference in your health and digestion very quickly. Other positives include: less food waste, less packaging to dispose of, and less money spent.
I find that when the kitchen is organized and stocked with healthy staples, it becomes much easier to cook a healthy meal, and feel inspired to do so. Once your kitchen is well stocked you’ll be able to make short trips to the grocery store just to buy fresh fruits and vegetables – much more efficient!
Staple Health Foods
This is a list of some items that we always keep on hand in our pantry. I hope that this inspires you with new ideas!
- Brown rice
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Black beans
- Nutritional yeast
- Quinoa pasta
- Whole wheat flour
- Coconut flour
- Almond butter / cashew butter
- Coconut oil
- Avocado oil
- Coconut butter
- Organic herbs and spices
- Vinegars – apple cider and rice vinegar
- Tomato sauce
- Vegetable broth
- Nuts and seeds – almonds, cashews, sesame seeds, hemp seeds etc.
- Sprouting seeds
- Dried fruit
- Coconut sugar / agave / maple syrup
- Raw cacao
If there are any essentials that you think I’ve left you, please comment on this post and tell me ! What are your “staple” health foods that you always like to have on hand?