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A big factor that gets in the way of eating healthy is how expensive nutritious food can be. Sure, everyone would love to eat a perfectly organic, gluten free, dairy free diet all the time, but you might not want to pay the additional costs these healthier options require.

The price of food is also rising every year. According to Stats Canada, each household spent an average of $8,784 in 2016 between groceries and eating out. Here’s how you can help reduce that cost while still getting the nutrients you need.

Grow your veggies. While it can’t be done in the winter, gardening is a great way to save on your grocery bill. Growing your own veggies means you can grow organic, perfectly healthy fruit and vegetables for a fraction of the price you would pay in stores. It’s also a great way to get daily exercise. If you’re limited on space, a planter box will work just as well. You can also pickle and freeze any extras to use throughout the winter months.

Buy directly from farmers. Farm to table is an ideal way to eat, and cutting out the middleman also means cutting out the extra cost associated with them. Make it a point to shop at your farmers’ market and you will see considerable savings, and have the added benefit of supporting local farmers and knowing exactly where your food is coming from.

Eat your leftovers. All too often we end up forgetting about and dumping our leftovers once they go bad. This accounts for the incredible $28 a week Canadians waste on food according to the Toronto Food Policy Council. That’s $1,456 a year you are throwing in the garbage. Make it a habit to eat everything in your kitchen before it goes bad and you’ll spend less, save more and waste less. It’s a win all around.

Cook more. Stats Canada shows that Canadians spend more than half of that $8,784 on eating out at restaurants and on fast food. Imagine if you cooked at home more instead of eating out so often. The savings add up over time, and when you’re cooking at home you actually know exactly what is going into your meal, so you can be sure that what you are eating is truly nutritious.

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