Healthy Eating on a Budget
With the cost of food continuing to increase, many people often wonderful how they can eat healthy when on a limited budget. Although it may be somewhat difficult, it is certainly not impossible. Careful planning is key. Below are some tips you can incorporate that will allow you to eat healthy on a budget:
* Plan meals ahead of time. Work out a weekly menu that includes a balance of all of the food groups. Stretch your meals by making stews, stir fry and casseroles. Doing this budgets your meat protein to accomodate several people.
* Make a detailed grocery list. Try to follow the store layout if possible to cut back on snack food temptations.
* Buy in season when purchasing vegetables and fruits. Try to buy as close to the whole product as possible. Its best to buy a potato than it is to buy a mashed potato product in a box.
* When in the store stick to your list. Try to compare fresh, frozen and canned and pick the most economical one. Some items such as carrots or beans are nutritious and budget friendly year round.
* Buy in bulk when its on sale. Do this especially for basics that you know will be used a lot. Flour and rice are good examples of something to buy in bulk.
* Visit your local Farmers Market to buy fresh organic fruits and vegetables. They also have honey that is freshly gathered by local beekeepers. Sometimes there are fresh jars of home made jams and jellies to purchase.
* Use store coupons and product sales on your purchases. If you combine both it will be a budget friendly savings.
* Plant a garden each year to give you fresh crops of healthy organic produce. As you dig in the soil and see the seedlings sprout and grow it will remind you of the blessings of the earth and God.
* Use your freezer to save the abundance of your garden for later meals. This will be a huge savings for your grocery budget.
When eating out try to go before four as you will get a reduced price for the same meal. These are called early bird specials and most places have them. Sometimes it is more economical to have a breakfast for dinner even when you are out at a restaurant. Lots of egg dishes provide extra protein such as quiche or eggs bendict. They can be just as delicious for an evening meal at home too.
Other Tips for Healthy Eating on a Budget, Healthy Meals on a Budget:
* Look for hormone free organic chicken and beef selections. There are sales run at stores so be watchful for the coupons and use them. You can chop into bite sized pieces to add to soups and stews later.
* Buy tofu as an added protein to stretch your meals. Tofu picks up the flavor of whatever its cooked with. So adding tofu to soups or stir fry along with beef will make it go further.
* Buy store brands to get a savings. Most store brands are very good in quality and should be tried.
* Do not shop when you are hungry, You will be tempted to go off of your grocery budget list if you do.
* Save any leftovers and spice them up filling quesadillas to make a filling meal for a group. Or try making chicken chili as a unique twist on a favorite. Sprinkle both with shredded cheese and serve to rave reviews.
* Try not to buy over processed food sold in attractive packaging. Your family is not consuming the box but the contents. There is more nutrition in whole raw foods even though they do take more time to prepare.
Year round low cost are available with these foods:
* Carrots, leafy greens, and potatoes
* Apples and bananas
* Black beans and garbanzo beans
* Wild and white rice make a healthy addition to any budget friendly meal.
When preparing a dish double the recipe and freeze half to provide a delicious meal on another night. You can also try a meatless dinner on occasion such as mushroom spagetti with salad. The meaty taste of the mushrooms will satisfy everyone. Also, sprinkle peas and garbanzo beans in salads to be more creative. Or try adding quinoa and barley to soups and stews. And do save the leftovers they can be used many different ways. Do different recipes for each week of the month adding or subtracting seasonal items as they become available. If desired you can after a month start over at the beginning of the menus if they were enjoyed. Take out the ones that people did not like that much. Planning for meal times makes everything run smoother and there are no last minute trips to the grocery store for a forgotten item. God has blessed us with providing such an abundance of delicious choices and its up to us to eat wisely.