In today’s hurried pace where everyone is on the run, it is easy to get caught up in the expensive habit of eating on the run and buying expensive fast foods or pre-made foods. However as prices rise and budgets are being stretched, it is time to take stock of eating habits and learning how to eat healthier on a smaller budget. With the amount of junk food available to us it is hard to make the decision to buy and cook healthier and cheaper. Now is the time to learn healthy and budget conscious habits to cut back on eating unhealthy and expensive foods.
THE FOLLOWING TIPS WILL BE USEFUL IN EATING HEALTHY ON A BUDGET:
* Plan your meals and make out the grocery list for the week and stick with the agenda. You will save money and will be able to shop wisely.
* Plan meals around foods that are on sale.
* Pre-make a dinner whenever you have time. If all you have to do is warm up the food, you will be less likely to purchase costly junk foods when on the run.
* Prepare double amounts of recipes that are easily frozen. You can reheat them the following week for a meal.
* Keep healthy snacks such as cut up fresh vegetables, nut butters (spread on whole wheat bread), fruit and/or yogurt available to eat. You can grab a nutritious snack when you are running around to stave off hunger until dinner time.
* Eat only when you are hungry. Eating expensive high calorie snacks will not help your waistline.
* Stay away from candy, desserts and junk food, they are expensive to buy and make, and are not healthy for you. Eat fruit instead. Do buy candy as a treat now and then, instead of eating it as if it is a food group. Save serving cake or pastries for special occasions.
* Cut back on the amount of meat you eat. A portion is the size of a deck of cards.
* Substitute meat with cheaper priced beans, eggs, seeds, nuts, legumes, soy products and low-fat dairy.
* Buy cheaper cuts of meat and marinade or slow cook them. You will have less fat to worry about. Stews, soups, roasts, casseroles and other hearty dishes can be made with the leaner cheaper meats and will taste great. They make great left-overs and freeze well.
* Purchase meat and fish that is on sale and within your budget.
* Chicken and turkey are still bargains for what you get.
* Shop around the perimeters of the store where the fresh and basic foods. Purchase fresh produce when it is in season or is on sale. Buy at markets that sell locally grown produce. The fresher the produce the more nutritious it is.
* Procure frozen produce when it’s on sale. Frozen is a great substitute for fresh locally grown foods and are better than fresh produce that has been shipped thousands of miles. Read the labels to make sure no preservatives or salt has been added. Stay away from frozen vegetables that have sauces and butter added. Season your own food.
* When canned goods go on sale, store up on the ones that you use regularly. Canned produce is almost as good as frozen. Avoid buying brands that have additional additives and salt.
With these tips, you can start eating healthier and spending less money on food. It may take you a while to “sell” the concepts to your family, but you can slowly implement them into your daily routine and spending habits. You will be glad you did so in the long run.