When families struggle with a declining economy, the monthly grocery budget may suffer. Fresh produce and lean cuts of top-choice meat may be passed over in favor of less expensive options. Staples of the low income family diet includes starches, canned goods, processed meats. Compared to the fresher and more expensive options, these foods do not provide the best health benefits.
The price of food is increasing, but that does not mean your family’s eating habits should be compromised. Becoming a savvy shopper at the grocery store is essential for maintaining your healthy lifestyle.
The most healthful of all foods is fresh produce. If you are interested in a healthy lifestyle, a large part of your supermarket budget goes towards these items. When money gets tight, you cannot afford as many fresh fruits and vegetables. You must find creative ways to save money on these items if you wish to maintain optimum health.
Purchasing fruits and vegetables that are both local and in season is one method of of saving money. Imported produce is more expensive. Keep track of what fruits and vegetables are growing in your area at the particular time of year. Supermarkets have sales on fresh fruit and vegetables they have an abundance of. To save the most money, keep your eyes peeled for these deals.
If fresh produce is out of your budget, other options are available. While frozen fruits and berries are available, they are usually not cost effective. Frozen vegetables, however, can be very healthful and inexpensive. In the realm of frozen vegetables, generic brands are often just as good as name brands. Canned fruits and vegetables are the less healthy option. If you do purchase these for low prices, choose those without added sugar or salt.
While starches such as pasta, potatoes, and rice are easy to squeeze into a reduced budget, they should be used sparingly. Excessive starch is detrimental to a healthy lifestyle. These products can be included in a healthy diet if they are coupled with plenty of vegetables and lean meats. Focus on whole grain pasta and brown rice for maximal nutritional value.
While fruits, vegetables, and healthy starches are the most cost effective foods for your grocery budget, lean cuts of meat can be included. Skinless, boneless chicken breasts are the flagship meat of a healthy lifestyle. Buying these in bulk can reduce costs. Simply freeze the extras until you are ready to use them.
For increased savings, consider purchasing other parts of the chicken. Avoid fattier dark meat. Purchase a whole chickens can save you money since you can use every part including the cooked carcass for soup-making.
Chicken is not your only option for a low-budget healthy diet plan. Canned tuna can be used to cook healthy casseroles. You might also find canned turkey on sale. The meat section of your grocery store can also yield inexpensive pork and beef.
When selecting pork and beef to include in a healthy lifestyle, the focus on the cuts with the least fat. Beef cuts with less fat will show less marbling. These selections are usually from the extremities of the cow and may be tougher than choice cuts. However, with marinating and slow cooking, these less expensive choices can be just as delicious.
Eating healthy on a budget is possible. By focusing on more nutritionally beneficial staples such as a whole grains, using the bulk of your supermarket money on produce, and choosing less expensive cuts of meat. You do not have to give up anything except the high prices.