Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget
Let’s face it. With all of the talk about eating healthy and buying organic whole foods, not everyone can afford the price tag on whole foods. I do encourage you, however, to take a look at where and what you are spending your food money on. Sometimes it’s a manner of reallocating your food money from eating out to buying quality whole foods and eat at home. Sometimes it’s a matter of buying less fast food and reallocating that money to buying whole foods. However if you are on a tight budget, you have to start where you’re at and do the best you can. If that’s you, this article is for you.
First of all, healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive. You can check grocery store ads and newspaper inserts for sale items and coupons, even in whole food markets.
I am an advocate for planning meals from what’s already in your refrigerator or pantry. This saves time and money.
If you haven’t already, I recommend a kitchen makeover where you are switching out high sodium can goods for low sodium can goods; you are replacing white staples for brown (brown rice, 100% whole wheat flour, sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes, etc.)
Buy frozen instead of can if at all possible. Frozen is not only affordable, it is preferred over can goods in terms of being nutrient rich, and minimal to no processing involved.
If you have high sodium can goods in your pantry, don't throw them out. Simply rinse before using. Going forward, I recommend that you buy low sodium can goods, especially if you are dealing with high blood pressure.
Become a fan of left overs. You cook once but get to eat twice or more.
Buy local and in season produce. Knowing what produce is in season can save you money.
Buy only the items you really need.
Substitute an ingredient that you have on hand can save big bucks! Why buy a large or expensive ingredient that you are only going to use once or infrequently when something else would work just as well. I.e. make buttermilk from what you already have as oppose to buying a carton (1 cup buttermilk, 2 tbs. lemon juice or white vinegar stir and let sit for 15-20 minutes).
Take advantage of sales. If an item you use often is on sale and it can be stored, consider buying enough for a few weeks. Ask for a raincheck if the store is out of the sales item.
Buy a generic product vs. a name brand. The generic product is usually less expensive and generally is just as good.
Consider doing your own prep work. I.e. Buy poultry whole as opposed to already cut up. You pay more when items are prepackaged, precut or precooked.
Consider plant based protein sources like beans and legumes. They cost less and are typically healthier than meat and they go a long way. In my family we call that "making a big pot! "big pots" delivers multiple meals!
To coin a familiar phrase: If there’s a will, there’s a way. To say it God’s way: Let their first be a willing heart. Just by making a few adjustments, you can create healthy, savory meals on a budget.
Changing mindsets, changing appetites, transforming eating habits
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