You can splurge on healthy foods even when you have a tight budget. If eating out or eating junk foods have been an excuse to overspending your budget, then you had better forget that excuse. You can always find foods at the grocer’s that are both high on nutrition and low on budget with a few of these tips.
A single step that can make a whole lot of difference in reducing your food budget and to letting you stay on course of a healthy diet. With meal planning, you can even pre-prepare foods and have them for lunches or repurpose them for dinners. An effective way to plan for your meals ahead of time is to make a list of ingredients you are going to use over the week or month and noting down 15-30 recipes that are both healthy and liked by you or your family. For a super-tight budget, choose recipes that include inexpensive ingredients.
If planning your meals a week or month ahead was a smart move, planning your trip to the grocer’s is even smarter. The key to sticking to a tight budget is to structure your meal plans around lean proteins, fresh produce and low-fat dairy products that are available on sale. Check out store sales flyers and look for additional coupons on the products to find the best deals on your list of items purchased.
If you are buying fruits or vegetables, it is always a wise idea to shop for the seasonal variety. These seasonal products are at their peak flavors and are abundantly available in general, which implies they can be bought at lower prices. Additional options to purchase seasonal produce include your local farmers market or opt for frozen foods. Compare the nutritional quantities while buying frozen, though and avoid ones that contain added sugar or salt.
Eating healthy would naturally include the omission of any canned drinks, sodas or processed juices. Apart from being unhealthy, they do foot up your monthly food bills to quite an extent. If you have not yet reduced your intake of these processed beverages, you had better start doing it now!
Non-perishable items like whole grains or dry products are usually inexpensive and high on the nutritional content. Stock up on these items during a sale at your local supermarket or go the bulk purchase method – either way, you get your daily dose of proteins and fibers quite effectively.
Buy your requirements of chicken or meat by the bulk, when they are on sale; stock them up in the freezer and cook up in different ways throughout the week. As meat is generally the highest dollar item on the shopping list as well as a recipe, you can try replacing the ingredient in the dishes with chopped vegetables, beans or other non-meat proteins.
Once you have stocked up your kitchen and the freezer, make the most of the ingredients by reducing wastage. Plan your meals according to the perishable quotient of the products – use products like dairy, meat and fish early in the week while you save the non-perishables for the rest of the week. Revamp recipes by using leftover cooked vegetables or meat.
Evaluate your expenditures on foods like pre-packaged meals, cookies, sodas, crackers, etc. Eliminate all forms of unhealthy, junk foods (except for the occasional indulgence) for a healthy diet – your pocket and body will be thankful.