When you’re on a tight budget, it’s easy to let money hurt your food choices. Groceries are expensive enough without worrying about buying the best quality foods, right? But the truth is that there are plenty of healthy ways to plan a meal that are budget-conscious as well.
By doing a little pre-planning, even people who work long hours at a job can eat meals that are both nutritious and tasty. Frozen meals and takeout Chinese might be easy and taste good, but the good health of you and your family is at stake so a little new learning will be worth a lot.
It used to be that to get recipes one needed cookbooks. But with the internet, finding a recipe for anything is as quick and easy as a web search. Take 20 minutes and plan a week’s worth of dinners. If you need inspiration, just search “health recipes”. You’ll find that these are usually as easy as following any recipe. All you’ll then need to do is buy the ingredients and you’re set for the week.
Using grocery store circulars to find the specials in advance of planning the actual meal can be a great way to cut your food budget by as much as half. Just plan your meals around what’s on special. You can even buy extra and freeze it for next week. But keeping to your shopping list and avoiding impulse buys is important for both budget and healthy choices so don’t shop hungry.
Time To Cook
It’s true that for people who work long hours or care for children, time can be at a premium. But just like planning recipes can be done in advance, food preparation and even cooking can too. If you can find an hour or so once per week, you could prepare the contents for meals for the week. You can just do the chopping and such or you can prepare the entire meal. Either way, it will be an easier way to get a healthy meal on the table quickly.
Fresh veggies and fruit are some of the best snacks you can get and are quite affordable. Salt and sugar-laden munchies like chips and such are not only bad for you, they can be pricey as well. If you’re trying to cut costs, sometimes frozen veggies and fruits can be an option as they are pretty healthy as long as you don’t go for the cheesy or saucy options.
Use Timing To Your Advantage
Just like using the circulars to stock up on sale items, many stores also have a particular time of day when they discount the day’s fresh meat. See if you can find out when that is at your local grocery. The discounts can add up. And it’s great as long as you have room in the freezer.
Don’t Forget To Use Your Leftovers
You go to the trouble of cooking a great, healthy meal, there’s food leftover, and you forget to eat it! This is a common scenario. Monday’s healthy dinner can just as easily be Tuesday’s healthy lunch instead of Friday’s garbage!
A Few Healthy Parting Shots
Vegetables can be just as a tasty plain or with a little salt and pepper as they are coated in butter. Beef usually has enough fat marbled into it to give it a flavor so trim the excess. Ground beef is tasty. Ground turkey and ground chicken are tasty too – and healthier!
Making low-cost meals that are also healthy doesn’t have to be a chore. And the longterm healthy results for you and your family are worth it.