You know that fancy, expensive, organic aisle at your local grocery store? Don’t even worry about it! Think eating healthy requires a gourmet kitchen and hours of prep? Not even close! Most food budgets go awry with spontaneous eating out, and buying pre-made meals for dinner. With a little planning and some savvy shopping, you can create delicious, quick, and healthy meals without breaking your budget.
Assess Your Situation
Buying an array of fresh fruits and vegetables, washing, cutting, and roasting, may not be practical for you. Think about your family’s schedule, health concerns, and personal likes and dislikes. Food is flexible and begging to be used creatively. There is a solution for every household’s situation if it is examined close enough.
Tip: Absolutely no time to cook during the week? Prepare food on the weekend and store leftovers in airtight containers for weekday meals.
Bonus Tip: Countless types of frozen vegetables are available. They are inexpensive, just as healthy, and are out of your microwave, ready to eat in minutes!
Make a Plan
Planning meals for the week, especially dinners, will enable you to buy only what you need when you go to the supermarket. This eliminates two very costly alternatives. First, you won’t waist money on unused or spoiled food. Second, there will be no need for a fast food run if you are exhausted of food, or ideas, mid-week.
Tip: Actually write your meal plan down on paper. It will help you to see exactly the supplies you need, and expose any holes in your plan.
Stick to the Basics
Companies spend massive amounts of money and time trying to convince you to buy their product. Don’t get caught up in their gimmicks. When it comes to your diet, find out what works for you, and then stick to the basics.
Tip: Don’t feel the need to buy a product just because there was a coupon for it. Only clip coupons for the products you buy and don’t feel pressured to buy anything extra.
Take Your Time
Have you ever read and compared nutrition labels and ingredient lists while shopping? Doing this sets the real healthy, affordable foods aside from the trying to appear healthy, more expensive options. Taking the time to do this, just once, can give you the knowledge to be a savvy shopper every time.
Tip: Never go grocery shopping hungry! This could lead to bad decisions, and overall ineffective shopping.
Eating Out Alternatives
Eating out can take a huge chunk out of your budget, and has been proven to contribute to obesity. Instead, opt for exciting, at home meals.
Tip: Homemade pizzas, create your own tacos, or even burgers and baked fries can give you the feeling of a unique meal for less than half the price.
It is possible to eat healthy on a budget. Steer clear of traps such as eating out and buying pre-made dinners. Knowing your needs and developing a plan will give you the tools you need to whip up healthy, delicious, budget-friendly meals.