5 Tips For Eating Healthy On A Budget!
It’s getting harder and harder to put food on the table for many families around the world. Rising costs of food have left many to opt for prepackaged choices not only for their convenience factor but also their sale factor. What you may not realize is most of those favorite prepackaged, boxed, bagged, and processed foods are so devoid of nutrition that all you’re really buying is a container of crappy chemicals.
1) Stop eating commercialized, processed and packaged food!
Anything packaged has been processed to some degree and while we can’t avoid all things packaged, we can make smarter choices about the packaged foods we do buy.
Read ingredient labels and look for minimal ingredients. Try to avoid buying items with ingredients you can’t pronounce. Look for organic and familiarize yourself with what companies have ties to Monsanto (even organic based ones!) and avoid fast food, take out, and soda pop altogether to save even more money!
List of food companies that use GMOs. Keep them out from your shopping carts.
2) Eat more fruits and veggies!
We’ve all heard this before, but most times our favorite produce products are not very budget friendly. Don’t fret! Keep calm and plant a garden!
If you can’t plant a garden, larger cities have community gardens or join a CSA (community supported agriculture), or visit farmer’s markets. Sometimes driving 1/2 hour out of the city to a rural farmer’s market will see you saving money at the stand, prices are higher in urban areas for fresh farmer’s market produce.
By now you should have some idea what your family uses on a daily basis.
We use a lot of diced tomatoes here. At almost $1 a can, these are not very budget friendly in our opinion, so we grow tomatoes right in our own backyard!
You can preserve them by canning, freezing, or drying. (Sun-dried tomatoes, anyone?)
Bell pepper bounties can be chopped and frozen in bags to use all winter and even mixed with onions for an easy addition to many meals.
Anything you grow can be preserved by some means if you’re interested in learning how.
3) Start making things from scratch!
And everything you make and eat from scratch has no preservatives, chemicals, or pesticides (if you grow organic, which I recommend).
At my house, I like to whip up a batch or two of tortillas and put them in the fridge to use for the week or freeze in large quantities.
This way you avoid store-bought, chemical laden bread products and have a tasty treat with so many uses. Homemade tortillas (and bread) are cheap and easy to make with all types of flours.
Some things we like to make with my tortillas are: mini pizzas, breakfast burritos, sandwich wraps, quesadillas, fajitas, and toasted tortilla taco salad.
With a batch of tortillas handy, budget friendly dinners are only as far away as your imagination can take you!
4) Substitute and/or stretch your meat!
Ideally, if you want to be at your healthiest, I recommend a diet with minimal meat. For some, giving up meat is not an option or a desire. But you can enjoy the best of both worlds by stretching your meat. Try using half as much meat as you’re used to and substituting the other half with lentils or other legume.
Lentils can be used successfully to replace burger in almost any recipe. They are a powerhouse of nutrition and protein, pound for pound more so than ground beef.
Dried beans are also very budget friendly and with a little planning can be made into some amazing meals, even in the Crockpot!
If you aren’t allergic to wheat, check out vital wheat gluten.
Mixed with broth, it combines to form a product similar to meat. It can take on many flavors and can replace meat altogether.
5) Don’t forget dessert!
We’re all suckers for something sweet! You can be healthy and at peace with yourself and still enjoy dessert!
Now that spring is turning into summer, we have access to an abundance of local fruits that can be made into a delectable dessert.
If you don’t grow your own, there are local farms throughout the US that have pick your own strawberries, blueberries, apples, cherries, raspberries, etc.
All of these can be preserved by way of freezing, canning, or drying.
A piece of your own strawberry pie is not something you’ll soon forget!
As with all things, enjoy your food in moderation. Life is all about balance. Find your cooking niche and do what you can. Any steps you take in a positive light will be rewarded right back to you!
Thank you for reading!
About The Author
My name is Alissa Turensky Mack. I enjoy writing poetry and short stories, as well making many DIY projects.
My fiance, Brandon, and I live together with a dog, a cat, a rabbit, a betta fish, and much greenery on the Minnesota/Iowa border.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me via comments below.