Eating Healthy on a Budget
We all know that getting enough fruits and veggies is important, but sometimes making a healthy meal seems so daunting. It’s so easy to whip out a frozen pizza or grab some Ramen, especially when you’re on a tight budget. However, making a healthy meals can actually be easy, cheap and yummy with very little effort. Here are a few tips I’ve picked up in search of a way to make nutritional meals without hurting my wallet.
1. Buy local
I know Walmart seems easy, but trust me it’s not the best place to buy your produce. Buying fresh, local fruits and veggies can be much better and cheaper than what you find at your average supermarket. I try to only buy what’s in season because it’s usually cheaper. If squash is in season, then I make lots of meals with squash and so on. I used to think that it would be so hard to find a local farmer’s market. Once I actually looked for one I was astonished to find some great stands less than 2 minutes from my house. There’s probably one not too far from you either.
2. Eat less meat
Meat is pricey, so cutting out a little bit will free up more of your budget for produce. I know, you’re thinking that you’re hubby and kids will never go for this, but it’s not really bad at all. You don’t have to cut out meat entirely, just eat less of it. On average, most Americans eat 20 percent more meat than they need anyway. Just substitute veggies for half the meat in your spaghetti or chili and other in meals. My meat-loving husband hasn’t even noticed. I promise you won’t miss it much.
3. Beans, beans and more beans
You know what they say, “Beans, beans. They’re good for your heart. The more you eat, the more you…” well, you know! Not only are legumes good for you, they’re cheap too! You can buy a big bag of beans for next to nothing. They keep well too. Try out some cajun style rice and beans for a hearty meat-less meal.
4. Make Soup
Making a healthy soup is so easy. Just take a fresh veggie (like fresh broccoli) add milk, a little cheese and voila! You now have a broccoli and cheese soup! I love to take all of my veggie leftovers from the week and put them in a pot with some chicken broth for a quick veggie stew. The possibilities are really endless.
One of the best tips for easy, healthy meals is to double up recipes when you’re cooking and freeze half for later. It’s a huge time saver and makes it possible to have a healthy meal on busy nights. I try to keep several frozen meals in the freezer at a time. It makes a nutritional dinner just at easy as popping a pizza in the oven. So don’t think it’s too hard to eat well on a budget! It’s really very do-able.