Planning healthy meals when your on a budget
Saving money is so important in every part of your life and your health is no exception. Really, having a budget was the key! I spent some time looking for which stores had what sales and figuring out what we needed for two weeks.
A big one was getting my kids to love eating whole foods too. This makes it easier to by healthy and still have snacks for the kids. My youngest is a bit picky and it’s still a struggle but not buying them unhealthy snacks has helped me stay on track and helped them develop healthy habits. They don’t always like it but it gives me the opportunity to explain why it’s important and help them be better educated on nutrition. Plus through time they’ve come to enjoy fresh produce instead of gummy snack or chips. This is super difficult to do at times but if you can accomplish it will save a fortune.
The hardest food to get rid wasn’t even munchies and processed snacks it was cereal. The kids love it and I’m a kid at heart, so I loved it too. I will forever miss captain crunch! However, it’s been worth it and the kids really haven’t complained as much as I thought they would.
Creativity is at it’s highest when it comes to desserts! If your going to have a cheat meal you wanted it to taste delicious! Figuring out how to make apple crisp, cookies, candied sweet potatoes, tacos, and pancakes and do them healthy was my biggest accomplishment. I highly recommend playing with favorite recipes and figuring out how to replace bad ingredients with wholesome ones. No processed sugar and access salt means no fighting cravings later and you get to eat something amazing. You cant go wrong there.
Admittedly this one is not a great option anymore since most coupons are for very unhealthy food. However, sometimes you can find buy one get one free for supplements. You can also find some for yogurt and basic products like cleaners and paper products that will make buying fresh produce and lean meats easier.
This one can go a long way! Especially when you only get what you need for those meals. This works best by creating a menu with meals that need the same veggies or meats so that everything you buy has multiple purposes. This one was the most time consuming but its also saved us the most money. It really makes it easier to find sale items that you really need.
Once I found Sprouts Farmers Market and haven’t turned back. There are farmers markets like it all over the US if you don’t have this particular one in your area. Most sell local produce for the most part and the cost is very competitive. I’ve found produce like apples on sale for way cheaper than our big chain grocery store. I recently got strawberries for 0.88 per package. You cannot beat deals like that! I’ve also found that what I buy will last two weeks whereas anywhere else I get it I’m lucky if it lasts a week. This is huge for saving money because you won’t spend $50+ on produce and throw half of it away!
Frozen fruits and veggies are a great way to save and eat healthy. Frozen veggies are fairly cheap and last for just about as long as you would need them to. Frozen fruit is great for a snack but you can also heat it up in a pot and add some coconut sugar or honey to it and make a syrup for pancakes or if you really reduce it down with some arrowroot you can make a “jam.”
This is the best thing we ever got! These cost anywhere from around $100 to $300 for a basic freezer. It’s fantastic because you can stock up then only buy meats when there on sale. We normally stock up when we get our tax return. It’s been huge in keeping healthy meats in the house without going broke. Plus there’s nothing like the peace of mind having a freezer with a months worth of meat can give you.
Keeping healthy food in the house is not always easy but it can be cheaper and outlast prepackaged foods like corn dogs, “diet” meals, boxed waffles, cereal, etc. It can actually save you a lot of money. Part of that is learning to make some things from scratch and using whole wheat or oat flour, syrup like mentioned above, creative lunches and dinners using whole foods, and making unhealthy fast foods at home but using nutritious ingredients. This sounds tedious and time-consuming but really now that we have Pinterest it’s as easy as searching for meals using whatever ingredients you want to use. For example “healthy chicken dinners”, “healthy carrot side dishes” or “healthy tacos”