One of the easiest traps to fall into when money is tight is eating unhealthy food. Healthy foods seem to be very expensive, after all. However, there are ways to save money while eating healthier foods. Yes, you can skip the ramen noodle section of your grocery store and still feed your family well.
What’s the trick? Planning!
Whether you work at home or away from home, your life can often be so hectic that it seems easier to order pizza or cook prepackaged prepackaged foods. However, these are usually much less healthy for you than the foods you cook yourself.
Start by selecting the recipes you would like to make. Deciding what you are serving ahead of time can prevent you from settling on something less healthy but easier to prepare just because you don’t feel like taking the time to cook the healthiest meal.
If time is a major issue, consider recipes in which you can make it partially or fully ahead of time. There are people who cook a whole week in a day, keeping their meals in the refrigerator or freezer. Even if you can’t fully prepare your food ahead of time, consider cutting your veggies ahead of time.
Planning your meals in advance also helps with your grocery shopping. Use your plans to create your shopping list. You may even want to plan your meals at the same time as you plan your shopping list by seeing what is especially in the grocery stores you plan to shop at. Buying special offer items can save you a lot of money. You may even want to stock up.
To save as much as possible, stick to what’s on that list. No impulse purchases! It takes self-discipline, but reducing impulsive elements can go a long way.
They may seem expensive, but fruits and vegetables in season are quite affordable and can be a great alternative to sugary or salty snacks. Their frozen counterparts are pretty good for you too and can be quite affordable.
If you have freezer space, buy meats when they have their best discount. You’ll want to keep track of what a good price is for each type of meat. You’ll also want to know when products are on sale. I know that my local Albertson’s, for example, usually brands their butcher department ground beef for $ 1 / pound somewhere around 9 o’clock every night. Guess what time I shop there when I need ground beef?
Make the most of your leftovers. It is very easy to forget them and have to clean the refrigerator several days later. Wasted food is money you are throwing away. Take out the leftovers for lunch!
Finally, pay attention to how you are cooking your food. You may not need as much oil as you have been using, for example. Sautéing can be a great way to mix meat and veggies into a delicious sauce. Drain off the fat when you cook ground beef to make it a little healthier. Trim excess fat from other meats to make them a little better for you. And don’t forget to eat your veggies! Try mixing them with some spices instead of butter … there are wonderful ways to bring out the flavors of vegetables