Eating Healthy on a Tight Budget
When you are living on a tight budget, even paying for necessities can be stressful. Finding the money to put food on the table should not be stressful. You can create a healthy menu with less money. You may have to get creative with your menu, but you can feed your family healthy, filling dishes and spend less.
Here are a few tips for making the most of your food budget:
Skip eating out: If you are living on welfare; you likely do not have enough money to pay for eating out at restaurants and putting groceries in the fridge. Eating out is, without a doubt, more expensive than purchasing your own groceries. If you want, budget in one meal a month so you do not feel deprived.
Skip organic: Organic anything is nearly always more expensive. While eating organically has its benefits, when you are on a tight budget, sometimes the best you can do is just to get fruits, vegetables and whole grains on the table. Buy regular produce and rinse it or soak it in a vinegar/water mixture to remove excess chemicals.
Buy in season: If you purchase fruits and veggies from the grocery store, buy whichever fruits and veggies are in season. In-season fruits and veggies are cheaper. You may have to experiment with new items, but you may be surprised to find that you actually like some of your new choices.
Plant your own garden: You can easily grow herbs, tomatoes, cucumber and even peppers in a small garden. Try planting small strawberries in a window box. You will have an organic product without forking over extra cash, and you can cut back your grocery budget or use the money you save on other items.
Cut back on milk: Milk has many healthy vitamins, but it can be pricy. Drink more water and eat less expensive foods (like leafy greens) and peanut butter to get your daily dose of Vitamin D and protein. Another milk cheat: Buy on liter of whole milk and split it into two containers. Add equal amounts water to the milk halves and you now have 2 liters of skim milk; twice the milk for half the price.
Go vegetarian one meal a week: Meat is usually the most expensive item on the grocery list. While getting meat on sale is a great way to save tons on your grocery bill, you can also try eliminating meat from at least one dinner a week. There are plenty of filling, tasty, budget-friendly, meatless options.
Canned or Frozen: Want to know a secret? Frozen veggies are just as (or almost as) healthy as fresh. They veggies (fruit too) are flash frozen, which means the veggies, still contain their nutrients. Frozen tends to be cheaper than fresh produce, so if you are really in a pinch, do not be afraid to snag a bag of frozen veggies instead. Canned veggies and fruits are usually the least healthy options because of sugar and salt content. You can counter this by purchasing fruit/veggies soaked in water or their own natural juices and rinsing all canned veggies before cooking.
Eat healthy and stay on a budget, with less stress!