Eating food that’s good for you is admittedly tougher than just grabbing a frozen pizza. You have to plan, budget and cook. But it’s not impossible! With a few quick tips, you can plan nutritious meals that taste good without breaking the bank.
Create a list
No matter how short your grocery list is, it is easy to spend more money and time than originally planned at the grocery store. Many of us are guilty of going to the store with the intention of buying one item, and an hour or two later leaving with a full cart and an empty wallet. To avoid getting trapped into strolling the aisles, create a grocery list to stay on task and on budget.
When shopping for protein-rich foods, try to switch up on your traditional meat product purchases. Rather than paying for the premium 90-percent lean ground beef, spend less on the 80- or 85-percent lean ground beef. Both options offer the same amount of protein and iron for a lesser value, just limit consumption of the less lean beef to once a week. To replace meat completely while still receiving enough protein, try substituting beans. Beans are high in protein and are often a better value than meat.
Shop the frozen aisles
Make the freezer your friend! Not only can frozen foods be cheaper than fresh, frozen fish and produce carry as much, if not more, nutrients than in a fresh state because the nutrients are preserved when frozen. Whether you’re making a casserole, stir-fry, pasta, soup or smoothie, all of these dishes can be enhanced with frozen fruits and vegetables. Watch for your favorite fresh produce – like blueberries – to go on sale and freeze them yourself.
Try a new recipe
Get creative with what you have. You will be surprised at how you can improve an omelet, soup or fried rice by adding ingredients you have in your fridge. Consider cooking up your vegetables to extend their life. After cooking, store your vegetables in sealed containers in your fridge to enjoy for at least a few extra days in salads or pastas.
Grocery shopping and cooking can be tedious tasks that make it easy to fall into routines. Routines that are not always good for your health and bank account. Get creative and have fun with your eating habits. Not only will your taste buds thank you, but you and your wallet will stay full and fit as well.
This information is presented for educational purposes only. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.