How To Eat Healthy On A Tight Budget

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There are so many people around that want to eat healthy but feel as if they can’t really afford to eat healthy. Well I have found ways to get around that. Many of these ways are straight up changes in what we be and breaking bad habits but anyone can seriously do it! Of course everyone’s budget is different depending on the amount of people in your home, where you live, if you have kids at home, etc. 

Menu Planning:
meal-plannerMenu planning is one of the best things you can do is meal plan this will save you lots of stress it will cut down on the amounts you are spending. Menu planning will prepare you to get the things you need to make a meal which means you won’t be tempted to eat out as much and it will cut the multiple trips to the grocery store  which causes us to impulse buy which makes us spend more money.

I can not stress enough how important it is to meal plan. Whether it be weekly meal planning or bi-weekly meal planning. It’s a major part of the problem with most families, we decide what to eat day by day and sometime we get frustrated and give up and run down the road to the nearest fast food place. It becomes a mess. I’m going to save an in debt way to meal plan and give you the basics here to meal plan:

1.) Get 2 pieces of paper or type it up on the computer (remember you are going to have to print this out if you go that route)
2.) On the first piece of paper number it to either 7 or 14 (depending on how many weeks you plan for.
3.) Fill each number out with meals for every time you eat Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and maybe a snack.
4.) Stick with the plan! Don’t change your mind and not cook anything on the list.

The Meaty Problem:

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Here is a meatless meal idea (:

Most of the time when I grocery shop I go over to the meat section of the store and see the fluctuating prices of those meats. This is a problem here… I can’t imagine buying meats for the majority of the weeks.. It’s too expensive in my book. Especially the beef. Soooo the solution to this issue is cutting back on the meats and cutting back on the dark meats.

Have a few meatless meals a week. There is plenty of recipes out there that are healthy and meatless, but yet filling. Black bean burgers are my families favorite. It’s very yummy and cheap to make on top of that.

The second solution is cut back on those dark meats. Assuming you are not vegetarian or vegan, those options are good too. As you all know, ground beef is soo expensive. Oh and that steak… Goodness. Red meats are pretty expensive. My suggestion is to cut back on those red meats, yes even the pork. Red meats aren’t that healthy in the first place. But I am not going to get into a health lecture lol…I am not a diet expert by any means.

We have our limits:

Many of us go to the store not really having an idea on what to get. All we know is we need to go grocery shopping. We get to the store, go crazy, and over buy. SO, the best thing to do is have a list and a limit.

Before you go grocery shopping have a your grocery list written out and prepares and a limit to spend for the week or month or however you do your shopping. For me I try to go weekly just to make sure the produce I need for dinners or lunches don’t go bad before I get to them and it gives me something to do. When you are shopping try spending under your budget if possible. Don’t go over your budget is the most important thing here but when you go under your budget, the left over grocery money builds up and at the end of the month you then have extra!

 How Convenient:
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How problematic… Convenient foods or easy foods…  Don’t “also buy” the convenient foods.

While you are making a shopping list don’t buy easy to eat foods on top of the healthy foods. For one, that is when it gets expensive. For two, it’s not even healthy anyways. Sure they are nice to have when you are just wanting to pop that frozen pizza in the oven on a busy school night. But really, it’s not good to add it into your grocery budget. I am guilty myself for buying frozen pizzas and laying on the couch after a hard day. But, I do not buy that stuff using my grocery money. I use my extra money to do that and only 2 times a month. When you don’t add the convenient foods from the store to your grocery money you save money. When you buy all of the veggies and meats and healthier choices, then go and buy potato chips, cakes, frozen pizzas, soda, etc. on top of the healthier choices you will shoot your grocery bill up. So buy only healthy foods and skip the convenient/easy foods. You will save yourself a good amount of money.

High heels and name brands:

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So you are standing in the isle looking at 2 different brands, one is a brand you know and the other is a generic brand. The generic brand is a a buck fifty cheaper than the name brand item…what is your choice?

Instead of buying name brand foods, buy generic brands. Generic brands are usually cheaper buy a few dollars/cents. Foods made by generic brands taste almost the same if not exact. Only big difference is the price. You can get more for the same amount of money as brand name foods. There is nothing really special about a specific brand. Maybe the label, but that is about.

 The cow jumped over the, cart?:

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Let’s just put it out there right now.. dairy products will be the death of me. I LOVE cheese and I LOVE yogurts….but it’s time to let it go. NO, not completely you crazy… just cut it back… take it easy on the dairy products.

This is a little weird, I know. But dairy products aren’t exactly the best for you, in addition to it adding up in costs. Cheeses, milk, yogurts, sour creams, BUTTER, etc. all in which is pretty pricey when put together. So When you buy your dairy products be sure not to load up on different dairy products try buying substitution items or making foods that have less dariy products in them. My family buys almond milk for our cereals, cooking, and other things. We go through less milk that way.

 The Lion, Witch and the Pantry:

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Have you ever like opened your pantry and a half eaten bag of stale chips came flying out at you? Or like you could have swore you bought brown rice a month ago and you sit there and dig your way to the back and find Narnia?

My point is… Keeping your pantry and refrigerator organized can really help  with saving money on food. “UHHH HA..okay..how exactly?” Because an organized food storage area, is a happy one. You will be able to see where everything is, if you actually have something you are about to go buy again, and keep inventory a lot easier.  Plus it will cause less stress when you open you refrigerator or your pantry every time. “What if I can’t afford to do a pantry/fridge make over?” That is A okay. Many of us can’t really afford to buy fancy target canisters and can’t afford to do small renovations to fit the dream pantry. But that’s when the dollar tree is your best friend. The bins at the dollar tree really are awesome when organizing a pantry or fridge. They are soooo cute and come in different colors and sizes. After that, you can label your bins and everything with a simple print out you typed up and printed out. You don’t have to buy the fancy labels or anything like that, you don’t even have to label if you can’t or don’t’ want to! You could organize your pantry under $20 just at the dollar tree!

 I’m all about those veggies:

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The problem arises when we skip the veggie isle and run to the canned veggie isle and stock up that way. It’s not healthy to eat canned it also is the same amount if not less when you buy fresh or frozen vegetables. When you are buying fresh ones don’t come up with the excuse of ” they will go bad if I buy it” or “I can get it cheaper over in the canned isle.” That one can of so called “carrots” is a little less that the bag of carrots .. less as in money yes.. BUT I am talking, quantity. You get more buying fresh(frozen too) if you do canned.

Buy the vegetables fresh and freeze them. Many of us see the prices of the veggies at the market and shake our heads thinking “that’s too much for veggies. But that also depends on where you go and also what you are looking for. Is it in season? Or is it being sold out of season? In addition to what else we are buying on top of that. Yes, it may be expensive but in reality it’s not. I would rather buy some bell peppers and ground turkey to make stuffed bell peppers, instead of real beef. Ground turkey is dollars less than ground beef. So, in reality you are saving some bucks on that.

A helpful reminder:
Be careful what you buy and stay true to your list and your budget. When you start doing this it maybe a little complicated, but stick to it. You can easily adjust you budget and the amount of food your are uying until you get it right. It took me a year and half to finally budget for my family correctly adding in all the factors to the equation. I really encourage you to eat healthy and try these ways to budget in the healthy foods.

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