More than two-thirds of our population is overweight or obese. To worsen matters, that number is on a steady incline. As a result, many of us want to begin eating healthier foods, however the myth is that to eat healthy, we have to devote more money. Believe it or not, we can eat healthy on a budget. For allot of us, our food bill is one of the biggest bills we have. Most of us spend over half of our monthly earnings on food alone. For many we find it difficult to eat healthy foods while maintaining a firm budget. However there are ways to keep our food bill low and still eat healthy while being sensible. We can eat healthy, eat well and eat on a budget at the same time if we plan, shop smart and cook for ourselves.
When our budget is only few dollars a daily, pre-packaged foods can seem cheaper, particularly in the moment. Heavy, high-calorie, low nutrient food priced at pocket change may seem like it’s the best option when we’re hungry and our money is low. However buying packaged foods for every meal may start to add up over time, costing more in the long term, financially and health wise. Organizing menus and grocery lists ahead of time can keep us from making impulse purchases. With a little planning, we can make the healthy choice the easy choice. The usefulness of planning and preparation can’t be stressed enough. Planning our meals in advance, then writing out a grocery list based on our plan and sticking to it is essential when maintaining a healthy diet while on a shoestring budget. Planning ahead helps us to avoid the tension of not knowing what to make for dinner, which often times may result in us giving in to “value meals” and “dollar menus”. Instead of shopping everyday for our nutritional needs, menu planning helps us make the most of cheap staple foods. Meals based on wholesome starches like brown rice, pasta and potatoes merged with cheaper protein alternatives like eggs, beans, and lots of vegetables can mixed and matched to make soups and casseroles in bulk, that can be frozen for later. Preparing meals in bulk and storing leftovers in the freezer means that we can make quick and easy meals in the future by simply reheating, saving us noteworthy amounts of money and time. By using a shopping list as a pilot we can shape a healthy and appetizing menu for ourselves. We’ll eat well and we’ll eat enough quality food to be strong, look and feel good. Before going to the store, it’s a good idea to take note of what’s in our refrigerator and cabinets, having a grocery list in hand will help us avoid impulse purchases and overbuying. Organizing our list to spend most of our time shopping the border of the store, where the produce and healthiest items are typically found will help us spend less time strolling the inside aisles reducing pricey and unhealthy whim acquisitions like pre-packaged food, frozen meals, and confectioneries.
It’s critical to find and compare prices listed on shelves to get the best deals. In many cases, the generic, or store-brand foods taste just as good and have similar nutritional value as their name brand counter part, at a portion of the cost. Compare the generic with the name brand to make an educated decision. Use this technique in the produce aisle as well for produce items that may not be in season, checking the price for fresh versus frozen to help choose the cheapest option. Buying products in bulk or in family packs is a great way to save money. Most stores offer-frozen chicken breasts, grains, beans, nuts, and canned goods in bulk packages and sizes. We can synchronize our recipes with our bulk purchases so that the ingredients can be used in different recipes over the week.
Eating healthy foods lessens our risk for heart disease, diabetes, being overweight or obese, and certain types of cancer. Avoiding these conditions saves us from heartache and sickness, and also saves us money with lower healthcare costs. Meals made at home are usually smaller portions with less added oils, butters and other high-calorie ingredients like sugar and salt. Foods like dry beans can be bought in bulk and cooked in a crock-pot or on the stove. And allows us the option to make only as much as we need, or portion some out to be frozen for later. A huge part of shopping smart is to always be on the lookout for special offers. Value packs are great for staple and canned foods. These fillers are good and healthy options that’ll help us stay fuller longer and have more energy that lasts. We can save a lot of money buying canned food. And the best part is, it’ll keep long term. Miracles can be made with a canned something and some pasta or rice.
Eating lots of fruits and veggies, lean protein, whole grains, doesn’t have to be expensive. If we shop smart and plan ahead, we may be surprised at how much goodness we can muster without breaking the bank. The truth is, many ready made, fast, pre-packaged foods actually cost more than homemade foods. And they have more calories, saturated fat, sodium and added sugars. Writing down meal ideas for breakfast lunch and snacks as well and planning for leftovers makes life easier. At Gourmet Services Inc., we know that with a little discipline and will power we can all save more money by: eating less, stretching what we eat with vegetables, good starches and non meat proteins, purchasing store brand items, lean economy cuts of meat and canned fillers. And with over 40 years of experience, we know that there’s no meal more satisfying for you and your family than the one that you prepare for yourself.