When your budget tightens, preparing healthy, yet tasty meals become a daunting task. This is when you fall prey to the tempting merchandising tricks of the grocers and deviate from healthy eating. There are times you end up eating the same foods for the mealtime. But there are some ways to eat healthy and tasty meals even when your budget is tight. All you need to do is to take charge of your kitchen and expenses. A little creativity and organization could help you. Check out what you can do to enjoy tasty and healthy meals without spending too much.
1. Plan Your Meals!
Meal planning can bring a huge difference. It helps in curbing the budget while ensuring that you stay on track with healthy foods. You could even prepare certain foods ahead and re-purpose those for dinners and lunches. Keep aside a black of time to plan your meals and chalk out the grocery list. Include healthy recipes that you could pick from the internet. Swap the ingredients without compromising on the taste of the dish, but is well within your budget.
2. Buy When In Season And Stock Up For Later Use!
This is one of the best ways to enjoy your favorite healthy delicacies even during off season. Stick to buying the vegetables and fruits what is currently in season. They would be cheaper on your pocket also; plus, fresh produce is always good for health. You could freeze veggies such as corn in bags without compromising on the nutritional value. There are items that you could store in your cupboard to be used later.
[ Read: How To Freeze Food In Plastic Containers ]
3. Choose To Include Whole Foods In Your Diet!
Unprocessed, whole foods are not just cheaper; they are nutritious too. They also offer an opportunity to you eat less and spend less. When it comes to carbohydrates, opt for potatoes, bananas, oats, rice, whole wheat, spinach, and cabbage. Healthy fat options include flax seeds, grass-fed butter, assorted nuts, and olive oil. You could pick the foods that are available locally instead of choosing from international options.
4. Choose Inexpensive Vegetables!
The price of vegetables vary depending on the source, time, and availability. So use those vegetables that belong to the season and are produced locally. Avoid purchasing those that have been shipped from the opposite end of the world. And, then there are certain veggies like sweet potatoes and cabbages that you would find throughout the year. These can easily be used as substitutes in various recipes and are great fillers too. Find local farmer markets as they offer veggies that would not be too harsh on your wallet.
5. Opt For Less Expensive Cuts of Meat!
Meats need not necessarily be excluded from your meals even when you have a stringent budget. Opt for those cuts that are quite cheap. Chicken thighs could easily be substituted for chicken breasts. Changing the cooking method into slow cooking would also make up for the tougher meat cuts.
6. Buy Inexpensive Proteins For Your Meals!
Whole proteins keep you fuller and promote fat loss also. Forget the salmon and steak for daily use. Choose to include inexpensive proteins such as ground beef, canned tuna, cottage cheese, milk, eggs, and unflavored yogurt in your meal.
7. Shop In Bulk Amounts!
Choose to make the most out of the promos. Find out if your departmental store is running sale on foods such as rice and oats. You could easily buy them in bulk and store them without compromising on their nutritional values. Frozen fruits and veggies could also be bought in bulk. These foods save your money, time, and are rich in nutrients.
8. Avoid Buying What Is Not In Your List!
Impulse buying is a major threat when you are eating healthy on a budget. Ensure that you always stick to the list you have made. Eat food before you step out of the house for shopping. According to a recent study, people who do shopping after a meal are less prone to impulsive purchases. Try to shop alone if you feel that your spouse or kids might indulge in impulsive shopping.
9. Stop Eating Outside!
Eat homemade food and when you do this, you would have the complete control over what you eat and how much you eat. If you are working, pack your lunch. Take a homemade shake to your workout destination. If you are planning to go out with your friends, ensure that you have had your meal.
10. Grow Your Food!
This is one of the best ways to eat within your budget without compromising on the health factor. And, it is cheaper and tastier than your frozen delights. You could rent a garden plot for a longer time if you do not have your own space and grow the veggies you would love to relish. If you have ample space, you could even grow apples, berries, and walnuts.
Few More Tips!
- Cook a bigger meal and freeze the extra to be used later.
- Repurpose the leftover meal in novel ways to craft a delicious meal.
- Use the vegetable trimmings to prepare vegetable stock for your soups and casseroles.
- Pick recipes from the internet.
- Choose one-pot dishes that saves time and money, yet taste fabulous!
- Limit or totally stop dining out!
These tips and techniques are tested with successful results. So, try them and enjoy healthy eating while on a tight budget.