How to Eat Healthy and Save Money (Budget) on Food? 7 Simple Tips
Climbing food prices make it a challenge to eat healthy and still save money on food. But if you use your imagination and change your way of thinking about the products you choose, you will find that saving money and eating healthy can help you to enjoy more variety in your meals and cut out unhealthy choices.
Buy Bone-In Meats
Do you think boneless, skinless chicken breasts are a healthier choice for dinner? Think again. Bones contain minerals and compounds that cook into the meat, providing you with a variety of nutrients that support your immune system, strong bones, and healthy joints.
Bone-in meat is generally less expensive than boneless meats. The best part is that you can use the bones to make your own bone broth.
So, if you purchase a whole chicken, you can make it go even further by using the bones, skin, and other leftover parts to make broth for other meals.
Homemade stock is much healthier than the watered-down canned versions you find ready-made at the store. It also has a rich, robust flavor that makes excellent soups, stews, and sauces.
Get Fruits and Vegetables in Season
Seasonal fruits and vegetables are not only higher in nutrients, but are also less expensive. In order to provide consumers with year-round produce, vegetables are shipped from around the world when they are out of season, adding to costs and reducing freshness.
For example, asparagus purchased in April is harvested in the US; the same vegetable bought in December comes from another country that’s able to grow it in the off-season. After travel time, nutrients diminish and so does taste.
Eating seasonally also gives you something to look forward to while providing a way to get a good variety of foods into your diet.
Local farmer’s markets make excellent sources for low-cost, nutritious food. Farmers often give good deals, especially when they see you every week. And as the end of season draws near, you can get amazing deals on fruits and vegetables.
Stock up on these products. Preserve them for the coming year by freezing and canning. You will save loads of money and eat healthier, too.
Make Stews and Hearty Soups to Freeze
A slow cooker is a great appliance to have on hand if you want to save money on food and eat healthy. It doesn’t take much time, money, or effort to throw together some meat and vegetables, add seasoning, and let it cook while you’re at work. Slow cooking also draws out nutrients and flavor, and allows you to make large portions that you can freeze or have for lunch the next day.
Use seasonal vegetables along with your bone-in meats to create delicious flavors in soups and stews. You will be amazed at how much time and money you can save as you create a variety of simple, healthy meals.
Include Egg Dishes in Your Weekly Menu
Don’t overlook the benefits of egg dishes that you can enjoy any time of day. Use your favorite vegetables and seasonings to create frittatas, omelets, and quiches. Even fried eggs over steamed vegetables makes a satisfying dinner.
It’s easy to make appetizing, low-cost meals with eggs. They’re even delicious with a side of sauerkraut!
Try Making Your Own Fermented Foods
Homemade sauerkraut contains an abundance of live probiotics, more than you find in the processed versions at the store. Probiotics support healthy digestion, immunity, and brain function.
Fermenting your own sauerkraut is easy. Shredded cabbage in a mason jar with some sea salt and filtered water are all it takes. Shredded beets, carrots, or zucchini may also be added to create some variety. Toss in four or five cloves of minced garlic, and you will never be able to buy commercial sauerkraut again!
One medium head of cabbage can provide you with two quarts of homemade sauerkraut. For pennies per serving, you’ll have a ready-made vegetable that works well with virtually any protein.
Pickles and relish are two other fermented foods that are simple to make at home, saving money and providing quick vegetables that are well-preserved and readily available.
Use Leftovers for Snacks
Instead of purchasing snacks from the vending machine or grocery store check out line, make a little extra food at dinner time that you can save for the next day. Cold meats or vegetables make excellent healthy satisfying snacks.
Sweet potato is a vegetable that tastes delicious whether it’s warm or cold (think sweet potato pie). Leftover mashed sweet potato made at dinner can be stored in a container and brought to work the next day for an afternoon snack that’s much healthier than a bag of chips.
Extra chicken can be added to some greens to provide a nice chicken salad for a snack. Don’t let conventional ideas of what constitutes a snack cloud your thinking!
Finding solutions to rising food prices and unhealthy temptations requires some creativity and thinking outside the box. When you know how to eat healthy and save money on food, you have the power to create tasty nutritious meals while staying within your budget.