With the rising cost of food today, it is even more important than before to plan how we shop and prepare meals, especially if we want to be healthy and teach our kids these important life skills. It is possible to eat healthy for less — it just takes a bit of work and a desire to want to do it. Once you get a system in place you will feel good about being in control of your health, prep time, and finances.
Below, you will find 10 simple tips to get you started.
- Learn to cook and eat in! This is the single biggest way to save money and be healthier. Cook dinners, broth for soups, breads, cookies and even snacks. You can control what goes in your food and it tastes better.
- Plan meals in advance using the grocery sales flyers. Go through the flyers and write down what’s on sale and start to think about the meals you can plan for the week based on the sales.
- Alternatively, buy in bulk and plan meals around what you have purchased. This actually gets you trying new recipes!
- Make a shopping list to avoid impulse buying. If you take the list but pick up a whole bunch of other things along the way, you defeat the purpose of the list and end up spending more.
- Eat in season. Go to farmers markets, discount grocery stores. Also, go berry picking. Stock up and freeze. There are huge savings doing this. You may want to plant some vegetables.
- Eat locally. It is fresher and healthier and often cheaper than produce that has travelled thousands of miles.
- Embrace beans and whole grains like quinoa and brown rice. They are inexpensive and can really bulk up a meal. Also, using a combination of black beans and meat in a meal cuts down on the amount of meat you use making it easier on your budget.
- Reduce your meat intake.
- If you have meat lovers in the family, buy whole cuts of meat. Buy whole chickens instead of boneless skinless chicken breasts, whole salmon instead of fillets, and roasts instead of steaks.
- Cook in batches. Cook 1 night for 3 dinners. Or, cook up batches of things like whole grains and freeze in single servings to throw in soups and salads for a meal later in the month.
If you take the time and make the effort to follow through on even some of these tips, you will be well on your way to a healthier lifestyle and you’ll be an excellent role model for your kids as you set them up for success in the kitchen!