and regular contributor for aupair jobs.
In a world that is dominated by fast food restaurants on every corner and convenience foods in every grocery aisle it’s easy to get swept up in picking up food on the go and incorporating less than stellar eating habits. A lot of people are swayed by the higher price tags that tend to accompany the foods labeled “health foods” and opt for cheaper, processed options instead; however your family’s health is one of the most important things you can invest in. The good news is it is possible to eat healthy on a budget. All it takes is a little planning.
- Grow your own herbs
Instead of relying on store-bought herbs that come in such large portions that they rarely get used before going bad, grow your own herbs. Being able to pick the right portion straight from the plant will save you from throwing out large quantities of pre-picked herbs, which is essentially the same as throwing away money. Not to mention you’ll have a certain satisfaction gained from growing them yourself.
- Shop mid-week
A lot of grocery stores will mark down vegetable trays, various produce, dairy products, and even meats mid-week when people are less likely to shop because they need to get rid of last week’s shipments in preparation for the upcoming ones. This means you can snag some great deals on products you’d be buying anyways. Another benefit of going mid-week: the kids are usually in school so you don’t have prying hands grabbing every treat they see.
- Plan your meals ahead of time
Going to the grocery store without meals planned out and a grocery list written is a recipe for disaster that almost always results in over-spending. When you go equipped with a list you’re much more likely to stick to it and use up everything you buy instead of throwing out fresh produce that you thought you’d use but ended up not. Sit down with the family once a week and get meal ideas from everyone so that you have a varied list that makes everyone happy.
- Buy from a local farmer’s market
Not only will the produce and meats be fresher, but they’ll also probably be cheaper than their grocery store counterparts and healthier to boot since most produce at farmer’s markets are organic and free of preservatives. Plus you’ll be supporting local growers, something everyone can feel good about.
- Incorporate meatless Monday’s
Meat is one of the pricier items at the grocery store, so if you can incorporate one day or more each week of vegetarian fare you’ll significantly slash your grocery bill. By including vegetarian meals rich in fruits and vegetables you’ll also be providing your family with healthier meals. You can create many vegetarian meals so rich with flavor that your family probably won’t even notice the absence of meat.
- Don’t overbuy organics
Some people get hooked on the idea of buying organic and start buying anything and everything organic. In theory this is a great idea, but in reality it’s probably just tacking on extra dollars to your weekly spending. Stick to the “dirty dozen” of organics so that you get the most organic bang for your buck. For everything that doesn’t fall on the dirty dozen list just buy the regular versions – your health won’t suffer and your wallet will thank you.
- Stick to seasonal eating....