Here are a few more tips for eating healthy on a budget. I hope you have found them to be practical and of benefit to you and your family. Please share your thoughts on this series with me.
I mentioned several times using grains and beans in soups. Soups are a terrific way to make a little meat or poultry go a LONG way by extending it with lots of vegetables and some healthy whole grains! Stews are another awesome, one pot (delicious) meal extender. You can buy the cheaper cuts of meat and using a small amount, round it out with cabbage, potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, garlic and any other vegetable you have on hand and serve it over brown rice, barley or quinoa. Just the thought makes me hungry!
Along with making soups and stews, don’t forget to dust off your crock pot! You can put all the soup or stew ingredients in there, set the temperature and forget it for a few hours or all day, and you’ll have tender, delicious meats and an easy, affordable dinner – in one pot. It makes wonderful roasts when they’re on sale and you can use the cheaper cuts of meat and still end up with tender meat.
Where I live in New York we have several bread outlets. These stores sell brand name breads, but at deep discounts. If you have any of these near you – be sure to take advantage of being able to buy excellent quality, whole grain breads at very low prices.
There are two parts to this tip. I keep mentioning you should watch for SALES. That alone is a huge tip – there are 5 stores in my immediate area that put circulars in the Sunday newspaper. I spend the 30 or 45 minutes it takes each week to go through the circulars and plan my meals around what is on sale that week. Rarely do I go over my weekly food budget and that’s usually only when there’s a special occasion meal involved that week. The next part of this suggestion is to take advantage of any coupons you can WHEN those items are on sale. If your store offers double or triple coupons, even better! I realize most coupons are for processed, packaged foods and honestly I don’t use most of them. I do however use the ones for paper goods like toilet paper and tissues. You can find coupons for yogurt, peanut butter, eggs, pastas, cereals, stocks and broths that make great soup/stew base, beans, canned tomatoes and sometimes I’ve found some for meat and produce as well. Just take the time to carefully go through them.