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Eating Healthy On a Budget

Let’s face it, food prices continue to rise.  In the past, food inflation has caused riots in as many as 25 countries and there is a worldwide fear that riots and demonstrations will become more and more common.  Meat prices are at an all time high and with droughts in many countries that provide grain for the rest of the world, there is a little hope that many kinds of food will continue to become more and more expensive.

So what can you do to continue to eat and feed your family in a healthy way while on a budget?  There are actually some very simple steps you can take even if you do not have the opportunity to grow your own food.  Of course, if you do have the opportunity to grow your own food, take advantage of it! Food that you grow on your own is probably richer in nutrients and better tasting than what you can purchase at large commercial markets.

eating-healthy-on-a-budget

If you are on a fixed budget while prices continue to rise, your best option is to plan carefully.  The first step would be to plan a menu.  This will allow you to determine exactly what you need to buy.  Once you have this in place, make a list of all the foods you need to buy.  Breaking them up into categories will also help to reduce expenses, since you won’t purchase as much unused food.

  •  list all the foods that you would only have to purchase once a month or even less often.
  • Find the foods that you need to purchase every two weeks or so.
  • Fill out your list with a list of perishables.

These are the foods you need to purchase weekly.  Keep a checklist on a bulletin board or the refrigerator in your home and keep track of what you use.  By having a list when you go to the market, and knowing exactly what you need to buy and how much, you will spend less money and waste less food than you would by going and just picking up whatever you see.

  • Other habits that will be good to form are to look for ways to reduce the food you waste by spoilage or just throwing away.
  • Look for ways to add leftovers into casseroles, salads, and stir fry meals.  Stir fry is also a great method to reduce expensive meat consumption.
  • By cutting it into smaller pieces and mixing it with vegetables, you will not only eat healthier, but reduce the overall cost of your meal.

Whenever you have the opportunity, change your meals to fit the season.  By purchasing produce that is fresh and in season, you will save money.  Avoiding pre-packaged meals as much as possible will also help you reduce your expense and increase your nutritional intake.  Finally, look for healthy alternatives to empty calories – like sweets and candy.  Eating fresh fruit for example, instead of candy, will not only provide you with more healthy calories, but most likely help you control your portions and keep you feeling better.

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