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13 de marzo 2019

Ideas to eat better on a budget

By now you might have learned that going hungry to the supermarket is a terrible idea. Often times we end up spending way to much money in things that aren’t the healthiest. So, first rule is: always eat before going shopping. But if you are trying to adopt healthy habits without spending a fortune, we have a couple of ideas that can help you eat better on a budget.

Make a meal plan, never forget the LIST!

One of the best ways of saving is planning. Which would be your family meals and snacks for the week? Sit down and talk about options and extra portions if you take lunch to school or work. Look at your pantry and check to see what foods you already have and make a grocery list for what you need to buy. A good tip to save and “stretch” expensive items into more portions would be to include meals like stews, whole grain pastas or soups in the menu.

Is the price right? Can you do better? 

Research for special offers, discounts and extra savings first on meat and seafood, which are the mose expensive items of your list. Then based on the results make a grocery list of the things you are buying at different stores and decide if the savings are substancial to make your shop hopping worth it. Many shops have a generic brand that offers the same product for much less. Sometimes the big brands make those other generic products! Give it a try, you might like it. Make sure to have a loyalty card for extra savings at stores where you shop. Talking about loyalty rewards, register here and SAVE on many of the brands you love. Every penny counts!

Buy in bulk, save big.

Hit your membership store and get the good stuff for way less. Be smart on your choices, pick products that you can pair in many dishes like: yogurt, frozen fruits and veggies (without syrup or sauce), dried beans, lentils, nuts and pasta, peanut butter, olive oil, coffee, certain whole grains like wild rice, quinoa and canned tomatoes. Before you shop, always remember to check if you have enough storage space.

The sweetest deal? Buy in season

Most time fruits and vegetables in season can cost less and add to the freshness of your dishes! PLUS you help support local farmer markets. A good thing will be to buy fruits and veggies at different stages, some ready to eat, some ripen if you might not use them right away. Remember pre-cut fruits and vegetables, can often cost more. Here is a seasonal produce guide by the USDA to keep you up to date with the harvest and know when to buy what.

TLC for your wallet

Canned foods are typically low-cost options all year round, they last much longer than fresh and it’s a quick way to add fruits and vegetables to your meal. Choose fruit canned in 100% fruit juice and vegetables with "low-sodium" or "no salt added" on the label. These products are just as nutritious as fresh, and often cost less. For vegetables, buy cabbage, sweet potatoes, or low-sodium canned tomatoes.

One day cooking and prepping = happiness all week

Take your day off to prepare large batches of your favorite recipes and make portions for the whole week, storing them in individual freezing containers. When you get home tired, not knowing what to eat… BINGO! Heat them up. Congratulations you just saved yourself some money on what could’ve been a take-out meal. Here you will find some healthy recipes gathered by the USDA to get you inspired.

Leftovers are your life savers

Prepare enough of a dish to eat multiple times during the week. Making leftovers part of your plan can save money and time. Get creative with your leftovers! Use them in different dishes, for example: use leftover chicken to make a stir-fry, over a garden salad, or in a quesadilla. Remember, throwing away food is throwing away your money!
In a nutshell, choose meals you can easily prepare when you don’t have a lot of time. Save recipes that take longer for days off. You also can prepare meals in advance to heat and serve on your busiest days. Drink water instead of buying sodas or other sugary drinks. Tap water is easy on your wallet and has zero calories. A reusable water bottle is a great way to have water with you on the go. Save time, money and calories by skipping the chips
aisles. And if you are trying to loose weight or have kids with you, be sure to choose the checkout lane without the candy.
Eating healthy on a budget is possible, rise to the challenge!

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