It’s no secret, in today’s economy money is tight and food is expensive. That doesn’t mean you have to succumb to the dollar menu and ramen noodle diet. With a little forethought and planning, eating healthy on a budget can be your reality.
- Start by taking inventory. Plan your meals based on what you have on hand. It’s estimated that a family of four throws away an average of $500 a year in spoiled food – $500!
- Use a shopping list to avoid bringing home extra items and staying in the store too long. Research shows that the longer you’re in the supermarket, the more money you spend. Get in and get out.
- Use coupons and the supermarket’s weekly circulars to save while shopping. (Obvious but so many people skip this step.)
- Cook at home whenever possible. It costs more to dine out.
- Use less meat. Prepare more meatless meals and stick to small portions of meat to save money and keep meals healthy.
- Buy store brands – especially for organics and staples like cereal and rice.
- Shop for produce in season, when it’s cheapest. That means buying apples now instead of in May.
- Stock plenty of frozen fruits and vegetables when they are on sale. If you have them on hand you’re more likely to eat them.
I’ve been answering questions about how to eat well on a budget since 2008 (early part of the recession). Now, with the increased cost of commodities and more, these stories are making a comeback.
Stay tuned for more to come…