Tips for Eating Healthy for Less
With the rising cost of healthy foods, most people find themselves eating less nutritious meals. The fast-food chains have done very well this past year because people are choosing to eat off of the dollar menus to save money. There are things you can do to eat healthily but not spend a fortune. Here are a few tips on certain categories of foods that may help you stay healthy without breaking the bank.
Did you know that buying your meat on Thursdays is the best time to get good quality cuts of meat without paying full price? Most grocery stores mark down their meat on Thursday so they can rid of them before stocking the fresher meats for the weekend shoppers.
They are still good and if you have room in your freezer take advantage. You can also find an inexpensive deep freezer that will pay for itself in meat savings after a short time. We freeze meat all the time. If I find a family pack of chicken or ground beef, I separate it before I freeze it. If you wrap the meat in aluminum foil then put them in freezer bags, you can reuse the freezer bags the next time you shop!
Ground turkey can have just as much or more fat than lean ground beef? I recently found this out and now buy 80/20 lean ground beef. It’s lower in cost and healthier for you. You may also want to read my post with 7 ways to save on meat purchases for more ideas.
Fruits & Veggies
You do not need to buy fresh veggies to get full nutritional value. Frozen Veggies have the same nutritional value. Do not boil them. The best way to keep the nutrients in your frozen veggies is to buy the steam bag and microwave them. There are so many varieties of frozen veggies on the market that you can always find a good deal on them. If you really prefer sticking to fresh, make sure they’re in season.
Don’t buy a mango in January, buy them in August. Buy Strawberries in May and June to get those two for one deals. Even better, find your local strawberry field and pick them yourself. It’s cheaper and untreated. Corn is cheap but don’t waste your money, there is no nutritional value in corn, corn is truly meant to feed cattle and other farm animals, besides, by the time you butter your corn, it’s just not worth the extra calories for getting nothing in return.
If you buy fruit to make smoothies with, you can stock up when it’s on sale, or from the produce markdown area, and freeze it. Bananas, strawberries, and blueberries are my favorite fruits to freeze for smoothies. If you like to make your own tomato sauce, look for tomatoes that are marked down too. As long as you have time to make your sauce right away.
Bread and Bakery
You don’t need to buy same-day bread. Who eats a whole loaf in one day anyway? There is nothing wrong with buying day-old bread and bagels. I freeze my bagels anyway. Just thaw them in the microwave for 30 seconds before you toast them. You can do the same with English Muffins. You can often find these on sale. The best time to buy these is on Sundays in the early hours of the morning. But check with your local grocery store and ask them when they mark down their bread and baked goods.
As far as cookies are concerned, this is where the dough can add up (excuse the pun). Prepackaged cookies are filled with hydrogenated fats and store baked goods are overprices so my advice is to buy those Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines cookie mixes, on sale of course, and bake your own cookies. This will save you tons of money!
Eating Healthy and Using Coupons
If you use these tips on top of using your coupons, you can save a lot of money and still have healthy affordable meals. There are some things in life that are more important than others and eating healthy should be a priority. One other trick is to give up one or two things you normally buy that you really don’t need, to make up for the extra money spent on the things you really do need. You won’t really find coupons for fresh meats, veggies, or produce but if you use coupons on other things, it will free up money in your budget for the fresh items. Planning ahead with the store sales ad will help you figure out what to buy before you get to the store. This will avoid impulse purchases that cost too much, and it’s also helpful for meal planning.