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Eating on a budget often means eating what is quick, simple, and cheap. What has all those qualities that allows you to get away with doing nothing? Fast food. Fast food is anything but healthy. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be tedious and it doesn’t have to cost and arm and a leg.
Here is What Everyone Thinks
Did you know that eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive like everyone thinks it is? Every one thinks that eating healthy, means going to the grocery store three or four times a week to get fresh fruits and veggies from the produce section. Many think it means buying organic, free range, or even from a private seller.
In reality, to eat healthy, you need 2 cups of fruit, 2 and a half cups of veggies, and over 40 grams of protein per day. While fresh compared to frozen is better, it still gets you the nutrients that you need.
Meal planning is not hard when you think about it. There are seven days in a week, three meals in a day, with a snack or two here or there. That is around 35 meals that you have to plan. That may seem like a lot, but in reality, it’s actually super simple. A meal plan is about thinking of the healthier option. There is nothing saying that if you want have shrimp and stir fry over rice on Thursday and but you’ve got it planned for Wednesday, you can’t. It’s more so, so that you can see the healthy choices that you’re making. Check out the example of a weeks worth of planning below.
Make a List
Before you head to the grocery store, produce stand along the road, or the butcher, make a list. You’d be surprised how much money you actually save when you have a list to go by. Meal prepping can really help your list making efforts too. With meal planning, you can see exactly what you need to buy to make each meal.
On top of meal planning and list making, you can now buy in bulk. Buying in bulk does not mean that it will go to waste or that you’ll have portion sizes the size of Texas. Buying in bulk means more bang for your buck. Although it may be a little more involved than just coming home and putting groceries away, it is worth it.
When you come home from the store, make sure that you portion your meats out to the desired sizes. Using a food scale to portion size is a great way to know how you should make your cuts. Remember, your stomach is only the size of your fist, so keep that in mind when you’re cutting that steak up!
Frozen veggies and fruits don’t exactly mean lesser of what you need. This is like just like buying in bulk– Except for fruits and veggies! There is some talk that frozen veggies and fruits lose some of their nutrients in the freezing process and if they are stored for more than a year. This isn’t enough to forfeit the idea of buying frozen to save some money.
When you’ve got your meals planned out, head to the grocery store to purchase your foods. Fruits and veggies can be tricky when it comes to buying. You may not know which veggies you want to buy. The great thing about frozen fruits and veggies? They don’t go bad. You can keep them in the freezer until you’re ready to use them (within reason). That is the difference between fresh fruits and veggies versus frozen!
You’ve got your list of meals, you’ve got all the food items that you need, and you’re ready to start prepping. The benefits of meal prepping speak for themselves. Meal prepping is an involved process that takes time and energy. The biggest benefit of meal prepping? Convenience.
Think about it– You need something quick, grab a meal from the freezer and by lunch time, your meal is thawed and you can pop it in the microwave. The second reason it’s convenient? You’ve already paid for your meal, so you don’t have to worry about shelling out extra money for lunch.
More Tips To Save
Going shopping with family can be tricky. Especially when you’ve got a wandering kid or hungry husband. Kids will see the sugary cereals and the colorful boxes of food where as husbands will see the processed meats and fatty foods.
If you’re along, you can stick to your list and it will be less likely that you find stuff in your cart that didn’t belong there in the first place.
Eat Before You Shop
Eating before you shop will taper your wandering eyes. If you’ve got a full stomach, you’ll have the capability to keep your mind focused on the task at hand versus trying to focus on getting in and out quickly. With a full belly, you’ll also be more likely to make lesser rash decisions and stick to your list.
One Stop Shop
Instead of going to the produce stand on the side of the road and the butcher on the corner, head to one place to get all of your foods. You want to make sure that you stay in one spot to keep track of what you spend. While going to other locations, you can find different deals, it will be tricky.
Talk about the hands on method when it comes to your food. Gardening isn’t for everyone, but it is definitely a money saver. If you don’t have a green thumb, check out the seven easiest things to grow. While this will save you time, it may be more involved on when it comes to time.
Instead of grazing or picking at foods that may be unhealthy, drink 8oz of water when you think you’re hungry. Sometimes you’re just bored and you’re mind doesn’t know how to comprehend that. Drinking water can also help you meet the hydration quota you should set for the day.
While food is a necesity and it isn’t something that you should necessarily skimp on, it is important to know what is going into your body, know what is in your wallet, and feel good about both. Don’t let fast food entice you to the point that you will cave. Prepare a list, stick to it, prepare your food, and enjoy it. It’s that simple. A great way to save money and be healthy. What are some ways that you save on money when it comes to eating healthy?Find Mobility Guardian on Google+