20 Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget
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- Majority of budget expense for fresh food. Avoids temptations on every aisle.
- Budget for quarterly purchases like bulk grains, meat, chicken sale, or automatically shipped items (regularly used products that sell at discount in bulk and automatic free shipments)
- Buy no processed food. Saves a bundle. Healthy granola staples are purchased in bulk. Things like almond flour can be frozen. Rolled barley or oats are much less expensive when purchased in bulk.
- Grow your own herbs – Spices can be very expensive and there is nothing like fresh herbs to highlight a meal – and at a great savings.
- Cook more with less. Check out the More With Less Cookbook by Doris Janzen Longacre. It has lots of simple techniques for cooking rice, grains, lentils, legumes, eggs and other healthy foods as well as how to make your own baking mixes.
- Cook for several meals and freeze portions. Things like rice bowls can be heated and topped with bits of previous meal abundance: vegetables, meat, sauces…
- Go meatless a few meals a week – have a regular day for baked potato bar, pancake (or waffle) party, or chef salad. Make “noodles” out of thinly sliced zucchini for a veggie lasagna or slice a large zucchini or eggplant and use as pizza “crust” for tomatoes, mozzerella and Italian seasoning. Have soup once a week. A friend taught me to make freezer soup: keeping a container in the freezer for single serving abundances of meat or veggies, and when you have enough, just add broth and spices
- Make your own Nuttzo – Nuttzo is a Seven Nut and Seed Butter, made with flax seeds, cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, hazlenuts and sea salt. Mix up your own combination in your food processor (or if you already purchase and keep almond butter on hand, just add some extra flavor and protein to the nut butter. It will go farther, taste like a treat, and pack more protein, fiber and Omega 3s.
- Can, freeze or dehydrate fresh fruits and vegetables. Puree fruit and dehydrate for fruit leather.
- Make your own laundry detergent and keep the savings for food! Plenty of recipes online like wellnessmama.com
- Make your own broth from vegetables or bones and vegetables
- Flip your meal – put meat and veggies on the plate and a smaller portion of rice on top
- Make your own salad dressing such as juice from an orange and a tsp. or so of zest, and 2 tsp. of honey with a dash of salt. You can add flax oil for a healthy topper or zesty spices to taste.
- Cook simpler – keep number of ingredients simple – some favorite cookbooks are Power Foods, 5 ingredient Fix, Ancient Grains for Modern Meals,
- Substitute healthier ingredients- NuNaturals powdered Truvia and liquid Stevia instead of refined sugar, Avocado instead of butter – makes a great chocolate pudding, flax meal or chia seeds for eggs, blend prunes and water for “lekvar” to use as substitute for shortening, or use applesauce and a half-teaspoon of lecithin granules, use ground flax for 1/4-1/2 of oil in sweetbreads, mix 1:1 flax oil and maple syrup for buttery pancake syrup, and hundreds more online.
- Have dessert! Make your own ice cream treats: Slice a banana, coat in dark chocolate, freeze. Or peel and freeze the bananas for banana ice-cream – just pop in the blender and whip it to a creamy, custardy ice cream! (you can stir in nuts if available)… Or mix coconut water and favorite fruits and pour into popsicle molds. I also make my own “jello” with fruit juice from canned fruit, knox gelatin and water. (Add water to juice to make 1 cup, sprinkle 1-2 packets of gelatin on top – allow to soften while boiling the 2nd cup of water which you stir in till dissolved, and refrigerate.
- Plan ahead – plan menus for at least a week at a time. Shop to your menu list – no cheating! Ideally, check out www.cookofthemonth.com — get menus and a shopping list for a months worth of eating!
- Menu your abundances! (never use the word left-over). If necessary make lists of what you can do with a whole chicken, for example – roast chicken, then cut abundance in strips and make fajitas, a quiche, or add gravy and veggies for mini pot pies
- Quiche-arole! If you want a crust you can use filo dough, or just pour eggs (measured out so you can measure ½ the egg amount of milk), add ½-1 cup cheese and your favorite spices and voila! A quiche – or if doubled, a quiche-arole! A favorite one is spinach, eggs, onion, and half feta and half mozzerela cheese plus seasoning. Simply yum.
- Pressure cooker, crock pot or Instant Pot (a combination of the two) can save a lot of money in the long run and allow you to tenderize the cheaper cuts of meat in minutes that would usually take hours to cook.