Healthy eating on a budget!

Eating healthy on a budget can be really hard, especially if you’re paying for rent, gas, and other necessities. However, it can be done. The first step to successfully budgeting a healthy meal is to just create a game plan for your groceries. Research and look up tips for healthy, low-cost meals and master the skill of finding the best deals on items.

Shopping smart is the key to eating healthy on a budget. Realizing that the “unit price” is the better option for you can be beneficial in the long run. Reading each food label can also help make decisions easier when being mindful of healthiness. Each aisle of the grocery store has deals and discounts. Finding those will also benefit anyone on a budget. Preparing healthy meals can be easier by using kitchen timesavers. This makes it easier because you can make meals faster and more efficiently. Looking up new recipes to try can also help make things less complicated. Plus, this can bring a family together by introducing new things to meals.
There are plenty of budget-friendly recipes to choose, from a slow-cooked beef stew to summer chicken spring rolls; there are a variety of healthy recipes that factor in a budget. There are other options such as a grilled salmon, avocado salad and pesto chicken kabobs.

There are even tofu stir-fry options for those who are vegetarians. Making menus for every 2-weeks is also a budget-conscious habit that can save money and benefit health-wise. Keeping grocery and pantry staples lists are also great ideas in following a budget. Referring to the ChooseMyPlate model can also be informative on which food groups are needed in each meal. Utilizing your resources such as SNAP-ED and FNS can also help save money and accomplish healthy meal preparation.

Enjoy!

Taylor

Taylor is a student intern working with EFNEP at N.C. Cooperative Extension, Pitt County Center.

RESOURCE:

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/budget
http://www.diabetes.org/mfa-recipes/recipes/budget-friendly.html 

 

Frugal Family Shopping

If not planned properly, grocery shopping can be a challenging task, consuming a lot of time and money. It’s important to be well prepared to get the most for your money while eating healthy.

1shopping list

When shopping, try to make a list of everything that is needed for the week, including breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks. This method makes it easier to stick to a budget and resist the temptation to purchase unnecessary food products. I have realized that I am more motivated to cook rather than picking something up from a restaurant because everything that is needed is within reach. Also, shopping sales at various stores in the area ensures that I am getting a good deal on my favorite products. The local farmer’s market is a great resource to purchase homegrown produce that is in season, while supporting the community.

The unit price can be very helpful when choosing products, which illustrates the price per pound, ounce, or pint. A bulk item may cost more than the convenient sizes, but you are getting more for the money. I buy in bulk whenever possible and package it myself, which helps to save in the long run.

Grocery shopping should be fun for the entire family! For tips and information on making the most of grocery shopping, check out this resource:
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/FY/FY119400.pdf

-Danielle