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Shopping for healthy foods on a budget

Posted on Mar 18, 2009 by Maggie LaBarbera

I was in the grocery store with my mom and she was complaining how expensive the vegetables were. I know we are all feeling the pinch with today's economy so I thought about some more ways to eat healthy on a budget.We think eating healthy costs more and it does when compared with a $1.99 meal at a fast food place but that isn't very healthy, especially for our children who are still growing and developing. They need the nutrition because they are in a constant state of creating new cells for those bones, brains, muscles and organs.Here are some ways you can save a buck and help your family eat healthier:

  • Avoid eating out. Even though it may seem cheap, it adds up quickly, a little here, a little there. In the long run, it is cheaper to cook at home. Make this fun family time and let the kids help.
  • Try to serve more vegetables and fruits in your meal. These are less expensive than processed foods and way better for the kids. Start the meal off with soup and salads.
  • Eat smaller portions of meat. In fact, try skipping meat altogether for one or two nights.  Meat is very expensive and can be easily replaced with beans, nuts and eggs. You can find some great recipes. You can also try cutting up meat into small strips/pieces and create a meal with bits of meat instead of serving a "steak or chop"
  • Try to buy some food in bulk. Look for foods that will keep or you can use up easily. Buying in bulk is cheaper in the long run but more expensive upfront. It makes no sense to buy in bulk and then have to throw away half of it later. So be smart and make a list so you don't overbuy.
  • Avoid buying ready-to-eat or prepacked food items. You really pay more the convenience. (I know I have said this before, but it is a good one- worth repeating)
  • Consider buying store brands. For less money you can often get a product which is very similar in quality. Foods to consider (canned beans, tomatoes, broth)
  • Drink water. Help the kids enjoy the natural taste of water. I admit, I used to love my diet soda (and so did my daughter- no surprise- I was the role model!) but now I am drinking more water. I can hardly drink anything else because it is usually just too sweet. You would be surprised how your tastebuds will change- and your kids!!




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