Eating Healthy on a Budget?
Is it possible to eat healthy on a budget? With the cost of organically grown and all-natural foods, it may seem an impossibility. Eating healthy on a budget is feasible, however, once you get past the need to purchase all that you consume from someone else. You will still have to make purchases, but many can be eliminated. By using these techniques for lowering your grocery bill, you will be able to feed yourself and your family healthy meals every day.
Plant an Herb Garden
You will save a great deal of money at the grocery or natural foods store simply by growing your own herbs using organic practices. This can be done out in the yard, or in a sunny window to be used fresh year round. Herbs can be dried by hanging them inside, or by using other methods of drying.
Plant a Produce Garden
You can grow many of your own fruits and vegetables as well, right out in your yard. Stay away from row gardening, as you will not be able to grow as much produce as you will get from using the combined methods of square foot, horizontal and container gardening. There are other efficient gardening methods as well. Eating fresh, organically grown produce from your garden is more frugal than purchasing these items at the store. Learn to preserve foods for winter use.
Bulk Purchases and Coupons
It is possible to save money by purchasing some food items in bulk, particularly pastas and baking needs. Use coupons on the purchases when possible, for extra savings. You will have to spend time figuring out how much, if any, savings will be seen this way.
Sales and Coupons
At times, there are worthwhile sales at the local grocery stores. Small sales are normal. However, I am referring to the sales where (for instance) items that normally cost $1.50 to $2.00 per package are offered at $1.00 each. Name brands. These sales, coupled with coupons, will save you a great deal of money. Holiday sales are also helpful.
I still here people saying that store and generic brands are not as good as the name brands. In many cases, they are the same. They just use cheaper packaging choices. Rarely do I find a cheap brand to be inedible. Try them. Don’t allow family members to be picky. They will learn to deal with the changes.
Reduced Food Carts
If your store has reduced food carts or bins, shop them. Over ripe fruit can be added to homemade bread and muffin mixes, as can some vegetables. Some staples can also be found there. Packaged items that are about to expire can often be frozen to make them last longer. Some of these items include bakery breads, hot dogs and butter.
Food Cupboards and Soup Kitchens
Food cupboards can help you to supplement your food budget. Be aware that many do have organic options, as well as 100% whole grain ones. Explain your diet needs, and the volunteers will try their best to help you. Incorporate these places if necessary.
Soup Kitchens, or public dinners put on by church groups, are free or cheap ways to supplement your food budget. Use these if you have to.
Cook and Bake from Scratch
If you keep master mixes prepared and in the refrigerator, you can easily whip up pancakes, biscuits, muffins and other foods without much effort. Stews and soups, as well as casseroles, are easy to put together if the food items are kept on hand. Homemade pasta is not difficult to make, using only a few ingredients. Pastas do not have to be dried in order to cook them. Putting cheap cuts of meat and vegetables into a slowcooker will give you a hardy meal come evening.
Use Frugal Recipes
The use of frugal recipes will allow you to save even more money. They can be found in many places, including old cookbooks and online. Check out the site of your local universities’ extension office for frugal cooking ideas while you are online.
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