Go Green and Eat Healthy
Peppers Fresh From My Garden
Save Money - Go Greener - Eat Healthier
Eating healthy on a limited budget is easier if you plan ahead.
1. Write down seven dinners and incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into each one. Make a weekly grocery list from these menus. This way you'll be less likely to become overwhelmed while shopping and forget items for complete meals. You also will be less likely to grab frozen or processed meals or order out. This could save you five hundred dollars a year and you'll eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.
2. Add fresh herbs to your meals. A large bunch of fresh parsley usually costs only a couple of dollars, but the nutritional value is amazingly high. Basil and cilantro are also great choices. These herbs are relatively easy to grow on a sunny window sill and can save you even more money. Fresh herbs also add flavor so may help you reduce the amount of salt you use and they also add color to punch up the appearance pasta and rice dishes.
3. Brown rice is an excellent source of nutrients, especially b-vitamins. It is inexpensive, especially if you purchase in bulk, which will help you stretch meat dishes to cut costs. Brown rice has a naturally sweet, nutty flavor and makes an excellent breakfast cereal. Cook up enough for several meals and store it in your fridge so you'll have a ready-to-eat meal or snack, by stirring in a few raisins and nuts and a little milk.
4. Look for ‘seconds' at your local produce market or Farmer's Market. Seconds are just as valuable and healthy but are sold at a reduced rate because they may not look as pretty, be as uniform in shape or be smaller than the more expensive choices. Seconds are an excellent way to buy more fresh fruits and veggies for less.
5. Buy what's on sale and make several meals at a time, and perhaps to freeze ahead. You can get great bargains on Turkey after the holidays, for instance. Whole chickens are usually cheaper than the cut up pieces. Buy several when they are on sale and freeze a couple. Roast a whole chicken for dinner, cut up any breast meat that is left and make chicken salad, then boil the remaining chicken and bones for soup. Home made chicken soup is great to have on hand during the flu and cold season is and much healthier and cheaper than canned.
6. Bean soup is an excellent way to save money and add vegetables and herbs to your diet. Dried navy, pinto or kidney beans are very inexpensive and easy to prepare.
7. Buy the cheap or store brand canned vegetables. These are not only cheaper, but usually have less additives and processing than the name brands.
8. Eat what's in season and freeze some for later. Strawberries in June, Blueberries in July and winter squash in October are all great seasonal bargains. Cut the stems from fresh strawberries and frees them whole on cookie sheets, then place in glass storage containers, Glass is reusable and healthier. Blueberries are very easy to frees - simply wash, drain and freeze! Cut winter squash in half, bake cut-side down on a baking sheet, cool, then scrape the squash from the shell into a storage container.
9. Eat locally-grown produce. Food that has to be trucked across the country loses food value and usually costs more.
Small changes in your daily routine and make big changes for the better when it comes to your health and nutrition.