If you are anything like me you desire for both you and your family to eat healthier. If you are REALLY like me your monthly grocery budget says "oh uh uh! No ma'am! We DO NOT need to go organic" or something to that effect. It wasn't until I did a little research, stepped outside of my comfort zone, and finally listened to the logic of my extreme couponing pal Tara (Hey Tara! *waves*- her extreme couponing how-to is coming soon) that I was able to come up with these 10 tips to eating well on a budget. Read them, write them down, commit them to memory, become them, be one with the tips...ok well maybe not go that far...lets just stick with read them for now...
1. Buy fresh produce when it's in season and freeze it.
Yes yes fresh produce IS awesome but try to stick with buying what's presently in season because the cost can add up pretty fast. This of course goes without saying to my fellow fru-gals, but stock up when you find an awesome deal!
2. Shop sales and plan your meals around sale items.
Check the weekly sales ad to see what's on sale this week and make your groceries and your meals based on what's on sale….Genius right?! I know right?!
3. Try cheap cuts of meat.
Look for the cheap meat! Trade that overpriced white meat for dark meat or trade that T-bone for gravy stakes. I must admit the cheaper cuts of meat can tend to be a little…ok a lot of tough…and sometimes the meat mallet does nothing! But the greatest addition to my kitchen arsenal, after my slow cooker, wad my pressure cooker! I promise you won’t be disappointed
4. Embrace the grains…Embrace the beans…Embrace I say!
How awesome it is that beans and whole grains, like quinoa and brown rice are a cheap and yummy way to beef up your meals, and if you know your stuff they can even be a meal in themselves.
5. Plan and prep meals ahead.
Prepping food in advance is good way to make sure you're eating what's in the fridge, to minimize waste, and not sneaking off and eating that shrimp po-boy for lunch. Meal prep is a step in the right direction if you’re trying to eat healthy.
6. Broaden your culinary horizons!
Fares, like Mexican, Thai, Filipino, and Indian, can be made with inexpensive ingredients and need I mention they are soooo yummy!
7. Organize your fridge and pantry.
As you will come to learn I’m a to-do list, chart, pie graph my life kinda gal. What use is that $300 grocery bill if you remember it two months past the due date? And yes leftovers are always yummy, but it totally defeats the purpose if they get lost in the back of the fridge. Be sure to label and keep a log.
8. Repurpose leftovers.
If you don't like eating the same meal over and over, consider repurposing leftovers into an entirely new and delicious meal…it can be done and again…it is yummy lol
9. Go to the farmers market at the end of the day.
Don’t believe the hype sometimes farmers markets may not save you money verses the local grocery store. BUT! Try visiting the market at the end of the day…this is when you can very likely score some great deals….geez I feel so cheap for this lol
10. Try shopping at local ethnic markets.
Checking out local ethnic markets. I tried it once and got hooked! It’s like grocery store heaven! Why? Well not only do you find a bargain on certain products, but you'll also find some really interesting ingredients.