Changing the way you eat can seem like a monumental feat. When I first decided that my family was going to eat better, I wondered where the money would come from! It’s already a struggle to get the grocery shopping done with a dime left to spare. How was I going to buy the more expensive, healthy foods?
Is it that way for you too?
Well, I sat down and did some figuring one day. What I realized was that a lot of the money spent, that seemed to add up so quickly, was on processed foods or convenience foods. Cutting those out, I realized, would really change the way I got to shop!
Here are some ideas that might help you too!
Prepare Your Own Meals At Home
Sounds like a novel idea, huh? I know, I know, it’s just so much easier to grab a sack of dinner from a local burger joint on the way home. In reality, eating out should be a luxury, and not a common place occurrence. It might be easier, but it certainly isn’t the healthiest choice you can make!
Not only are restaurant foods laden with additives, most of which do more harm than good, they are packed with calories. And not the good kind. Changing your habits where this is concerned can really make a big difference!
Fast food calories often come from fat. For instance, while eating at a Waffle House one time, years ago, I asked what made their grilled chicken breast so delicious. The answer: it was vacuum packed with butter! In essence, that chicken breast was marinated in butter for Lord knows how long! A dish that would, under normal circumstances, be healthy, had now become laden with fat.
Even the healthy options, such as salads, are often filled with chemicals that help the produce to reach or hold their desired color. This is especially the case with tomatoes. Furthermore, you can purchase the ingredients to make that salad at home all week, much cheaper than buying that salad two or more times each week.
Buy Little To No Prepackaged Foods
If you were to break down what you spend on these, you would quickly do a double take. Packaged foods are easy to make and much cheaper too, since the ingredients stretch farther. Here are just a few items that fall under this category:
- burger helpers
- pasta sides
- rice sides
- steamable frozen vegetables
- microwave entrees
- microwave snacks
- liquid eggs
- powdered milk
- mac and cheese
The list goes on and on. Odds are, with just a little effort and maybe some Googling to find a good recipe, you can make all your favorite packaged meals from scratch. And who doesn’t love the idea of DIY meals? It’s not hard to go about changing the game plan on this one.
Another thing you need to remember is that even foods like frozen veggies can be tricky. It was recently found that even foods from the ever-poplar Whole Foods Stores were coming from China! Well, the story is years old, but it was hidden quite well. There food was packaged as “organic”, however, the US cannot certify any food that is imported into our country.
Watch this video:
Changing The Centerpiece: It Doesn’t Have To Be Meat
There’s one thing I’m learning that is so important. You simply do not have to serve meat for every meal!
It has been commonplace for so long, and restaurants count on meat to account for a great deal of their sales. It makes us think we have to have meat three meals a day. But we just don’t. That’s not to say that meat is not important, because it is. But you don’t have to have it with every single meal.
For instance, there’s nothing wrong with having fruit and oatmeal, with some juice for breakfast. Lunch could easily be some vegetables, roasted with spices that bring out their amazing true flavors. And you could end the day with a nice pasta meal, served with a light sauce that need not include meat at all.
When you do decide to have meat, remember that a serving size can fit in the palm of your hand. It should be about four ounces. It’s also a good rule of thumb to switch it up often and have chicken, fish and red meats, all scattered throughout the week or month. Better still, instead of serving up meals that focus on meat, use meat as a salad topping or casserole ingredient.
Eat – And Store – Foods That Are In Season
I absolutely love summer and fall, specifically for the fact that gardens are full of my favorite foods! I recently wrote a guest blog post for Family Survival Farm about canning tomatoes. It’s one of my favorite things to do that time of the year, and it’s so very easy. Read that post if you’d like to learn how to do it for yourself!
I also enjoy getting my hands on other fresh veggies such as green beans, squash, potatoes, lettuce and corn. They are truly delicacies and I try to get my hands on as much as I can! I can never have too much fresh produce, because what we don’t eat, I always freeze or can. Talk about cutting down on your grocery bill and eating healthy! It’s the best of both worlds!
Last year, I managed to grow tomatoes and green beans right in my backyard, and even wrote a blog about it. I bought the tomato plants, but the beans were a complete accident. They were given to me by a friend and when I opened them up, I realized they were a little too dark to cook. We have lots of birds in the back yard, so I simply opened the back door, stepped out onto the patio and tossed an entire colander full of beans out into the grass. Not two weeks later, they appeared…
I guess they were really too close together to produce very much, but we still had a few meals from them. And you can see the tomato plants in the back. They grew pretty nice, I must say.
Making It Work For You
These are just a few ideas of things you can start changing to get you started. If eating better is important to you, I’m sure you’ll be doing plenty of research and coming up with other great ideas of your own. If you find something that seems to work great, please feel free to stop in and share here in the comments. I’d love to hear about it!
Thank you for stopping by!