Healthy Eating On A Budget
Eating healthy can be a challenge, but eating healthy while trying to maintain a food budget can seem nearly impossible. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with eating the same processed foods over and over again, especially when raising children. You, after all, know what your family likes to eat and buying bulk pasta, frozen pizza, or microwave dinners can be a go-to for families on a budget.
Here are some ideas to healthy eating on a budget
Wheat-less Pastas – Families love pasta, especially kids. If you are on a budget, you can now buy pasta made from items that have less carbs. Pasta made from zucchini, called “zoodles” are the best way to go. This can be found in the frozen section pre cut. Or you can buy a machine that cuts the zucchini into long pasta-like swirling pieces. “Trader Joes Organic Black Bean Rotini” pasta has the lowest net carbs, but should only be eaten once a day and several hours before bed. At Publix “Miracle Noodles” and “Sea Tangle Kelp Noodles” can be found in the produce section. These shirataki and sea kelp noodles have very low calories and high nutrients. Make sure they are rinsed well and covered in sauce. You can buy it in bulk or whenever they are on sale because they store well in the fridge. Some stores even have a cheaper store brand now for extra money savings.
Fruits & Vegetables – The key is to select fruits and vegetables that are in season for your region and base meals around them. You can easily find deals by reading the grocery market flyers that come in the mail. Walmart, Target and Aldi have now become competitive in the produce market as well. Many towns have farmers markets with low price options or looking for local vegetable stands can help you stay within budget. You will save a good deal of money by buying items that are in season and it will give your family mealtimes plenty of variety of healthy food year round.
Brown Rice – Although we suggest cutting out rice while dieting, switching from white rice to brown rice is not only healthier; it only costs pennies more to do this. Brown rice is tastier, includes more nutrients and is less processed than white rice. The trick with brown rice is that it takes a little longer to cook, but it is so much better for your family and tastes a lot better. Buy brown rice in bulk bags for an even greater savings in your food budget. Brown rice also takes longer to digest which helps curbs hunger for longer stretches of time. Stay away from any quick cook rice because it digests too fast.
Beans and Lentils – The nutritional value of beans and lentils are outstanding compared to other starches. If you want to save a lot in your grocery budget, then start buying a bag or two of dried beans and include at least one meal a week made with beans or lentils instead of meat. Buying beans in a can is more expensive and some of the chemicals in the can leach into the beans which makes canned beans less healthy. Beans are high in protein, fiber and many other things that the body needs to be healthy. Try using beans in soups and stews in the family crock pot for added convenience. To speed up cooking time, cover beans in water and leave them on the counter overnight.
Herbs – If you want to create delicious and healthy meals on a budget, there’s nothing better than adding some fresh herbs into your cooking. The best part about herbs is that many have disease-prevention qualities, in addition to adding flavor to your meals. You can buy them fresh or grow your own herbs in your kitchen window and cut a few when you need them. Herbs are relatively inexpensive and last forever in air tight containers. We suggest parsley, thyme, coriander, and celery salt. Replacing table salt with celery salt brings eating healthy to the next level, and can greatly reduce swelling in the hands and feet.
It’s time to get your family healthier with better food choices. So take charge of your family’s meals with these budget-conscious food choices. By making small modifications to the whole families meals, it makes it easy for one one preparing the meals to stay healthy.
To help make the best healthy eating on a budget choices you should contact a medical weight loss specialist or nutrition coach. Envizion Medical has been helping the Tampa Bay area make healthy eating choices since 2012. Contact Envizion Medical at (813) 680-4868.