Help! I want to eat healthy but I'm on a budget.
If your family is anything like ours, a lot of your weekly budget goes to purchasing food. While investing in your family’s health with good quality food is worth every cent, it can be easy to rack up some serious $$ in doing so.
It takes a little extra time and planning, but if you follow these simple steps, you’ll set your family up for healthy success, without breaking the bank.
Tip 1. First and foremost, plan ahead!
When you take a few minutes to plan your meals for the week and create a shopping list, you only buy what’s necessary. This cuts down on the amount of groceries you walk out with (and creates less waste). Hallelujah!
We plan ahead each week with our FULLforLife Weekly Meal Plan and Shopping List, which you can print and use too! Planning also allows you to check in the weekly flyer so you can build your meals around what’s on sale.
Tip 2. Sales = Savings
This can be time consuming, but if you really want to get the most bang for your buck, taking the time to check out your weekly grocery store flyer is WELL worth it! If avocados are half off, it’s a perfect time to serve Avocado Toast with an Over-Easy Egg. Mahi mahi is on special? Great! Fish tacos will make a fun dinner. This is especially essential when it comes to staple items that are more expensive, such as chicken breasts. However, don’t buy unnecessary items just because “it’s a good deal.”
Tip 3. Keep a list of your favorite budget-friendly meals.
Variety is the spice of life, and if your family is anything like ours, eating the same cost-effective meal each week is something we’d quickly tire of. Create a board on your Pinterest page or keep a list of your families favorite budget-friendly meals in your kitchen drawer that you can rotate throughout over several weeks.
Tip 4. Make substitutions in recipes.
Just because a recipe calls for goat cheese doesn’t mean you need to use it. Get creative and use something cheaper, such as cream cheese. Do you already have sweet potatoes on hand but your recipe calls for red potatoes? No worries—make the swap. This may sound a little scary at first, but what’s the worst that’s going to happen? If you’re stumped, make it fun by asking your family for suggestions!
Tip 5. Repurpose—you’ll waste less and save more.
When you repurpose your leftovers and ingredients, you save big! There are two ways you can do this by:
- Planning your meals around ingredients so that no ingredient goes to waste
- Repurposing your leftovers to make entirely different meals
As you plan your meals for the week, think about the ingredients you’ll be purchasing. Can you use some of them in more than one meal?
Do you need cilantro for tacos but will only use half? No problem—top Creamy Southwest Chicken Chili with the leftover herbs.
Repurpose your leftover meals in unique ways.
By getting creative with your leftovers, you’ll save on time, money and receive less complaints from your family about the same old meal. For example, when we make Turkey Burger Bowls, we make extra ground turkey and sweet potatoes to use in other meals. We’ll substitute the leftover turkey in a batch of Creamy Southwest Chicken Chili or use it in Stuffed Peppers. We’ll serve sweet potatoes in the morning with eggs, or use them as a simple side dish to another dinner.
If you’re ready to level-up your cooking-at-home game and want to do it on budget, get a plan in place before heading to the store. It’ll help you get organized, reduce your grocery spending and allow you to rethink your food choices so you stick to healthier options.