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Help! Incorporating healthy, protein-packed meals into our recipe rotation might just break the bank.
One of the biggest challenges we moms (and wives) face is how to eat real food on a budget. With hungry spouses and ravenous kids, it can be difficult to serve healthy, protein-packed meals without spending our entire weekly paycheck all at once.
Believe us, we get it!
Kalie: When I first met Erich, he could down an entire large pizza no problem. He's an active guy and because of that, he eats a lot. Once we got married and started a family, I had to find ways to cut back on spending. These tips really helped us stay on budget, without sacrificing our health.
How to Enjoy Protein-Packed Meals Without Breaking the Bank
Budget Tip 1. Plan ahead, get creative and add inexpensive options into your recipe rotation.
Rather than breaking the budget on expensive proteins (such as fish, chicken or beef), add other sources of protein into your rotation. This doesn’t mean you have to go completely meatless (although you may save more). Instead, try to pick a day or two a week that you can have fun (and save money) by making a meatless meal. This can cut your grocery costs by up to 30% a week.
Chickpeas, lentils and beans can boost your protein intake at next to no cost.
Legumes have become quite the cost-effective way to add protein into many of our meals such as salads, soups, burgers, tacos and stuffed peppers. Picky eaters? Ease your family into it by using a combination of legumes and meat. Rather than beef tacos, make beef and bean tacos.
Eggs are also a great low-cost source of protein. They can be hard-boiled and thrown in just about anything. From salads, to stir-fried rice and topping avocado toast, eggs are an inexpensive way to ramp up your protein intake.
Eat breakfast for dinner.
Breakfast foods (such as eggs and Baked Oatmeal) are typically less expensive. If you really want to double up on savings while adding in some protein, consider eating eggs for dinner once in a while. Some great options are a Quiche, an Egg Casserole or an open-faced egg and cheese bagel sandwich.
Try some tuna and salmon.
Canned tuna and salmon are another way to pack in protein inexpensively. Because of tuna’s mercury content, it’s not something you want to eat daily BUT it makes an amazing option to rotate in and out of your weekly meal plan.
Budget Tip 2. Buy in BULK and FREEZE.
Buying in bulk saves immensely! We buy almost all of our meats in bulk, break them down into smaller portions, put them in freezer-friendly bags or containers and store them for later use. This is especially cost-effective when meat and poultry go on sale.
Budget Tip 3. Portion control is KEY.
When you (and your family) indulge in proper portion sizes, you cut costs and shed extra pounds. Pre-plate your food and be mindful of hunger cues. Don’t go back for a second helping unless you’re ACTUALLY hungry. Respect your body (and your wallet) by not pushing it past its point of fullness simply because something tastes good. For a great visual on proper plate portions, check out our Well Balanced Meals Made Easy digital downloads.
Adding protein-dense foods into you and your family's diet doesn't have to break the bank. Protein is important for so many reasons, not to mention it can help you feel fuller, lose weight and build muscle. From meatless Mondays to buying your meat and chicken in bulk, try scribbling some of these cheap protein tips into your weekly list to keep your family feeling healthy and full, on a budget.
Cheers to a healthy lifestyle and living FULLforLife!
xo, Pam & Kalie
What are some of your top tips to stay on budget? Share in the comments below!