Is it possible to eat healthy while on a tight budget? Check out some of these healthy frugal foods for getting the nutrients your body needs without breaking your wallet.
If you’re on a budget, or just looking to save a little money, buying healthy food can seem like it is out of the question.
It doesn’t have to be. If you are willing to do a little preparation yourself, you will find that you can create a wide variety of healthy food by incorporating raw ingredients into recipes as a substitution or even the main entrée.
Meats Can Fit Any Budget
Meats are some of the best sources of protein, amino acids, folic acid, and vitamins such as A, B, C, and E. Meat is also a good source of iron and zinc, which many children in the United States are lacking and suffering from deficiencies.
The fact is, you can get choice lean meat like chicken almost all year long by shopping thriftily. The USDA requires that all poultry and pork be hormone free, so even the cheap stuff is still pretty good.
Buying meat in bulk saves money. It’s not uncommon to see packages of 8-10 chicken breasts for only a few dollars.
Not planning on eating that many all at once? Check into a purchasing an inexpensive vacuum sealer, pop the bags in your freezer and you can have an easy dinner on standby for months.
Also, buy meat when it’s on sale. See some ground beef for a great deal? Buy 3 or 4 packages and then freeze them for later.
Butchers will frequently mark down substantially meat that is near it’s “Sell By” date. This meat is still excellent quality and will be good for at least another week if stored properly. Use it immediately or vacuum seal and freeze it for later.
Why Eggs are A Super Healthy Protein Option
Don’t forget eggs! If you’re not a big fan of eating meat, you can get many of the same nutrients from eating eggs. Eggs are packed with vitamins and can be found for around a dollar a dozen in most grocery stores.
Eggs can be cooked in lots of different ways. One of the easiest, especially for families on the run, is to make hard boiled eggs. Boil them, cool them down and store them in the fridge.
A hard boiled egg is a great option when you’re in a hurry, but need something to eat. Filled with protein, tasty hot or cold and a quick snack for an energy boost.
If your kids like hard boiled eggs, it is one of the healthiest snacks you can have on hand for them.
Add Legumes to Your Diet
Another inexpensive way to get a lot of protein (plus fiber, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and more) is to add more legumes to your diet. Legumes are any type of dried beans or peas, so think:
and the like
Any type of legume is delicious when cooked properly. The only thing you need to remember is to soak them for 12 hours before cooking. Soak them, drain them and don’t reuse that water in your recipe. Use fresh water instead.
Then, make a hearty pot of soup – try one of these 15 hearty healthy soups! Another evening, make a pot of chili – super healthy and filling!
Vegetables are Cheaper than Fruits
Vegetables and fruits provide many of the same nutrients and health benefits, but fruits typically cost two to three times as much as vegetables! And that’s while they’re in season.
Many fruits are not produced in the United States and those that are produced here have relatively short growing seasons.
This, combined with a higher demand for their delicious flavors, increases the price of fruit substantially.
Don’t think that you are “settling” for vegetables. Vegetables can be just as delicious as fruit if prepared properly.
Some of the cheapest and healthiest vegetables are leafy greens such as spinach, kale and collard greens. And don’t discount the benefits of broccoli.
Carrots can often be bought in 5 pound bags for just a couple of dollars. Keep a bag of peeled and sliced carrots in the fridge. They make a great snack that’s quick.
Plus, carrots are easy to prepare as a side dish for with your dinners. Carrots are another one of the many healthy frugal foods you could feed your family.
Potatoes can be bought in 10lb bags for a few dollars. Eaten with their skin on, potatoes offer a rich mixture of Vitamin C and potassium.
If you opt to consume sweet potatoes, you also get your daily dose of beta carotene while cutting down on the starchy carbohydrates. Sweet potatoes are another super food.
Check out all of these Potato Side Dish Recipes – dozens of meal ideas here!
Don’t Forget Bread
Yes, bread is good for you! Just remember to try to stay away from processed white bread. There are not many nutrients in white bread.
Instead, choose whole wheat, rye, or pumpernickel. Bread with seeds added is even better. Bread provides needed carbs, which gives you the fuel you need for the day.
One of the best ways to ensure you always have bread on hand is to buy a bread maker. Buying quality bread at the grocery store is expensive. It doesn’t take long to pay off the cost of a bread maker.
How long would it take your family to eat 12 loaves of bread? Well, that’s roughly the cost of that bread maker – get one. They are well worth it!
As long as you are able to do some preparation yourself, you will find that you can eat healthy by buying raw ingredients as opposed to pricey pre-packaged foods.
In the event that you can’t get enough raw food in your diet, taking a multivitamin daily can go a long way toward ensuring you get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs.
Eating healthy frugal foods is a mindset that will help you improve the health of your family. As well, it can literally save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars every year.
Avoiding processed food is ALWAYS a money saver. Buy on sale and build up your supply of food on hand. Invest a little time to learn more about eating healthy frugal foods.
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