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Stretching Your Food Budget

Stretching Your Food Budget

Eating healthy and staying healthy can fit into every budget. Stretching Your Food Budget can happen by utilizing some of these great tips when purchasing food.

Stretching Your Food Budget

• Buy in Bulk: When purchasing frequently used items items such as beans, or frozen and fresh vegetables or fruit you should always buy in bulk.
• Cook Large Quantities: Large amounts can be refrigerated and put into the freezer.
Portion Out Food into servings: Make up meals and place food for 1­2 meals in containers.
Create a Weekly Meal Plan: Use the same ingredients in different ways. For instance, extra grilled chicken can be used in a casserole or salad at another meal.
Shop Farmers Markets: In season at farmers’ markets offer great seasonal foods which allows you to mix it up, and you spend less because they are in season.
Grow Your Own Fruits and Vegetables: Many fresh and nutritious fruits and vegetables can spring from a couple of packs of seeds. Use pots if you don’t have space for a garden. Try indoor pots or greenhouse growing for the cooler months.
• Substitute Meat: Use vegetables and protein and fiber rich grains in place of eating meat a few days per week. Meats are more expensive than beans, quinoa, and lentils which are all an excellent source of protein.
• Make and Use a Grocery List: Grocery lists are important and you must stick to them. Avoid buying things that are not on your list. Plus, most impulse buying equates to less healthy and more costly items. Stick to keeping it healthy with fruits and vegetables].
• Eat at Home: The more you eat at home, the more money you will save. Eating at restaurants or buying packaged and processed foods will significantly increase the amount you spend on food.
• Buy Basic Ingredients: Choose things to make that take basic ingredients. This will save you time and money. Plus, basic ingredients can typically be used for more than one meal.
• Make Homemade Soup: Homemade soup is not only chocked full of fresh nutrient packed veggies, but it has way less sodium, and overall is healthier and tasty better. Plus, you can make a big batch and freeze leftovers in portioned containers.
• Look for Deals and Sales: Check your local grocery store for deals, sales, and coupons. Be sure to also watch for overstock discounts that you can take advantage of to stock up.
• Don’t Shop Hungry: Eat a piece of fruit or some vegetables before going to the grocery store to avoid hunger based impulse buys.
• Shop the Outside Aisles: When shopping at the grocery store stay in the outside aisles to get the best foods for your body. This is where the fresh produce and food items are and it’s healthier to avoid the expensive, processed foods that are located in the inside aisles.
• Buy Small Quantities of Perishable Food: To minimize waste, buy perishable foods in smaller amounts so they get used up. Plus, this easy on your budget.
• Use Leftovers: Spice up leftovers by adding new fruits and vegetables to create something new for the next day. Last night’s dinner makes a great inexpensive lunch for today. Turn a chicken dinner into a veggie rich soup or extra veggie sides into a veggie casserole or lasagna.
• Don’t Throw Out Bruised or Dented Produce: Bruised and dented fruits and vegetables can be cut up and put in the freezer for smoothies, baking, soups, and more.
• Store Fruits and Vegetables Properly: Storing fruits and vegetables promptly and properly will make fresh fruits and vegetables last longer. Store them in the refrigerator or freezer immediately after getting home from your shopping trip.
• Clearly Label Food: Labeling all food before you store them allows you to use them safely and when they have the most nutrients and flavor.
• Be Creative with Leftovers: Make salsa, stews, casseroles, jams, and more.
• Calculate your Food Budget: Knowing what you can spend each week, and sticking to it will keep you on track for healthy eating and is the best thing you can do for Stretching Your Food Budget.

Stretching Your Food Budget

When you incorporate these and other ideas you will not only be eating healthier and saving money, but you will begin to notice some positive changes in your health and weight. Using a budget is not about restrictions, but about being conscious of your money and health. Create a plan for your money and food, cook once and eat all week while you are Stretching Your Food Budget.

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