Eating Healthy on a Budget

Eating Healthy on a Budget
There is well deserved attention being focused on eating healthy as an important means of keeping diseases at bay and leading a life full of zest. Even fast food chain McDonald's is replacing a portion of its french fries in the children's Happy Meals with apple slices as the country attempts to tone up and trim down. It is pointed out that the “investment” in good health always makes good sense as you are avoiding the costly bills of hospitalization later! But on the other hand, it is simply not true that eating healthy should mean spending a lot on high priced exotic items. There is no justification for spending an excessive amount on your food daily as it is possible to build healthy eating habits on a budget.

Meat is by far the most expensive part of your diet, but limiting the amount of meat that you use is both healthful and frugal. Preparing dishes like casseroles, soups, and stews will stretch the meat, and adding vegetables like onions and celery to ground meat can make them go a little further as well. Dishes like spaghetti and meatballs make the pasta the focus of the dish instead of meat.  Inexpensive protein sources like tuna fish and peanut butter can also help to eat healthfully on a tight budget.  Some grocery stores mark down their fresh meats that have been on display for more than a day or so. These can be taken home and used right away or frozen for later use.

There are many ways to help reduce the cost of foods that give  your body the required nutrition it needs, and you can have them economically. For example, fruits and vegetables have great value in a healthy eating plan because they are packed full with nutritive contents that are essential to maintaining your health- but there are ways to cut down their costs. The freshest produce veggies and fruits always cost more, but you can opt for the reduced rack in grocery stores or buy canned or frozen fruits and vegetables in the off season.  Highly ripened bananas and other fruits can be obtained for very low costs and used to make banana bread or other recipes. If you are lucky enough to have a marketplace in your town that sells fresh produce and other goods, there are typically bargains to be had there. You may also get bargain prices at the farmers’ markets or at local stores who offer reduced prices for end of the day clearance.

A vegetable garden is a great way to produce your own vegetables, and you can have a garden even if you have minimal space by using containers in a sunny space. Trade veggies and herbs with other gardeners, and even allow others to harvest apples or grapes that you grow in your yard and vice versa. Not only will these measures help you slash the costs on your most healthy foods, but you also will have the joy of eating the fresh, homegrown vegetables and herbs!

Almost every meal is less expensive and healthier when it is cooked at home. You have total control over everything that goes into your food when it’s prepared in your kitchen. Instead of using shortening or butter, you can spray pans with canola oil cooking spray. Eliminate hydrogenated oils from your diet completely and replace them with healthier canola and olive oil. Reduce the fat content of muffins and cakes by substituting apple sauce for some or all of the oil without changing the taste or texture.  Often, eggs can be replaced by almond or soy flour; it is equally nutritious and blends well to give the same taste and feel of using eggs in several preparations.

Use the internet to surf for lots of healthy recipes that are also inexpensive to prepare and sound tasty and nutritious. There are many sites devoted to healthful foods and helping people to eat well.


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