One of the most common misconceptions with a healthy diet is that healthy eating has to be expensive. Today I am here to share that this could not be further from the truth! If your kitchen is on a budget I have some great tips today to help keep your wallet & stomach full!
1. Buy frozen fruits & veggies- These are quick, easy, & can be used for portion sizing without worrying about the food going bad. I love keeping frozen fruits for smoothies, & different mixtures of frozen veggies on hand. Not only do the veggies cook within about 10-15 minutes but they are great if you are a party of one & only want them for one meal. This way you don’t feel like you're eating the same thing every day for the rest of the week! Reseal or clip the bag and boom they are ready for you the next time you a need quick dinner.
2. Batch cook & store the rest in the freezer- If you ever find yourself with a recipe that serves 8 and you don’t know what to do with the insane amount of leftovers you can place them in a freezer safe container or bag. Label it & it’s ready for you the next time you need it. You can also portion it into serving sizes to make it easier too! Use the same heating instructions you used when you originally made the recipe the second time around.
3. Stop using paper towels- Do you use napkins & paper towels to dry your hands, clean up messes, & wipe your fingers & face after dinner? Stop! By purchasing some cloth napkins & dish towels you save money by not having to restock that roll of paper towels over and over again. Plus it’s a great excuse to find some unique towels you love to spice up the decor in your kitchen! (my favorite!)
4. Keep a garden-Keeping even a small herb garden saves you the expense of constantly having to replenish fresh herbs. Just snip them with kitchen shears when you’re ready! An even greater accomplishment is having a mini or full size garden in the summer full of fresh vegetables that you can eat all season long. Then use tip #2, freezing leftovers for those colder months! This way you get homegrown, nutrient dense, and organic produce, free of pesticides and other forms of contamination right at your back door. My favorite part about this is your grocery shopping expense gets slashed because you’re only shopping for refrigerated products like milk and butter & the occasional item to replenish the pantry.
5. Purchase products before they expire- This trick has literally saved me so much money while grocery shopping! Market Basket (if you’re in New England) & some other retailers often have a cart or section dedicated to produce that is about to expire, so it is extremely marked down! I buy veggies here that I plan on eating within the next day or two, or fruits that I can cut up and freeze --hello bananas for smoothies!
6. Check the sale flyers- Admittedly this took the longest for me to do but it’s so beneficial! When looking at what you are going to eat for the week see if you can fit some of your meals or snacks into the sale items of the week. For example if you were thinking of having tacos for dinner & see that pork is on sale but ground beef is full price, opt for a pulled pork taco instead! By changing just a component of your original dish you keep your grocery list & meal plan the same but you don’t miss out on a deal!