Eat Healthy on a Budget
Those words can seem impossible to live by at times. Whether you are new to the healthy game or have been living the healthy dream for years, at times the idea of staying on budget while eating healthy can seem less than achievable. And it is often the reason people give up on healthy and go back to eating fast food, cheap processed foods, and inexpensive packaged goods.
But eating on a budget doesn’t have to mean sacrificing quality for quantity. In fact, I bet you have more food than you realize sitting in your fridge, in your pantry, and on your counter just waiting to be thrown together in a healthy, delicious meal.
This was the case at our house earlier this week. It was lunch time and I thought “Ugh, I never made it to the grocery store over the weekend. There is going to be NOTHING for lunch”.
No tacos – we were out of shells
No black bean bowls – we were out of black beans and avocado
No eggs – we ran out a few days ago
No salad – we were out of …nothing.
Sitting in my fridge was spinach (for smoothies); carrots and a cucumber (for juicing); cashews soaking (for a vegan cheeseball); 1/4 of a pepper (for tacos); and broccoli (for soup I never made). And in the cabinet I found three cans of chickpeas (for hummus). Hmmm, suddenly that whole-lot-of-nothing seemed like an easy to make and quite delicious salad. I whipped up some “ranch” dressing, threw together the ingredients, and had a fantastic meal.
It was not only budget-friendly, but it saved a ton of produce that otherwise would have gone bad. And we had enough to make salad for the next few days.
Basically, it saved a lot of green 😉
That’s when I realized – I could cut my budget by quite a bit if I bought less and ate more of the foods already in my kitchen. I don’t always need each ingredient or vegetable I love to have a week worth of meals. In fact, I saved $25 on my grocery bill when I finally headed to the store.
Tips to take with you:
1)See what you have before you head out. You might be able to make more than you think.
2)Try to keep some basics on hand – a lettuce/green (spinach, romaine, mixed greens, kale – whichever you like best in a salad or can find for the best price), veggies that you like to eat both raw and cooked, some type of easy to use bean or nut to throw on for extra protein/crunch/flavor.
3)Don’t overdo it – just buy a few basics that you can mix and match. You don;t need to by EVERY fruit or veggie that you love each trip to the store.
4)Before you head out, scan the fridge to see what you already have. It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how often you might buy something you already have, only to let one or both go bad.
5)Make this salad:
1 handful of your favorite green/lettuce
Add in any and all veggies you have on hand
Top with chickpeas, beans, nuts, seeds, or hard-boiled eggs
Eat, save some green, and enjoy!
Now it’s your turn. head into your fridge, see what you can make that you didn’t even realize you had ingredients for. Take a picture and leave it on The House of Healthy FB page or on twitter #saveyourproducesalad, or leave a comment below with your favorite tip and insight!
Peace and Love,
PS If you love The House of Healthy, head over to the Dr Oz Facebook page, where he is holding a contest to find the best healthy living sites/blogs. The winners will be featured on his show! To cast your vote, simple leave a comment on this post with “The House of Healthy”. YOU can make a difference 🙂
PPS Time is running out to sign up for the 10-Day Spring Cleanse!! If you like this post and this way of thinking about meal planning, you will LOVE the meal plan and exercise plan in the 10-Day cleanse. They are both easy to follow, pick-n-choose, just like this post. There are no set rules, you just use what you like and what you have on hand to create inexpensive, healthy, and delicious meals. And the guides are your to keep and use at anytime! Head on over to sign up – just think what a difference you could make in your health and happiness for just $15/day. Registration closes the 18th or April, so sign up while you still can!