It’s easy to eat healthy when you have all the money in the world at your disposal. I would eat organic fruits and veggies, grass-fed and -finished beef, free-range chicken and eggs and all KINDS of new and funky products.
Well…there’s a wrench in our plan 🙂 Due to some issues up in la-la land, our pay has been seriously messed up. And will remain so until October 15th. Our budget is tight tight tight until then, so you’re going to see a lot of budget-friendly tips over the next month.
My first step was to take inventory. I pulled everything out of the cabinets, searched the fridge and freezer and made a list of what I had:
Then, I pulled out my laptop and cookbooks to find simple recipes using what I have. I also searched through my Cooking Light and Clean Eating magazines to get some inspiration. I really focused on vegetarian meals, since they’re usually cheaper. I wrote my recipes onto individual post-its with a list of ingredients that I’d need and then arranged them from the least needed to the most:
Then, I hit the store! I picked up what I needed for the rest of this week and checked to see if there were any deals to be had. I scored!
This meat will create 4 meals for us, with some frozen veggies that I have in the freezer and some quinoa (I’ve accumulated 3 boxes!). I got over three pounds of seasoned meat for $12.00! Score. All I have to do is toss those babies in a saute pan and dinner will be on in 10 minutes.
Tonight, we dug into the Fiery Thai Noodle Bowl with Crispy Chicken Thighs from last month’s Cooking Light:
Cheap. Delicious. Perfect 🙂 My next budget move is *collective gasp* ditching my gym membership!!! I’ll share my keep-in-shape tips with you soon.
How do you eat healthy on a budget? My biggest tips are:
- Use what you have. I dug through EVERYTHING and came up with a lot of food!
- Give up your brand loyalty. I find a lot of store brands are equal in quality to name brands, especially when you eat clean and you use rice, dried beans and pulses and whole wheat pastas.
- Go veg! Vegetarian items tend to be cheaper. Use frozen veggies, beans, tofu and tempeh. One of my favorite and most simple meals in cooked beans, cooked rice, salsa and sautéed zucchini all tossed together.
- I may ruffle some feathers with this one (even my little heart is breaking), but give up your need to have organic everything. I often find cheap organic milk (which I only use in my coffee), but all of those veggies? And meat? As long as I scrub those veggies and keep the meat down to a few times a week, I’m sure this short-term penny-pincher won’t kill me.