How to Adapt to Healthy Eating Habits
It may seem easy for some people to develop and maintain healthy eating habits. However, this may seem impossible if you are on a tight budget. When we think of eating healthy, our view may be skewed if we have negative beliefs about food. Growing up with very little money often leaves families to rely on high-processed foods, sugary or fatty foods, or even fast food because of the price tag. But, eating healthy on a budget can be achieved by planning, adapting to new habits, and even shopping for what’s in season. Acquiring healthy eating habits is not only beneficial for setting positive examples for children. Still, it can save you money at the grocery store, too.
Plan Your Recipes
Spending just a few minutes each week deciding what food to make that will fit your budget, taste, and dietary needs can save you money in the long run. In addition, being strategic about utilizing food already at home or stretching food needed in smaller portions for recipes can also be a big money saver.
Shop Your Kitchen First
Look at your pantry, fridge, or freezer to see what staples you already have on hand. For example, do you have starches such as beans, potatoes, or pasta? These great foundational foods can help you decide what cuisines to make. Also, check your freezer for frozen fruits or vegetables that can stretch across multiple meals.
Make a List
One of the easiest ways to lose track of spending money is by not making a grocery list ahead of time. Too often, we see food items that we don’t need but crave or want because we see them while grocery shopping. Creating a list not only saves money but can stretch your weekly meals. For example, maybe you have leftover chicken from another meal. Perhaps you could use it in another recipe.
Buy Frozen Or Canned
Most grocery stores carry frozen fruit and vegetables that have resealable packaging. This allows the shelf life of this product to last much longer than fresh produce would. If you are purchasing canned items, always make sure they are packaged in water instead of syrup, and check for cans with no salt added on the labels. Syrups and salt can add fat, sodium, cholesterol and sugar to your diet without you even realizing it.
Coupons are much easier to find between direct mailers, newspapers, digital, and in-store than in previous years. Couponing is easy, especially if your grocery list is planned ahead of time. If you haven’t created your grocery list yet, you might want to scour the coupons first for ideas on what might work well for your family.
Start a Garden
Growing your garden is not only a wise and healthy way to incorporate more produce into your diet; it can also provide an activity for you and your family to bond. Suppose you live in an area that doesn’t allow you to grow a garden outside. In that case, there are alternatives to growing produce and herbs on patios and balconies. Some herbs even work best indoors on window sills.
Some Healthy Swaps And Inspiration
Florida is HOT, so you need to find light and easy meals. Currently, cucumbers are all the rage; fortunately, they are inexpensive and low in calories. Here are some ideas on what to do with cucumbers!
While potatoes are high in carbohydrates, they contain many nutrients – especially sweet potatoes. So why not make healthy loaded potatoes for a quick and easy meal that the kids might enjoy? Turn the evening into a make-your-own potato bar! Place each of the following items in separate bowls for easy serving: Steamed broccoli or brussel sprouts, Sauteed peppers, onions and mushrooms, Black beans, Shredded cheese, and Low-fat plain Greek yogurt (as a substitute for sour cream). If you want to add meat, these loaded potatoes go great with ground beef or chicken!
Zucchini is an excellent Potassium and Vitamin C source! You can roast zucchini in the oven or Air-Fryer. Pop them in a foil packet or on a skewer for hot days. And to replace spaghetti, spiralize them into zucchini noodles. Try a low-carb zucchini meal tonight!
Never underestimate the power of swapping desserts and sweets with fruit. Bonus: Fruit can be eaten as a snack, added with breakfast, or even added to a salad or sandwich. If you’re craving something sweet, try fruit that’s in season! Check the list below to see if your favorites are in season! For those seeking a budget-friendly piece of fruit or vegetables, look for a produce stand at a local farmer’s market.
To see what fruits and vegetables are in season, check it out below!