Carefully planning your meals is a great way to ensure that you don’t put too much dent on your budget while putting the right items on the table.
To secure a better position, money- and health-wise, do things in the kitchen and in the grocery differently. Make changes where you can.
In The Kitchen
Do your planning in the kitchen where you can see your cookware and the remaining items in the fridge. This way, you will not make the mistake of jotting down items that you don’t have to buy yet.
Scan bottles, cans, ingredients, fruits, and vegetables. Throw away the ones that are not needed. Then, with what’s left, plan your next week’s meal.
As you look through your cookware, play with new and old ideas. What were your old, forgotten, electricity-saving, and money-saving ways of cooking? What are the healthier ones? Boiled dishes are far healthier than grilled dishes and those laden with sauces. Toy with fast methods of cooking but still ensure the right nutrition is met every time.
ALSO READ: How To Become A Better Cook?
In The Grocery
After your rendezvous in the kitchen, coming face to face with your grocery mistakes will be your next step. Your number of drop-bys may be one reason you are spending too much for food.
The trick? Resist the temptation to go to the store, unless it is really needed. Each time you go there, it is easy to get sidetracked and be led to making unintended (and often expensive) purchases. Thus, limit your grocery visits.
In the grocery store, shop within the store’s perimeter first. That’s where most whole foods are displayed. If, afterward, you find yourself in the store’s middle area, try to look at the bottom and top of the shelves first. It is the middle section, the part that you are directly faced with, that contains the most expensive foodstuffs.
Now don’t bring the kids when shopping — if that can be helped. Your unsuspecting little family members are the ones constantly bombarded with bad food choices hyped as the best food options for them through TV and Internet ads.
A kid asking and crying that his picks be put in the cart is one of the biggest challenges to mothers who’ve made up their mind to save money while getting healthy.
And don’t forget to stick to the list. Even with a little tot constantly prodding you or a new recipe you read on the label that simply begs for you to try it out, stand your ground. Making little changes to that piece of paper can easily shatter a carefully designed weekly meal plan.
On The Dining Table
Each meal should be a teaching and learning opportunity where family members can be reminded to cut down on expenses by not eating junk foods, enjoying seasonal and affordable fruits and vegetables, and being thankful for what mom or dad has lovingly cooked and placed on the table. Make other food consumers in your household your allies in this endeavor.
Lastly, think about food longevity. If you buy ingredients, fruits, and vegetables in bulk (as long as you know they will be consumed way before their best before date), you will not have to worry about supply for a long, long time and save yourself from frequent store visits.
Be on the lookout for promos and coupons that you can take advantage of — these will also help you save money while getting healthy.
ALSO READ: Going Organic Without Breaking The Bank
Thanks for reading. I hope this information was helpful. Until next time!
Crazy cat lady, life and food lover, certified biologist, and holistic health coach.