Trying to live on a budget can be difficult, especially when food gets involved. For a family of four, the amount of food purchased in a month can lead to a staggering cut into finances. However, who wants their kids living off of just cheap frozen burritos and Ramen noodles? Health is just as important as budget. Luckily, eating healthy doesn’t have to cost all that much.
Rice, Beans, and Legumes
Rice, beans, and legumes are important side dishes that should accompany most meals. Not only are they incredibly cheap, they’re also good for you. Use brown rice instead of white for extra nutrients and benefits. Beans add protein to a meal while costing a fraction of what meats generally do, so they can be a good substitution for meat in certain meals. Legumes are also cheap and healthy, but your kids might balk if it’s something they haven’t tried before, so you might want to slowly add them in to your meals.
Everyone knows they should eat more vegetables, but it’s hard to incorporate them into meals in different and tasty ways, and they can get expensive. To find new ways to eat your veggies, use online recipe websites to come up with something different. To save on the price, look in the local ads for what’s on sale, and buy the things that are in season. You can even buy extra and can or freeze some for use at a later date.
If you’re more creative and plan on eating a lot of vegetables, it might make money sense to join a co-op where you receive batches of veggies from local farms. They’re locally grown and very fresh, but you get whatever the farm has at that moment, so you’ll need to be willing to figure out how to use four pounds of rutabaga. If you end up throwing out a big chunk of what you buy, it isn’t worth the money.
Meats can often be the most expensive part of the meal. To keep meat in your diet, you can look at the clearance section of the meat counter, wait for sales and buy large quantities to freeze, and buy cheaper items, like whole chickens and certain roasts. If you take a cheap cut of beef and stick it in the crock pot with some potatoes and carrots, you’ll end up with a delicious one-pot meal that costs next to nothing. A whole chicken can be used to make several meals, and the leftovers can be used to make chicken stock for soup.
While it might be a little simpler to just throw something in the microwave, it will cost more and be less healthy. Using a rice cooker, a crock pot, and some creativity, you can come up with several meals that your family will enjoy that use incredibly cheap and healthy ingredients.
[author] [author_info]About the Author
Casey Tucker is a mother of three, an insurance consultant, and a content contributor for public liability issues, such as personal injury of customers or accidental damage to your client’s premises.