How do you eat healthy on a budget?
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  1. #1
    Administrator Cricket's Avatar
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    Default How do you eat healthy on a budget?

    How do you eat healthy on a budget?-healthyfood.jpg

    You’re familiar with the phrase, “You are what you eat.” While you might not literally turn into a Big Mac after eating one, unhealthy eating habits can lead to an unhealthy lifestyle and poor health overall. If you want to improve your health, start with your diet! You’ll be glad to know that eating healthy is not as difficult or as expensive as you might imagine. Practical Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget
    What ways have you found to eat heathy on a budget?
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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Pretty much everything in that article. Buying whole foods is the biggest way to save, IMO. I buy meat, eggs, cheese, fruit and vegetables and create meals from that. I don't buy canned soup*, meals in a box, hot pockets, 'flavored' fruit snacks, or pre made or ready to heat type foods. It's all got too much salt, sugar, fat and preservatives.

    *There are exceptions of course. Sometimes I want hash browns and I buy a bag. I keep a few cans of soup for emergencies. There are some frozen foods that are not so bad. But these are not staples in our diet.
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I do all that, except I don't plan very far ahead. Probably should. We use fewer convenience foods every year.

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    Registered User earlybird's Avatar
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    We have been planning meals for about 3 days at a time. We make very simple meals and try to make
    the third day a leftover day. Then start again....... I also have cut way down on buying processed.

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    I forgot about the "on a budget" part. If that means eating healthy as cheaply as eating a lot of convience foods, I don't think you can. Fresh whole foods are expensive, and generally a lot more work to deal with. Watching sales helps, but can't make up the difference.

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    There are many vegs available for $1/lb or less. Even frozen vegs go on sale for $1/lb periodically. Big pots of soup are frugal and healthy as long as you choose ingredients wisely.

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    Moderator aka AmyBob AmyBoz's Avatar
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    Isn't that the question? Unhealthy foods are so much less expensive than healthy foods. I just had this conversation with my co-teacher the other day. It's really a shame.

    As for myself, it is definitely fruits and vegetables that drives up my bill. Everything else I can get on sale or with coupons, but the fruits and veggies, it's impossible to get good prices around here. Even the farmer's markets are about the same price as ShopRite.

    It would be so much easier if pasta was good for you. It's the cheapest thing to buy.

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    Yep, pretty much everything in the article.

    Canning/dehydrating the garden excess/sales helps too. We raising goats for milk and rabbits for meat. I'm learning to forage for us and for the rabbits, the goats take care of themselves and we spend less than $10/month on the animals food. Looking forward to learning how to make goat cheese. Hunting on your own land in Mississippi doesn't require a license and we plan on harvesting a deer this fall to supplement. Next on the list is raising our own chickens.

    I've learned how to cut my own meat, like buying a pork loin on sale and cutting my own boneless pork chops. We also grind pork and beef we find on sale.

    I save every scrap I can from the kitchen; veggie peels/trimmings, chicken bones....and freeze until I'm ready to make a batch of hm chicken broth and then I pick the meat off the bones and toss into the compost. I save fruit peelings/cores to make my own vinegar and then the trimmings go into the compost. Lemon and orange peels I dehydrate and power to make my own zest.

    I also search local free/for sale sites for people with fruit trees that want someone to come pick.

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Vegetables are the cheapest thing on my grocery receipt. Fruit is under $1 a pound right now (apples, peaches, grapes and oranges) and vegs are running ~1.49-2.00 per pound on sale (sweet potatoes, summer and winter squash, tomatoes, brussels sprouts, beets). It's the other stuff that drives up our bill, olive oil, mayo, nuts and cheese for DH's diet, sandwich bread, milk, DH's diet sweetener...
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

    Use it up, Wear it out,
    Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown

    Because we, the people, have the power to build a better future. KH

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    You're comparing apples to, um.... oranges. Maybe you can get fruits and veggies for $1/lb, but you can often get 3 boxes of mac and powdered cheese for a dollar which will be more food than an apple or 2 that weigh a pound. Frozen pizzas are often $2 for the cheap ones here. Can't make them fresh for that. Milk is consistently around $4 a gallon here, while 2 liters of house brand pop is often under a dollar. Ramen is 20 cents a package. It's generally way cheaper to buy boxed foods and junk foods. Everyone knows fresh veggies are better than cheaper canned veggies and chicken is healthier than hot dogs, but when you're on a tight budget supporting 5 teenagers, something has to give. The mortgage, car payments, and other fixed expenses have to met, so one of the few places a person can flex is on groceries. Corners get cut because there's no other option.

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    Menu planning is a big saver. I also use meat as an ingredient maybe twice a week. Otherwise our diet is mainly vegetables and beans.

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    I am a bit jealous of people when I see some of the costs posted here. Everything is expensive where we live. My pay includes a regional cost of living increase, but the percentage increase is less than the increased cost of living here.

    We make most of our own foods, but we also like fresh fruit and veggies. And that costs a lot. I think we spend around $30 - $40 a week for fresh fruits and veggies. For two adults. That does not could the frozen vegetables we get.
    KathyB

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    We're a huge ag state, so I think that helps keep costs down for us. We're the home for huge food companies like Pillsbury, Hormel, etc. We're right next door to Wisconsin so cheese and other dairy seems cheaper here than other places we travel.

    Big cities are usually more expensive than smaller cities and towns, too.

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    I check the flyers that I get in the mail each Tuesday, and buy what's on sale. We have an Armenian produce market that sells fruits and vegetables in season for excellent prices. Last week apples were just .50 a pound, bananas were .59 a pound, and persimmons were .80 a pound. I think our prices are cheaper in California, since so many fruits and vegetables are grown here. It depends on where you shop, though. I grow my own lettuce, and make a salad each night. My hens provide eggs, and my backyard orchard produces a lot of citrus. I buy ten pounds of potatoes for about three dollars, (on sale,) and use a lot of rice. It's cheap and versatile. I like to make Mexican rice from scratch and add a small amount of diced meat or chicken. I buy round steak when it's marked down at Sprouts. I pound it with a mallet, and then soak it in citrus juice for an hour and fifteen minutes. That tenderizes the meat so it isn't tough. Dipped in flour and pan fried, it's delicious and flavorful. I go to a few different stores on the same day, and find the vegetables I need at the cheapest price. I also eat pasta a few times a week.

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