Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Eating Healthy on a Budget

Eating healthy while sticking to a budget is tough. Maybe others have a better handle on how to do this, and please please share your tips with me!

Here's the deal.... For awhile now I have noticed that a lot of the coupons and BOGO deals are on sugary sweet stuff or junk food. My sister and I have talked about this. Now don't get me wrong I love that kind of food... VERY much! My husband and children also really like it. But I have begun to really re-vamp our eating habits.

It's mainly for me, as I have weight to lose, and not just a little either. I think not having a ton of that stuff around the house will be helpful to me. Plus, my family just needs to eat more fruits and vegetables.

So, for the past two weeks I have not really bought anything much that required a coupon. I'm mainly purchasing meats, fresh fruits and veggies, etc. My body is thanking me, but it's hard on our budget. I wish now I had planted some kind of a garden, or something, that could be helping me save on vegetables. I know some of my friends utilize farmers markets around here as well.

Help! Tell me how you manage to save money and eat healthy too. I could really use some tips and advice.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice Blog you have here. I enjoy reading it. I use coupons.

Mamosa said...

It's not too late to do a container garden, and I'm noticing that many of the local garden centers are marking down their (already producing) garden plants. Last year, we got a pretty decent harvest up until the beginning of November!

honeymoney said...

Gardening comes first to my mind when I think about healthy food and saving money. Sweet combitation.

Christy said...

I've read your blog for awhile, but haven't left more than a comment or two, but we tend to eat a lot (a lot!) of produce and I've found that the best deals are with produce stands. What I would pay $45 for at Publix or SuperTarget I can get for $15 at the produce stands. If I throw in $5 for gas and an hour of my time (as opposed to 4 minutes to get to/from Publix), it's still a money saver.

I live in Florida, so we have the advantage of local produce year round. I know that's not the case for everyone, but even if only for 3-4 months, those savings will add up. I think you're in Georgia, right, so there must be farming at least 75% of the year?

In a typical week we eat 6-8 tomatoes, 2 onions, 3-4 green peppers, 2-3 cucumbers, 1 bag of baby carrots, 1-2 eggplants, a cauliflower, a pound of nectarines or pears, same of apricots, blueberries or strawberries (seasonally), 2-4 limes or lemons, plus cilantro. I can get all of that for about $15. It's fabulous.

The only things I don't like to buy at produce stands are lettuce and spinach. They don't seem to do well here.

And if I find that I have a lot of veggies that need to be used up, we do a "Ponderosa" night where everything gets chopped up and put on two big serving platters - one protein, one veggie. The protein might have leftover chicken (cut up), ham, feta, boiled eggs, olives, etc. (all from the fridge, not specifically bought for this) and the veggie platter has, well, veggies. Each of the 4 of us gets a bowl with a nice serving of spinach or lettuce and we make a salad bar out of it. My kids eat tons of veggies this way and we don't have a lot of food going to waste.

If I have extra fruit, I simmer it on the stove with a bit of sugar for a compote or jam. It keeps in the fridge until we can use it up.

I do not buy any breakfast foods prepared, except cereal. I make pancakes in bulk, muffins from scratch, etc. I know exactly what they're getting for breakfast and I can often swap out some of the flour to make them a bit healthier, fiber-wise.

This isn't to say we're always eating healthy - I'm in your boat (it seems) with weight loss, so it is a constant struggle. I will let me children (2 & 5) pick out a single serving treat at CVS if I have to get my total up to use a 4/$20 coupon, they eat it and it's out of the house. They get a treat on occasion and I'm not tempted.

Best wishes as you keep to your budget and try to eat healthy!

Dr. Mom said...

I am new to blogging and have really enjoyed reading yours. I just started one this weekend and put two of my favorite healthy, fairly low cost recipes on it. Hope you enjoy.

jmisgro said...

Go to eatbetteramerica.com. They have some coupons for healthy foods.

Shana said...

Hi there! Today is the first day I've stopped by your blog but think I'll soon be stopping in more often. You asked for ways to save and eat healthier. I'm not sure where you are located, but a quick search for "you pick it" farms in your area can save you tons in the long run. It can require some upfront cost but it adds up. Where we are now the strawberries are just about done but the blueberries are around the corner. The strawberries are only $1.30/lb. when we pick them. I'm simple when it comes to storing foods and go for the wash and freeze foods flat in ziploc baggy method. No canning or baking here. Picking your own food doubles as great family fun too. Of course October and Apple picking is my family's favorite event. :)