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Healthy Food on a Budget?
If you only had $300 a month to spend on groceries for a family
of 4, could you do it? What sort of healthy food would make the list
and what would stay tauntingly on the store's shelves?
Whatever your reason for having a tight budget, the truth is that
going to the grocery store without a plan is a BIG budget
breaker. And sadly all that cash ends up vanishing into our
stomachs and then...let's stop there.
Could you save $25 a month on groceries? How about $50 or $100?
Possibly you could cut your bill by almost 50% if you consider
some of the following suggestions:
First divide your healthy food recipe budget into three categories;
weekly, bi-weekly and monthly. Once you have the totals fixed,
try to find a way to make it work. If you budgeted too tight,
only then consider how much more you really need to spend.
Second, identify your WEEKLY needs; milk, bread, fruits. These
will be your saving graces when the troops are hungry. You can
load up each week and always have healthy snacks for kids
available. Think about $15/week.
Third, identify your BI-WEEKLY needs; eggs, cheese, vegetables,
meat and cheese for sandwiches etc. These items have a slightly
longer shelf life but you will watch how much you use when you
know there's still four days until your next purchase. Try $20
every two weeks.
Fourth, get the remainder of your groceries in one place. Use
cash to pay (to avoid temptation of over spending) and work out
your shopping list ahead of time. You only need to do this once
as many of the items (Cereal, meat etc.) will need to be
repurchased each time. Other items (sugar, flour etc.) may be
substituted every other month. In this example you have $200
Fifth, have a schedule of healthy meals that you can rotate. Cheap,
healthy recipes like stir fry can be inexpensive as they use less
meat than full pieces of chicken or beef for dinner. And they're
certainly a healthy quick recipe, too. So plan to have
a meat meal offset by a simpler healthy quick recipe dish like pasta
every other night. This way your family will not go through
'feast-and-famine' when they eat like kings the first week and
are eating canned chili every night for the last week.
Always determine your meals and your healthy snacks for kids
based on what you really plan to cook. If you have healthy quick
recipe weeknight staples, try to find the cheapest method of
preparing them, or make do with less pre-packaged affair on other
nights when you have more time. Using healthy quick recipe
items like frozen vegetables can make eating not only cheap but
also healthy and convenient.
Clearly the $300 suggestion will depend on your family, the age
of your children and how much your budget really allows. Whatever
your budget, taking the time to draw up a plan and think about
your healthy food choices will guarantee that you keep more cash
in your wallet for other important things.
So, yes, you CAN have healthy food and use healthy recipes on a
budget. You can even provide healthy snacks for your kids on a
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