How to eat nutritiously without hitting your bank account too hard is can be ongoing challenge for families as well as individuals. From limited means to just being mindful, feeding ourselves with nutritious food has become a priority for those who want to remain healthy, despite limited income.
But, how do we do this when money is a factor? There are many tips on how to do this, but I will give you some of my suggestions and a couple of resources they may help out.
Although some of these ideas are nothing new, it bears to mention anyway as a refresher. Cooking from scratch is always the way to go to eat on a budget. Here are some food items you should always keep on hand.
Whole grains, such as brown rice, and other options such as bulgur wheat, whole grain or wheat pasta, etc.
Beans of any variety whether whole in their natural form or canned
Plant Based Milk (stockpile when items on sale)
Peanut Butter, or other nut butters
Frozen fruit fruit and veggies
Canned fruit (packed in fruit juice is the best option)
Canned vegetables (no salt added for healthier option)
Basic spices from your dollar store such as oregano, garlic & onion powders, cumin, paprika, kosher salt, sea salt and black pepper.
Economical vegetables and fruits, apples, bananas, carrots, cabbage, zucchini, cucumbers, celery, collard greens, kale, sweet potatoes, onions.
Also, check out resources that may be in your own neighborhood such as food pantries that get daily food donations from outside resources.
These suggestions that I've mentioned are very basic but is a good start.
Now with these basic options you will be able to create some basic meals to nourish your body. But, what if you need to have some easy meal ideas that address the budget issue, plus also delivers good taste?
Although, there are plenty of options on the internet , here is a free e-book called Good & Cheap by Leanne Brown you can easily access. Some exciting options are Vegetable Jambalaya, Savory Summer Cobbler & Spicy Pulled Pork. In addition, there are breakfast options as well as beverage options such as smoothies.
Good & Cheap E-Cookbook
With technology booming, we can now access food using apps on our phone. Food waste is a huge factor these days and this app is trying to reduce this issue, city by city as it becomes more popular. Its called "Too Good to Go"
This company partners with restaurants, bakeries, supermarkets and hotels. Although, not everything offered is healthy there are plenty of options available depending on where you live. Here is a link to find out more information regarding reducing food waste while also enjoying these services to keep yourself on a budget for food costs. You can download the app from the App Store or Google Play.
Too Good to Go
As you can see, you can eat healthy by doing a little research and planning ahead, but also keep things interesting for your taste buds. All of this can be done on a budget and doesn't have to be boring.
Even, if some things are more costly, you can save on other items to balance things out. In the long run you or your family will benefit from these smart habits for a lifetime.
Eat Good! Look Good! Feel Good!
Vanessa LaBranche/Chef Instructor-Culinary Educator