Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Eating Healthy on a Budget

If you follow me on Facebook you may already know this information. Last week one of my BFF's Monique joined me on Facebook Live in giving you tips and tools for eating healthy on a budget. She had some awesome ideas which I don't want you to miss, so I wanted to recap them all here. Please view the videos (there are 2 parts due to a technical glitch)as we go into greater detail and share some personal experiences.

Here is Part 1
And here is Part 2

1. Look for Deals
Check out the 50% off deals grocery stores put out when things are about to expire. The produce section typically has a cart at the end of it with produce that should be cooked soon (or frozen!). Mo has found that Sunday morning is when the meats tend to get marked down. Make friends with your grocery store clerks and find out from them when the best deals happen, then incorporate these items into your weekly meal plan or freeze them - Mo freezes everything. Or you can cook the item that day as a one pan meal or a casserole of some sort and freeze to eat later in the week.

2. Make a Weekly Meal Plan and Meal Prep
Plan for the week and buy your groceries based on what you're actually planning on eating for the week. This saves you money since you shouldn't be throwing away extra produce but also so much time by prepping your foods and having the week planned out. Then you can take the grocery flyers for the week (Mo's tip - buy with the front page which always has the best deals to draw you into their store).

I personally use this free, printable menu planner here to help keep the week organized

If you are already thinking that you don't have the time to prep meals for the week, you'll want to tune into Video 2 to hear what I think of that. Spend a couple hours a week making a large batch of rice, salad, boil eggs, chop produce, mix trail mix together....whatever suits your food preferences to have healthy snacks and food ready to eat

3. Make all of your Meals and Snacks
I realize that as busy Mamas, it's so much easier to buy packed, boxed foods, but making your own trays of protein bars, muffins, raw balls, dinners, lunches, juices etc is so much cheaper AND healthier! Pinterest is an amazing tool. You can follow me here on mine, I have lots of healthy recipes that are all quick and simple. This way you'll know exactly what's going into your food and subsequently, your body.

4.Making a Weekly Grocery Budget
Track what you spend now for a few weeks and create a budget from there. Include ALL consumables - coffee, take-out, café visits etc. Make the budget realistic but also find that room to save money each week. It's all about being conscious of where your money is going and how to live within a budget.

5.Join a Weekly CSA
In most cities you can join a CSA (community supported agriculture). This basically means you are buying a share of a farm, and each wekk you are provided a box of whatever has grown on their land that particular week. You can buy different size shares depending on the size of your family. You can save money while supporting local farmers and eating in season - which benefits your health and your wallet. Canadians can check to find a local CSA near you with this list here

6. Know The Dirty Dozen
Instead on buying ALL your produce organic, you can save money by buying just the produce from the Dirty Dozen list - those heavily sprayed and often found to contain lots of pesticides on them. There is also a list called the Clean 15 (scroll under the Dirty Dozen list), which are produce items that are generally safer to buy non-organic. This will save you some money while being a conscious consumer.

7. Know Your Prices
For beginners, keep a list of the regular items you tend to buy and write down prices of all your local stores.
Also, Mo suggests paying attention to things you buy multiples of. For example: If avocados are 1 for $2 or 3 for $5, it's better to get more, but this isn't always the case!

8.Have Meatless Meals
Meat can be pricey AND leaning more toward a plant based diet tends to be healthier for most. A simple idea is to get out the crockpot, throw in some veggie broth, beans, lentils, whatever chopped veggies you like, salsa or tomato sauce and some quinoa. Keep on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours and voila! You can use throughout the week in a variety of ways; you can eat as a soup, place atop veggies or rice, top a salad with, add to scrambled eggs, and so on. This not only is a great tip for saving money but it's also a huge time saver throughout the week. Boom.

9. Make Easy Healthy Meals With Easy Ingredients
Simplify, simplify, simplify! Cooking something like chicken breasts, rice and broccoli is not only really healthy but tends to be cheaper rather than buying fancy, pre-packaged foods. Don't feel like you have to get all fancy and complicated in the kitchen.

10. Use Flyer Apps and Points Cards
Check out your local grocery store for points cards they may have available for free. You can accumulate points toward free groceries. Locals, I shop at Zehr's and use the PC Plus card. Currently I have $190 to use in-store!

Mo also uses Flipp App for price matching and Checkout 51 for getting cash back

We hope you find these tips helpful! Thank you Mo for coming on out and giving us such great tips! xoxox


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