(50PlusPrime) TROY, MICHIGAN --
With the current economic hardships we face today, it can seem very hard to eat healthy home cooked meals.
Actually, it is easier than you think.
Here are 15 tips to help you through:
1. Skip the organic. I saw apples today that were organic and they were $0.10 more than a regular apple. Because the nutritional value is the same, why spend the extra money, and this was just apples! If you don’t eat fresh fruits and vegetables quick enough, its okay to used canned or frozen.
2. Make purchases using coupons. Use coupons from the paper, or in-store specials.
3. Cut back on the junk. While most of us have found junk food to be a regular part of our diet, it really shouldn’t be. It is a treat. A treat is not something that you eat every day. This includes soda, beer/wine and other alcoholic beverages.
4. Switch out a breakfast for dinner meal. Eggs are a great source of high biological value protein and VERY inexpensive. Scramble, over easy, omelet, or sunny side up with toast.
5. Soup and sandwich night can also be fun! Our favorite is grilled cheese and soup.
6. Consider if you can, to purchase in bulk. If you have the space, bulk purchases are generally a little less expensive.
7. Don’t purchase manager’s specials that are close to the expiration date, unless you will use it right away. It really isn’t a special if it goes bad before it is used.
8. When making dinner, make enough for leftovers…in my house, leftovers don’t go over very well so, in order to stretch my leftovers, for instance – meatloaf - make tacos later in the week to finish up what was left. The family will never know!
9. Use meal extenders.
10. Potatoes are also inexpensive. Have a Baked Potato Bar night. This is fun too! And a great change of pace.
11. Cut back on the quickie stop at the local fast food restaurant. It is very expensive!
12. If you use a lot of disposable products, get back to the real thing. It’s time we teach our kids to do dishes again (and that includes my boy!!) Plus, it serves its purpose for the “green” initiative.
13. Bring leftovers to work for lunch. Food prices are going up everywhere. Food cost more to purchase, produce, package and transport. Especially when the price of oil goes up.
14. Kids can brown bag it too! Well, reusable bag it!
15. Do not – and this is very important – DO NOT shop when you are hungry. This will lead to impulse buying. And those impulses are generally expensive unhealthy items that we should be cutting back on (refer to #3 above.)
I hope some of these suggestions can help you get through this time in our economy. Happy Holidays to you and your family.