Cooking Healthy On a Budget
It’s not true that eating healthy foods will cost more; cooking at home will save you dollars from the start. Plus, you’re in control of the portion sizes. It’s much better to eat less of more nutritious foods, which may cost a little more, than to eat a lot of cheap, processed food that costs the same amount. Here are a few suggestions to save you money and improve your health, too!
Shop smart. Plan your meals for the week before you go shopping, but be prepared to be flexible—you might encounter an unexpected sale item. Buy more fruits and vegetables, and less meat. Instead of meat, use beans in some recipes, like burritos, tacos, soups and pasta dishes.
Fresh and fruits and vegetables are cheapest when they’re in season. Frozen fruits and veggies without added sauces cost less and are better for you. Plus, they are great to have on hand when you’re low on funds or don’t feel like heading to the store.
Go whole. Even if that loaf of whole-grain bread costs more than that log of spongy white stuff, you’re getting more nutritional bang for your buck. The whole-grain bread has more vitamins and more fiber, which satisfies your hunger longer. The same is true of whole-grain pastas and crackers, and brown rice instead of white. Do make your own rice, because it’s way cheaper and healthier than the mixes.
Serve and store. After everyone has taken their desired portion of the great dinner you made, immediately put the leftovers in containers and store them in the fridge. They could add up to another dinner. That leftover chili would taste great tomorrow over baked potatoes, for example. Leftovers also equal instant lunches.
Article copyright © 2011 American Heart Association. This article is brought to you by the American Heart Association’s Simple Cooking with Heart Program. For more articles and simple, quick and affordable recipes, visit heart.org/simplecooking.