Health Topics

Preparing Healthy Meals at Home on a Budget

Preparing Healthy Meals at Home

Preparing food at home is not only less expensive than eating out, it can be a source of fun family time without an admission price! All ages can assist in preparing meals, finding new recipes and scanning the grocery ads for the best bargains.

10 Tips for Eating Well

1. Buy perishable foods in quantities you’ll use.

Spoiled food that’s tossed into the garbage is no bargain! Look to frozen fruits and vegetables, which are less perishable and allow for portion-controlled servings, unlike canned foods.

2. Buy fresh fruits and vegetables in season.

You’ll not only save dollars, you’ll also enjoy the most wholesome food on the market. And buying locally grown produce helps stimulate your local economy!

3. Buy meat in bulk and cut into servings at home.

Each stroke of the knife in processing costs more at check-out. Try buying fresh pork loin and slicing it into low-fat loin chops at home. Buy a roast and cube it into chunks for beef stew. Buy a whole chicken and cut it up at home. The less time spent in processing, the better the food value.

4. Beware of BOGO – buy one, get one free.

Either you’ll wind up buying foods that you won’t eat, or you’ll be paying an inflated price for the "buy" item to cover the cost of the free one.

5. Be an informed shopper and stick to your list.

Impulse buying at the grocery store leads to the demise of your food budget!

6. Limit your purchase of ready-prepared foods.

Go to the deli or refrigerated sections for ready-made foods only on occasions when you’re willing to pay more for the convenience. You pay a higher price to have someone else prepare the meal.

7. Clip coupons with caution.

Coupons may persuade you to purchase items you generally wouldn’t buy. But if the coupon is for an item you can use, look for stores that give double-coupon redemption for extra savings.

8. Use your imagination with leftovers.

Create soups, casseroles and brand-new dishes with your leftovers to avoid tossing out unused food. If you run short of ideas, browse websites for recipes; just key in your leftover ingredients.

9. Look for outlet stores such as day-old bakeries.

Prices are reduced by more than 50 percent from store prices. Bread products freeze well and are versatile – they can be used in sandwiches, in recipes calling for breadcrumbs, and for stuffing.

10. Avoid portion-controlled snack packs.

Not only are they more costly, they may not save you calories, either. Remember that fat-free doesn’t mean sugar-free, and vice versa!