As if it wasn’t hard enough to say no to unhealthy foods, it can be more expensive too.
Access to nutritious food is important to Cristo Rey Community Center. We take pride in our Community Garden, and the hard work that goes into serving balanced meals to CRCC clients Monday-Friday. We hope these tips can help everyone in our greater community see that eating healthy doesn’t have to break the bank.
Buy in bulk
When you buy in bulk you can get more for your money. However, always make sure it’s something you’ll use completely before the expiration date. Noodles and rice are great to buy in bulk because they don’t spoil, and can be a base to a number of dishes. These starches pair well with vegetables, meat, different seasonings, and often are available in whole grain varieties.
Do the math
If you don’t have the chance to buy in bulk, pay close attention to the price per unit. Check the price against the whole amount, and break it down by price. Many times there might be a product on the shelf for a lesser amount. However, for example, another product next to it has 3 more ounces for only 5 cents more! Take your time, and consider what is the better deal. It can save you money in the long run. Also, always check for a generic option. The price difference between generic and name brand is usually just the cost companies pays for advertising. It is all the same in the end.
If you stumble upon a recipe you want to try, brainstorm healthier alternatives for ingredients. For example, cottage cheese is a cheaper, healthier alternative for ricotta cheese when making lasagna.
Avoid impulse buys
Avoid at all costs going to the grocery store hungry, because it can cost ya! Your cravings will be high when you’re hungry, and you might find yourself throwing much more in the cart than you would have otherwise. Which could leave the money in your pockets at a low. Do grocery shopping after a meal, and stick to a list.
Plan your week
Making a plan of meals for the week, can cut down on unnecessary purchases. Also, allow you to make the most of your produce purchases while they’re still fresh!
Grow what you can
Having a small garden can be a fun way to cut costs on produce for healthy eating. Even if you don’t have a lot of space, there are a lot of techniques that be used for making the most out of the space you have.
A bag of seeds can be a small investment that can bring a season full of fresh produce. In Michigan, things like tomatoes and cucumbers thrive! Here is a list of other fruits and vegetables that grow well in Michigan.
Buy Frozen & in Season
Buying frozen is a great way to get fruits and vegetables at a fair price. When shopping for fresh food, try to buy what’s in season because it will usually be a better price than other options that have to be imported. Make the most of summer, and buy berries that can be frozen to enjoy in the colder months to follow.
Look for recipes that incorporate your favorite foods, with healthy ingredients. Eating a balanced diet can be beneficial to your body both physically and mentally. Here is an example of a cheap, yummy and healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner.
-Heat oats with water in microwave, or on stove, until oats are a thick consistency
-Whole grain minute rice
-Prepare Chicken and minute rice using the method you prefer
-Add lettuce, beans, shredded cheese and diced tomatoes into a bowl
-Mix ingredients together and enjoy!
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-Add a thin layer of sauce to the tortilla
-Cut cherry tomatoes into halves
-Top with cheese and tomatoes
-Cook in oven for 8 minutes or until cheese has melted completely