This is the second part to a series on eating great, healthy meals when your wallet needs some help. If you haven’t seen part one, you can read that here.
Read on to see how you can feed yourself several meals for cheaper than the price of one burger with fries.
- Cut the empty calories.
You already know that you should be drinking eight glasses of water a day. Filtered tap water is essentially free in dollars, and it is free in calories. Crave it and save it. If you don’t love the taste of plain water, add a squirt of lemon or infuse a pitcher with fruit, herbs, edible flowers, or even vegetables for a refreshing beverage.
- Stop spoilage.
When you toss bad food down the garbage disposal, you might as well be tossing your paycheck down there, too. Keeping an organized fridge and freezer will avoid letting food spoil. One system is to label your leftovers with masking tape marked with the date on the container. When you cook in bulk with the intent of freezing, you should package foods in amounts you’ll actually use, like individual turkey burgers or mini-pans of lasagna.
- Embrace Meatless Monday.
We’re not saying you need to go full-on vegetarian, but the occasional meal as an herbivore is a budget-friendly way to save calories and cash. Quinoa, freekeh, brown rice, and lentils are all protein-packed grains that you can get for just a few bucks, and black beans will improve just about any meal. If you just can’t get down without some meat with your potatoes, you can consider cutting the amount in half and subbing in some grains or veggies to bulk up your meal and stretch your dollars. One of our favorite recipes uses ground turkey, organic salsa, and cubed zucchini to create huge quantities of taco fillings.
A photo posted by Tori Cooper (@gringaliciousblog) on
- Shop the sales.
It’s probably not news that you should consider getting store rewards cards and shopping the ads. What you may not know is that some stores do double-coupon days where they’ll multiple your savings. These usually aren’t advertised, but it’s enough to find out after a quick phone call.
Grazing on generics will also save you some cash. Store brands can save you up to 25 to 30 percent of what national brands cost, and many are produced in the same facilities and with the same ingredients.
- Buy Promax bars for a boost that will keep you going from noon to night.
Snacking and cravings are inevitable. While some will advise for you to avoid buying treats, that’s a clear roadmap to a discouraging binge. Really, snacking is all about making informed choices and buying proper alternatives. We’ve been told that some of our Promax bars taste like candy bars—but they’re actually lower in sugar, gluten free, and with very few grams of carbs. They’re also packed with protein to fuel great workouts and even work as meal replacements or supplements. For more information, check out our blog.
Sources: http://www.thekitchn.com/10-smart-tips-for-eating-healthy-on-a-super-tight-budget-reader-intelligence-report-211182, https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/18-hacks-for-eating-well-on-a-budget/, http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/2013/04/02/how-much-food-does-the-average-american-waste