- On August 7, 2013
Creating healthy, wholesome meals for a family on a tight-budget can seem difficult at first glance. At Pea Pod we have helped families eat healthy on budgets of any size, even as low as $15 a week! Here are our tips to eating healthy on a shoe-string budget.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to eat organic or create elaborate fancy meals. A healthy diet includes fruits, whole grains, vegetables and a good lean protein source like beans. Creating a menu around dried beans, whole grains like brown rice, whole wheat pasta and oatmeal, frozen vegetables, and in season fresh fruit is a great way to get all the vitamins and nutrients you need while staying within your budget. Here’s a sample menu including some of these budget friendly items:
- Breakfast: Oatmeal topped with brown sugar, raisins and chopped nuts and grapes on the side
- Snack: Orange
- Lunch: Chili Beans with Baked Sweet Potato and Brown Rice
- Snack: Carrot Sticks and Bean Dip
- Dinner: Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce (add chickpeas to the marinara sauce for added protein) and Steamed Frozen Broccoli
Buy Frozen Vegetables
There are some things that you just have to buy fresh like lettuce, onions and garlic. But so much produce is available in the freezer section every type of vegetable you could imagine and even things like chopped bell pepper. Frozen foods are just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts, last longer and are substantially cheaper.
Buy In Season and Buy On Sale
Here in the U.S. nearly every type of fruit and vegetable is available year round. However, different types of fruits and vegetables are grown at different times of the year. For example, apples are typically ready to pick in the fall and strawberries are ready to pick in the summer. In-season fruit is usually the cheapest since it can be found locally and doesn’t have to be shipped all over the world to arrive at your grocery store. In-Season fruits and vegetables are also the one’s that you will usually find on sale so it’s a win-win for your wallet.
Start A Garden
It doesn’t matter how big or little of a space you have you can start your own little garden in nothing more than an old large coffee can. You also don’t need to know much about gardening to get started. Just a little soil and a seed packet. Most seed packets will tell you everything you need to know about planting and growing the fruit or vegetable you wish to grow like what time of year to plant, how deep you should plant your seeds, how often to water your plant and when it’s best to pick it and eat it.
Take Advantage of Your Resources
Farmer’s Markets are an excellent place to get in-season, organic, fresh produce all year round. They offer prices lower than your typical grocery store and are an excellent way to add more fresh fruits and vegetables to your plate. If you are currently enrolled in the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) you can receive half off your produce at many farmers markets through the Wholesome Wave program.