There are times where we get in a pickle and cannot always afford what is best for us. Fresh produce, meats, and seafood can rack of the price of your shopping cart. Follow these simple tips to help stay in a budget and receive the nutrition you need.
1. PLAN MEALS AHEAD
*Look for recipes that have minimal ingredients and nothing hard to find.
*Plan your meals a week at a time and add any ingredients you don’t currently have to your shopping list.
*Make sure you have a LIST when you go grocery shopping so that you don’t OVER purchase or grab things you DO NOT NEED! Make sure to write down the amount you need.
2. KNOW HOW MUCH TO MAKE
Usually when you cook your meals ahead of time you save time in the kitchen. Cook extra portions for lunch and dinner through out the week. Getting this process down takes practice, so be patient. Pick a day that works with your schedule. Also, typically when you buy foods on bulk they are cheaper.
3. DETERMINE WHERE TO SHOP
Look through your local grocery ads for places that have coupons on items that are more expensive like meats & seafood. DO NOT just buy food cause there is a coupon for it. BUY WHAT YOU NEED! I love to shop at Albertsons, Target (Red Card), Aldi. Again finding which stores in your area have a lower unit cost will take research but it will save you MONEY $$$!
4. SHOP IN SEASON
Purchase produce that is in season. A great place is your local farmers market. Remember to buy a little at a time because fresh produce spoils quickly. Produce wasted = money wasted!
5. TRY CANNED/FROZEN PRODUCE
If your budget doesn’t always allow for fresh produce, look for frozen or canned. LOOK for: NO SALT ADDED, LOW SODIUM, and 100% juice. You can not just trust the fancy packaging on the front, READ the ingredients in the back to double check. I love using frozen fruit for my shakeology in the morning!
6. LOW COST FOODS
Find recipes that include these low cost foods:
*Canned fish: Tuna, Salmon
7. USE TECHNOLOGY
There are TONS of apps on smart phones these days with helpful tools when finding recipes, making grocery lists, nutrition, tracking, and price checking! Here are few that I love:
*Out of Milk
*Mint Nutrition —> Great for eating out or staying in, this app lets you search for foods at your favorite restaurants. You can also create “plates” of your favorite foods and a list of your go-to restaurants for easier, faster access to information.
*Food Planner Lite —> This weekly meal planner allows you to choose from more than 7,000 food items, view nutrition values, and add them to your menu. Set your menu on Sunday, go shopping, and use it to stay on track for the rest of the week.
*Slim Down Shopping List (Women’s Health App)
*Calorie Tracker (Largest food database)
*Health Cubby —> This app allows you to connect with up to seven friends to work together in reaching your weight loss goals. You can all chart your progress (or hide your weight if you want more privacy
*Lose IT (Tracker)
Find one that works for you and your style, everyone is different! 😀