It’s no secret that we try to eat healthy. But with 4 kids are at various stages of pickiness, it can get tricky. Thankfully our older two are willing to try new things (most of the time) and if the younger ones don’t like what I’ve made, there are always lots of healthy snacks that can easily become their dinner (think yogurts, raisins, bananas, berries and cheese).
Add to this trying to stay on a budget, and things can get pretty complicated. Here are some ways that we eat healthy and stay on budget.
Sticking to a list and shopping the outside of the store are the two ways you can save the most money. All the healthiest food is kept to the outside; produce, meats, dairy, and even the frozen aisles can be ok. Those middle rows upon rows of packaged products is where you can go easily wrong (though there are pantry staples and many healthy ingredients to be found). Planning ahead, well you know how I love a good meal plan! Check the flyer before you go and plan your meals around whats on sale that week. And make sure you stick to that list!
Buying in bulk is another great way to save. Of course, this only saves you money if you eat all the item before it goes bad, so if you are buying for 1 or 2 people, this might not be the best bet. We do most of our grocery shopping at Costco (with our Executive membership, getting 2% cash back, plus using out PC Mastercard helps us to get points faster!) Healthy food is cheaper there, and often can be broken down into smaller portions and frozen. But of course, you still need to know your prices, because not everything is cheaper at Costco, or in bulk. It can take some time to learn all this, but it will be worth it. Most of us have a smart phone with us at all times; use it! Check flyers while out shopping, see if what you are buying is cheaper in another store (and price match when you can) or to see if buying in bulk at Costco is indeed a good deal.
If you really want/need to save money (and eat healthier) you gotta spend a little more time in the kitchen. I know, I know, we are all super busy and short on time, but we also know that we can make time for whats really important. I’m not saying everything needs to be from scratch and take you hours and hours. Even just a little planning and prepping ahead of time goes a long way. Pick a time (Sunday afternoon/evening or Monday morning are great options to help set things up for the week ahead) and spend just an hour in there. Wash and chop up some fruit to make snacking all week easy, and if your veggies are washed and chopped too, week night dinners will be quicker to cook! Bake some healthy muffins, and even grill some chicken to toss on salads or for sandwiches for lunch (or buy the pre-cooked chicken breasts like I do, just watch for preservatives!). It doesn’t take much, and it sets you up for a successful week.
This week we are eating even healthier as my husband is starting a round of P90X, including the nutrition plan. Most of the dinners I cook fall perfectly into his plan, so it is only taking a bit of tweaking to make it compliant for him. A little lighter on carbs, more protein and lots more fruits and veggies are on the plan this week!
Now on to some recipes! Feel free to search through my other meal plans and recipe for great healthy ideas, but here is what we are eating this week:
Monday – My Famous Spaghetti (no salt added crushed tomatoes, lots of mushrooms and grated zucchini. Whole wheat pasta, or even zucchini noodles and ground turkey make it a healthy option)
Tuesday – Taco Tuesday (make it healthier by using whole wheat wraps, leaner ground meat or even chicken breast pieces, lots of fresh veggie toppings, and even add a salad on the side) I’m making these Beach Body zucchini boats, and the kids will eat the filling in whole wheat tortillas.
Wednesday – Burgers (yes you can eat burgers! I make my own patties from lean ground beef with just salt, pepper, garlic powder and a touch of onion powder. Serve with lettuce and tomatoes on whole wheat buns and a side salad and you’ve got a balanced meal)
Thursday – Hubby’s night. He’s cooking this dinner. I have no idea what he has planned, but it will be healthy and delicious I’m sure.
Friday – Baked tilapia with roasted veggies (this is where you can personalize it depending on what everyone likes. 3 of the kids prefer the battered fish, while my husband and I and our oldest daughter love the flakey fish fillets with just salt and pepper and lemon).
Hope this post inspires you to eat a little healthier this week. It can be done, even on a budget, and kid friendly too!
As always I’m linking up over at Org Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.
Happy healthy meal planning everyone!