Monday, 08 October 2018 14:06

4 Tips for Meal Planning on a Budget

We hear a lot about meal planning, but how can you do it in a way that keeps to your budget? Food can be expensive, and it helps to have a few money-saving tips before going shopping.

Read along for some of our tips for meal planning on a budget.

Plan ahead

The best thing you can do to save money is to plan. Map out each night with what you plan to make, and this will keep you on track.  Purchase a wall or refrigerator calendar and simply note each meal at the beginning of the week. A bonus to this is that it can also keep you on a healthy eating schedule! When your food is planned, purchased and ready to go, you’re less likely to veer off of your plan.

Eat seasonally

Fruit and vegetables that are in season are typically less expensive, as they’re easier for the stores to get.  Grocery stores have to pay more to import items that aren’t local.

To top it all off, seasonal fruits and veggies simply taste better!

Click here for a guide to eating seasonally.

Find the right recipe

By doing a simple Google search, you can find recipes that are inexpensive to make.  Certain blogs are even dedicated to budget eating, so it’s not difficult to find those options.  Many times, these recipes will give you a price per recipe or price per serving, which really allows you to budget accurately.

These days, inexpensive doesn’t mean unhealthy either.  There are plenty of options that incorporate fruits and veggies in a budget-friendly way, such as using frozen options.  They still pack a nutritional punch while being less expensive than the fresh varieties.

Factor in everything

Even though you might schedule out your perfect week of recipes and meal planning, don’t forget about other types of eating!

You might have dinner plans with a friend, a late meeting that will provide food, or simply the desire to have takeout once in a while.  To save money, factor this in! You can eliminate a few grocery store dollars when you remember that you’ll have food elsewhere.

Additionally, determine what’s reasonable for you and/or your family. If you eat larger portions, make sure to include that. If you’re often throwing food away or simply eating for one, reduce the recipe.

It’s important to really take the time to lay out your week, meal plan around this, and choose foods that are friendly to your budget.  If you stick to a routine like this, you should see a major difference in your food spending!

Published in Work from Home Tips

Staying healthy in the summer is typically easier than any other time of year.  Between family and friend activities, vacations, and sporting events, we’re on the go more.  Additionally, produce is more readily available, and it’s often too hot to eat big, heavy meals.

It’s a perfect time to embrace wellness in our diets and stay healthy.  This way, we don’t miss any of the fun and excitement of this time of year! Read along for some best tips for optimal, healthy eating in the summer.

Think seasonal

Eating seasonally is a great way to save money and load up on nutritional value.  Yes, you can find watermelon in some other seasons, but it’s more expensive and not nearly as tasty!  Between tomatoes, watermelon, mangos, and all the fresh berries, summer is a time for all our favorite produce.

These fruits and vegetables are also loaded with water content, so they’ll help you stay hydrated and feeling light.

Produce first

Think produce first! When you go to make a plate or plan a meal, fill your plate (or recipe) with produce first.  Ideally, half of your plate should be fruits and/or veggies.  You can also sneak fruit and veggie purees into casseroles, popsicles, and smoothies! From here, add your carbohydrate and protein sources to make up the rest of your meal.

Pack the protein

Protein is always a key component to any healthy diet.  It keeps you full, supports your muscles and bones, and helps to stabilize blood sugar.  When the weather is nice, grilling is a great, fun option to get your protein.  Here are some best tips for successful grilling.

Select healthy meats and spice them up with unique seasonings, marinades, and dipping sauces.  If meat isn’t your thing, there are plenty of fibrous bean and grain salad recipes that will keep you healthy and satiated.  Here are a few options to get you started.

Lighten up

In the hot summer months, we’re typically running around more and certainly spending more time outdoors.  Because of this, we need more hydration, water, and electrolytes.  Focus on foods that provide this and keep you feeling good.  Watermelon is a great option, along with coconut water for balanced electrolytes.

It’s easy to feel sluggish and rundown in the summer, and you can avoid this with diet and lifestyle choices.  Make choices that keep you feeling light, healthy, and satisfied.  It’s a great time of year for those lightened up recipes, as well as an abundance of colorful fruits and veggies.  Indulge in nature’s seasonal offerings and stay healthy with seasonal offerings!

Published in Work from Home Tips