Friday, January 28, 2011

Healthy Eating For You and Your Family…..ON A BUDGET!

Trying to provide the most nutritious foods to your family for the least amount of money? Here are some easy ways to help make the most of your shopping dollars:

Tip One –going with the Grains:

Oats are a great staple, very versatile as not only a hot cereal, but also can be used in baked goods (like quick breads or cookies), home made granola and even in savory dishes like meatloaf. Many places offer generic or their own store brand versions of popular cereals and breads, so stock up on these to keep costs down. Other staples such as whole grain pasta and brown rice will last a long time- use them as fiber filled side dishes, or in main dish soups, stews and casseroles. Buy popcorn kernels and pop in an air popper for a whole grain low fat snack instead or small boxes of microwave packets. Making homemade baked goods is better and cheaper when whole grain flour is used too. Whole corn tortillas are sold in generous portions for s low price, keep long in the fridge and wonderful in soft tacos, enchiladas or homemade baked tortilla chips.

Tip Two- pack in the Protein:

Eggs are fairly cheap and high quality protein source-and can be used not only as a breakfast dish but also in egg salad, baked goods and many other recipes. Dried or canned beans are a really cheap and full of protein and fiber too- add them to salads, soups and burritos and dips. Cottage cheese is very high in protein, has some calcium and goes great with fruit or chopped veggies or even works as a topping for toast and waffles. A jar of peanut butter will last awhile and provide protein as well as healthy unsaturated fat when spread on sandwiches, toast, slice apples or celery. Buy milk, yogurt and fresh meats on sale weekly to keep costs down.

Tip Three – feast on Fruits and Veggies

Shop for fruits and veggies in season as these will likely be on sale and taste the best. Great canned fruits and veggies are pumpkin, beets, tomatoes and pineapple packed in juice (rinsed).. Buying fresh frozen fruits and veggies is a great way to get them year round, low cost and they don’t have any added sodium or sugar. Use veggies in salads, soups/stews, casseroles as in sandwiches/wraps, in omelets, as side dishes or cut up raw for a snack. Fruits are great not only as a snack but work nicely in smoothies, with cottage cheese, on top of cereal and in baked goods. A simple and cheap dried fruit, raisins are great as a snack, topped on cereal or even in salads.


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