We?ve all been there?a week until payday and just enough money to cover a few groceries. In these times of stress, it?s easy to gravitate toward a diet of junk food. It?s generally inexpensive and many find comfort in the foods that are worst for us. But, especially during the holidays, it is important to maintain some semblance of a healthy diet, no matter how strapped for cash you end up. Luckily, it is possible to eat well on a budget if you plan carefully.
First, it is important to be a careful shopper. Begin by making a weekly meal plan that utilizes one ingredient for multiple meals. If you roast a chicken as a main course one night, you?ll be able to use it for a delicious (and easy to freeze) soup the next. Planning your meals in this way prevents waste. You can also browse ads to find the lowest prices and sales, and use coupons. Be careful though?just because something is on sale doesn?t mean you need it.
Save eating out for special circumstances. Spend more money on good food, and skip the trips through the drive-through. Make the experience worth both your time and your money?if you can make it better at home, it isn?t worth paying restaurant prices for. This works for coffee runs too?a Starbucks mocha three times a week can really set you back! Set a dining out goal and stick to it.
Set a grocery budget every week, and make sure it is something you can actually abide by. Plan for eating out and buy less food, and you?ll waste less. Take those expenses out of your grocery budget but remember that you may be able to buy less of more expensive food, like meat. If you?re really trying to save, plan meals without meat a few times every week, but make sure you?re getting protein from other sources. Focus on planning balanced meals.
Lastly, find out what foods are in-season in your area and make your meal plans around them. Your foods will be healthier, better tasting, and cheaper. You can also feel good about spending your hard-earned money within your community. You?re supporting local agriculture!
Of course, it might also be wise to subscribe to Jason Hartman?s philosophy of eating like a king at breakfast, a prince at lunch, and a pauper at dinner if health is what you?re after. Plus, it?ll surely save you a few bucks! By following these simple suggestions, you?ll eat great on any budget.?(http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4890875722/)
The Young Wealth Team