When you’re trying wrangle in your grocery budget but eat healthy, it can be challenging. After all, most of the coupons are for processed foods and healthy foods are not usually very cheap. So how do you eat healthy without going broke? And most importantly how do you make time to make those healthy meals?
My favorite cookbook and one that my husband and I use often, is 100 Days of Real Food. It has so many ideas for lunches (perfect lunch ideas for kids) and of course dinner and snacks and every day favorites too. But the best part is, it uses nothing but real food ingredients. There’s nothing processed about the recipes so they’re healthy and nutritious.
Some of my family’s favorites from this cookbook are, Homemade Whole-Wheat Pancakes, Veggie Chili, Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup, Whole-Wheat Pumpkin Muffins (these are a hit at our church’s fall bake sale), and Loaded Potato Soup.
Lisa even came out with a new cookbook that I can’t wait to try – it’s all about fast and easy recipes that are still made all with real foods. The great thing about these recipes is that for the most part, they don’t contain exotic ingredients that you can only find at fancy whole-foods type of stores. They contain things you can find in every day grocery stores.
If you’ve ever read this post here, you know that I’m now a huge fan of freezer cooking and it makes feeding our family of five healthy meals during busy seasons so much easier. I personally use Erin Chase’s (of $5 Dinners fame) My FreezEasy program because I love the simplicity of them and how easy they are to create, freeze and store. And it’s super nice to have a meal that I can grab out, thaw, and then cook without having to mess up my kitchen with prep work.
This helps us save money by 1) not ordering a pizza because we failed to plan ahead and 2) this helps us use up ingredients before they go bad by preparing and cooking in batches.
Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense plants out there and you can turn any dish into a healthier one just by adding in some kale. We keep a bag of frozen kale in the freezer at all times and we add it to all kinds of dishes – like spaghetti or lasagna and even casseroles. Because it’s mixed in, no one notices it.
Sub in a Salad
Another quick and easy way to make your meals healthier is to substitute one side for a salad. Just a simple salad with lettuce, grape/cherry tomatoes and some vinegar and olive oil (I like to dash a little garlic salt for flavor) and you’ve already added more health benefits to your meal.
Yeah, I know, no one wants to meal plan – not even me – but it’s crucial to your success with staying within your grocery budget. For my family, we keep a family favorites recipe binder to help me from having to come up with meals my family will enjoy off the top of my head.
I also use Pinterest to help me figure out what meals to make. I keep a few different food boards that help me determine dinner, lunch and breakfast meal ideas for my family.
Ibotta is my favorite money-saving app when it comes to saving money on produce. Granted they don’t always have rebates on healthy stuff but they do have deals often (and even on generic stuff) so it’s definitely an app to keep in mind when grocery shopping. The downside is that they don’t work with Aldi which is my favorite go-to store for healthy food that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
Some of our favorite recipes
Here are a few of our favorite recipes that I’ve shared on the blog:
What is your best tip for making eating healthy a reality?
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