Healthy Eating and Cooking on a Budget
Strategies for Healthy Eating and Cooking on a Budget
- Buy in bulk whenever possible. A large bag of brown rice or dried beans will make many more meals and be more economical than buying canned beans or a small bag of rice.
- Cook once, Eat two or three times. For example, when I cook homemade oatmeal I will make enough for 3 breakfasts for each member of my family. I’ll add dried fruit like raisins or cranberries and spices like cinnamon or cardamom. When the oatmeal is cooked, I add ground flaxseed (for the omega-3 fatty acids and to keep bowels regular) and chopped almonds or walnuts (for protein). Then, on a busy work or school morning, I scoop out a portion, add some water, milk or milk substitute and heat it in a saucepan. Breakfast on the go!
- Eat from all colors of the rainbow. At every meal, look at your plate. Are the foods on your plate colorful? Remember, every pigment in a fruit or vegetable represents a different benefit to your health. Greens improve circulation, purify the blood and strengthen the immune system. White foods such as garlic, onions and fennel are anti-viral and anti-bacterial.
- Eat more real food, fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains. If you currently eat a lot of processed food, (food out of boxes, fast food, etc.), go on a processed food holiday. For one week, give up your usual fare and eat only real food. See what this does to your energy level!
- Cook more, Eat less restaurant food. It goes without saying that if you are on a budget, eating out is going to drain your food dollars faster than eating fresh, simple meals prepared at home. But if you are not used to cooking, don’t panic. If you currently do not cook any meals at home, then set a goal for yourself to prepare 2 meals at home a week. When you can do that with ease, then move to 3 meals a week. And remember…….
- Practice cooking. As with any skill you are trying to master, the more you practice the better you will get at it. If you burn the rice, so what? Next time it will be better.