Healthy Eating on a Budget

Before I start I have to say that I am not an expert by any means. What I plan to share today are steps that I have taken to continue eating well; I don’t know what will end up working and what won’t.

I’ve been planning this post for quite a while but never sat down and wrote it. Today’s the day.

First, a little background.

A little over a year ago I discovered my first “healthy living blog” through Anne posted semi-regularly on the dailyspark. I followed her over to her blog and loved what I read, especially the recipes.

Gradually I found other blogs through hers and other blogs through those and now I consider myself fairly well versed in the blogosphere.

One of the consequences of that is exposure to new things like chia seeds and Justin’s maple almond butter. (We all know my love there.)

I started to try new foods and recipes as soon as I could. Then the wonder that is Trader Joe’s opened a location just down the street from my work on October 22, 2010. It was a Friday. Yes, I remember. I may have even started a countdown.

Throughout this past year I’ve been very blessed to be able to splurge on a few items each week and try out things that I normally wouldn’t.

I don’t have that same disposable income anymore.

I’m also not the same person I was when I went back to school for my first masters. (I didn’t have a job then either.) Most of the tricks I learned for eating well (and cheaply) then don’t work now. I’ve learned too much about nutrition and how it affects my body to go back to eating some of the artificially modified, high-fiber, low-fat, high-protein or otherwise labeled item to go back to eating them.

I’m still working on a plan but here are some of the steps I’ve taken thus far.

1. Meal Plan

I’ve been doing this in some shape or form for a while now. I find that if I don’t at least attempt to plan out what I’m going to eat for the week. It’s not set in stone and I’ve learned my lesson about planning for longer than a week.

2. Inventory

This is where a bit of my OCD comes into play.

Last week I took about an hour to document all the edible things in the house. I did have a purpose for this though..

So many times when I want to make a new recipe (or even an old one) I accidentally purchase something we already have in the house.

In the process I found things I’d forgotten about–pumpkin butter!–and things that needed to be thrown away.

This list is already a little out of date but I haven’t decided whether I’m going to keep up with it or not.

3. Frozen meals/big batches

This is something I did during my first masters and it helped both on the time/convenience end but also on the money end.

If I make a big batch ahead of time I’ll always leftovers that I can just grab if I don’t feel like cooking or forget to make my lunch. I can also use up an entire container of something like tomato paste rather than wrap saran wrap over top and leave it in the fridge until I decide to throw it away because I don’t make anything else with it.

That’s what I have so far. This is definitely a work in progress. I hope to check back in later, say in 2 months or so and see how these techniques have worked. (or if they worked)



Filed under Reflections

2 responses to “Healthy Eating on a Budget

  1. Susanna

    Great tips . . . for anyone really. A huge thing for me is stocking up on items that go on sale. For instance, I bought 4 boxes of Cascadian Farm cereal the other week bc I could get it for $1.50. Soooo much cheaper 🙂

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