If you have been reading my blog posts you are among the enlightened who know how important good nutrition is to your health and thus the last thing you want to do is to sacrifice good quality food for yourself and your family.
Because clipping coupons is not much help for those who eat non-processed foods I came up with other ways to help you save money on food.
How to eat healthy whole foods with out breaking the bank –
- Cook your own meals! It takes under :30 minutes to put together a healthy meal when you know how to build meals around fresh produce. Vegetables cook in under 10 minutes and salad greens just need a quick rinse & spin. Save money and eat better by making your own salad dressings and marinades (try the recipe at the end of this post). These can can be put together in 60 seconds. Summer is grilling season so marinade meats & poultry ahead of time and grill them up in no time. Add a salad and side of grilled veggie and voila! Dinner is served.
- Re-work yesterdays meal. Any left over chicken, seafood or meat can easily become a quick broth based soup for tomorrows lunch or supper. Just add veggies to broth and you have almost instant home made soup. Don’t throw out left over veggies from dinner. Instead re-invent them by adding to omelets or topping salads with them. This also helps you easily boost your veggie intake. Extra rice can be re-invented too. Just add veggies (maybe those left over?) with some Bragg’s or a little Parmesan cheese and you have a new side dish.. Same goes for left over proteins like fish & chicken . These are great for salad toppings and quick meals.
- Buy seasonal produce when ever possible. Look for what is in-season and in abundance it’s bound to be a good buy at local markets. And don’t forget the farmers markets. Local farmers markets are in every town. In fact there is a farm market every day of the week in one town or another in Macomb and Oakland Counties. Check out this link to find one near you – Absolute Michigan
- Grow some of your own food. Any small patch of land will hold lettuce, beans, peppers or a tomato plant. Nothing tastes better than home grown produce. Pots work great for patio tomatoes, herbs, strawberries and even lettuce! There are even great resources on line that show you how to grown plants on stakes or in what is called square foot gardening that use less space. Frugal Dad Square Ft. Gardening
- Join a CSA. Community Sponsored Agriculture or CSA’s are popping up all over. The concept works like this; you buy a “share” or portion of the seasons harvest from the farmer upfront. This helps the farmer offsets some of his/her costs and assures you a variety of produce either weekly or bi-monthly. Most CSA’s have convenient drop off points so you don’t have to travel to the farm to pick up your produce. Many also offer eggs, dairy products and meats. Local Harvest
- Eat smaller portions of animal protein. Protein from animal sources can be one of the more expensive items on anyone’s grocery list because we want to try and eat organic, grass fed and wild caught. Most people (not those on protein restricted diets) do well on around 40- 50 grams of protein a day but this does not mean your only source of protein should be animal products. Please remember that nuts, seeds, legumes, quinoa, buckwheat as well as meat and dairy products are all excellent sources of protein. Even vegetables have some protein in them. Try smaller portions (2-3 oz) of poultry, meat and seafood instead of the typical 6 oz + portions and get more of your daily intake from other sources. Building more meals around plants can really help you stretch your food dollars.
- Buy non-perishable items in bulk – but only buy what makes sense for your size family! The key to buying “fresh” bulk food items is these are items should be those that you tend to eat a lot of every day/week or that you can split up with friends, relatives or neighbors. If you are eating your greens every day, like you should be, then buying bulk items like lettuces, greens, celery, tomatoes etc makes sense. Same goes for buying root vegetables like onions or carrots in bulk. Non-perishables I buy in bulk include; chicken stock, brown rice, quinoa, celtic sea salt, raw honey and coffee. Places like CostCo are carrying more and more organics and offer a good value for this type of item. But avoid over buying too many foods in bulk because it’s better to eat produce as soon as possible once you buy it, so smaller quantities of certain vegetables makes more sense. And besides you want to get what is in season as much as possible to leave room in your refrigerator for those lovely farmers market finds
Easy Marinade – for Grilled Vegetables, Chicken or Shrimp
– Choose from any of the following vegetables
Zucchini or summer squash of any kind
Eggplant (small work best due to smaller seeds)
Sliced veggies in about ¼ inch thick sections. (except asparagus – jus break off tough bottom stems) and place in marinade for 20 -30 minutes
¼ cup olive oil
1 Tbls balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon Mrs. Dash Tabletop blend spice – or you can use any fresh or dried herb combination you like; such as Italian herbs; thyme, oregano dill etc..
½ teaspoon sea salt
Pinch of pepper
1) Try using rice wine vinegar and Asian seasonings (ginger, garlic, red chili pepper flakes, add a few drops of sesame oil) instead of balsamic and seasonings above
2) Add 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard and a couple cloves of fresh garlic and use only fresh herbs.
3) Go Mexican by adding cumin, garlic chili powder and chipotle to the olive oil & swap out apple cider vinegar for the balsamic. This marinade works well on chicken or shrimp too.
(copyright 2011) Nourish Holistic Nutrition