Although you may want to eat a healthier diet to lose weight or improve your health, there are many challenges to eating better, both due to time and budget constraints. Making an investment in foods that can be prepared in advance and last throughout the week is the best strategy to stretch your budget without stretching your waistline.
Invest In Cookware
One of the most expensive investments you need to make, next to your food, is having cookware that will facilitate healthier eating. A piece of cookware you should consider purchasing is a pressure cooker. Since pressure cookers reduce the time it takes to cook large cuts of meat and help you make larger quantities of food for throughout the week, it is worth the investment. Although there are popular multi-function cookers on the market that are also pressure cookers, a plain pressure cooker is inexpensive and can serve other functions. Choose at least an 8qt model and it can also serve a stock pot to make soups, chili, and steam vegetables. Aluminum pressure cookers will be less expensive than stainless steel and more lightweight.
Learn Your Store
If you eat meat, learn any patterns of your local grocery stores. Shopping the clearance meats will save you money, since meat is often the most expensive item to buy. Some stores discount items on a certain day. Once you know, you can stop by early in the morning to see what has been marked down. This is your opportunity to purchase large packages and cuts of meat that can be used for several meals throughout the week. Other types of foods that may be marked down are anything with a shorter shelf life, such as cheese, deli meat, or salads made in-house. Checking around the deli counter is a good opportunity to find meat and cheese trays, salads, or sandwiches, which can be an inexpensive bagged lunch.
Focus On Staples
Depending on the diet you will follow, there will be certain staple items that you can buy in large quantities. For example, people who regularly include carbohydrates in their diet might buy bags of dried beans, oatmeal, and white rice. With your pressure cooker, you no longer need to rely on canned beans for a quick meal. Buying these items in larger quantities can free-up more of your budget for the produce section or frozen produce items.
Do not be intimidated buying frozen vegetables, as long as there is no added sugar, salt, or other unnecessary ingredients. Frozen can be a better alternative than fresh if it makes vegetables more accessible and it is easier to incorporate them into your diet each day. Since fresh vegetables are highly perishable, many people on a limited budget tend to limit the purchase of fresh options. Some fresh vegetables, such as sweet potatoes or squash, are good to cook in bulk, which limits the amount that goes bad.
Even with the right information about your nutrition, it may be difficult to put your plan into action. Making it easier to cook at home and finding ways to make healthier options more affordable will encourage you to stick with healthier eating. For more information, consider looking into a nutrition program.