(Natural News) Being on a tight budget doesn’t mean you need to starve yourself or buy food from the dollar menu at a fast-food restaurant. As a prepper, your whole family can eat well if you know when to buy ingredients and how to plan your meals. (h/t to PennilessParenting.com)
By being practical, you can save money on groceries and still eat filling, delicious meals that are also good for you.
Wait for sales and plan meals
Before you buy groceries, sit down and plan a weekly menu. Decide what you want to have for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Once you’ve finalized your meals, you’re less likely to eat at a fast-food restaurant when you don’t feel like cooking.
Involve your family in the meal planning process. Ask them what they like to eat and think of a way to make those meals healthier.
Gather coupons and store flyers and look for good deals on nutritious ingredients. Plan your meals around these on-sale items. Check the newspaper or the Internet for coupons, but practice self-control when looking for sales. Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean you have to buy it if you’re not going to use it.
Plan at least one meal every week that doesn’t need meat. Use cheaper but healthier sources of protein like eggs, canned fish or legumes.
Take a look at what you have in your pantry, fridge and freezer. Check all ingredients for expiration dates, then make meal plans based on the food you have that is going to expire first.
Plan how to use leftovers from large meals. Cooking large meals will help you save both time and money. Use leftovers for lunches, in other recipes, or freeze them in single-portion sizes for tomorrow’s breakfast. You can also use leftovers to make tasty salads, stews or stir-fries. (Related: 5 Nutritious freezer meal recipes to make ahead and reheat easily.)
Buy fresh produce then freeze them
One of the best ways to save money on groceries is to buy fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season and freeze them for later use. Buying fresh produce in season means you purchase high-quality foods for less.
You can also buy and freeze these fruits and vegetables in spring:
- Bell peppers
- Green beans
- Brussel sprouts
Buy in bulk
Aside from fruits and vegetables, you should also buy grains in bulk to save money. The following staple foods are relatively cheap, and you can use them to make different tasty and healthy meals:
- Dried fruit
- Grains like barley, brown rice, millet and oats
These foods also have a long shelf life when stored properly in airtight containers.
Cook with less expensive cuts of meat
Cooking with cheaper cuts of meat lets you stretch meat further while sticking to your budget. Brisket, shin and a skirt are cheaper cuts of beef, but they’re full of flavor.
If you prefer pork, buy the neck or spareribs or make a loin roast.
Prep meals in advance
Eating out may seem convenient but it costs a lot of money. To save money, start prepping meals in advance.
If you’re busy, just take a serving from your fridge and heat it up. Invest in glass prep bowls, Mason jars, a rice cooker and salad containers so you can prep meals in advance and keep meals fresh.
Just because you’re on a tight budget doesn’t mean you have to feed your family junk food. Plan meals in advance, use coupons and wait for sales at the grocery store so you can save money and serve tasty, nutritious meals every day.
Visit NaturalNewsRecipes.com for more articles with meal prepping tips and recipes made from healthy pantry staples.