1. Plan Ahead: When meals and shopping lists are planned ahead, it is much easier to stay on track. Researching local grocery stores online can provide information about sale items, as well as online coupons. Using what items are on sale, prepare a meal plan for the week and stick to it.
2. Cook Big: Whenever I cook I make at least four servings. This allows me to have food leftover for days when I am too busy to cook. Plus, nothing feels better after a long day than a delicious meal waiting in the fridge.
3. Buy on-sale and get creative: Sure, planning is important but I also find that it is important to buy items that are on sale. For example, I bought 12 servings of bone-in chicken breast last week for only $4.o0. I was not planning on buying it, nor have I ever cooked chicken that way but it was such an amazing deal not to pass up. Plus, I found that cooking bone-in chicken was super easy and delicious.
4. Google is the Best Resource: The best way to save money is to cook with ingredients that are already in your pantry. Google can really help to find recipes by just searching for the ingredients you already have on-hand.
5. Buy Frozen! Brrrr frozen veggies may not appeal as much as fresh but they sure do save a lot of money. They are just as healthy as fresh veggies and I find them so much more convenient because they are already washed and chopped. They are also nice because they cook well in the microwave.
6. Freeze Leftovers: If for some reason the food you prepared a couple of days ago does not get eaten, freeze it! I like to portion out meals and freeze them in reusable containers to make my own frozen dinners. This way there are no preservatives and a ton less sodium than store bought frozen dinners such as Healthy Choice or Lean Cuisine.
7. Take it one meal at a time: Thinking about cooking your own meals and eating healthy for the rest of your life can be a bit overwhelming. I find that I do best when I think about what I eat one meal at a time. It also helps to remember that if you slip up on one meal, you can get right back on track with the next
8. Indulge: Life is short… be social and live for today. Just because you’re on a budget or trying to eat healthier does not mean that you can not indulge once in a while. It is those nights where I go out for ice cream or have a big bowl of pasta that get me through. Life is not all or nothing, moderation is the key to happiness and success.