As the New Year approaches, so do their resolutions. Many of them include a better New Year’s diet, but they tend to lose ground with the idea that in order to eat healthy, you have to break the budget.
People tend to think that healthy eating costs more, and they become subdued and never start, according to Hope Anderson Frugé of Health with Hope in Monroe.
“Nutritious foods don’t have to be expensive,” Froggy said.
The key to healthy food is preparing it yourself, which is the best way to split your food bill.
Eating out frequently can be fun and easy, but even the most economical restaurant meals are more expensive than those prepared at home. Taking the time to make your grocery list and plan your meal is the first step to eating better and more affordable.
“If you plan meals around what you feel comfortable cooking, this is an easy way to save money,” she said.
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Plan ahead to make more than you normally cook for one meal for your family.
“You can pack the kids’ lunches, and have lunch for yourself the next day,” Froggy said. “Some people like to go ahead and cook at once for the weekends and make bigger batches. You take away the urge to buy.”
Stop frequenting the little grocery stores
You don’t have to go for nutritious foods. You can shop at the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market and buy generic brands of healthy items such as those marketed to upscale shoppers.
“This is where my family trades, and we can do it on a budget while still eating healthy,” Froggy said.
Find fresh food at a discount
Find discounted fresh produce, even if it’s not on your shopping list, and get creative.
“If there are bananas, mix something up or freeze them to put them in smoothies,” she said. “If it’s a pear, toss a pear in your salad, and eat it in your oatmeal so you can find fresh, edible fruits and vegetables at a discount.”
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Buy frozen foods and vegetables instead of fresh ones
Frozen foods and vegetables do not deplete their quality as quickly as fresh fruits and vegetables.
“You can make smoothies or throw them into your breakfast cereal,” Froggy said. “I always tell my clients to toss frozen berries in their cereal or oatmeal. Make a whole-grain pie with these. Here are some ways to add inexpensive nutrients.”
color half of your plate
If you’re looking to eat healthy, it’s easy to add colorful foods to half your plate with fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, and plant-based foods.
“The more colors on your plate, the better,” Frugé said. “Here in America, we have this partial distortion where you go into a restaurant and order a main course that comes from two sides, let’s say that’s a rib-eye that comes with stuffed potatoes and fried okra. The rib-eye will take up half of the plate, and the other two will take up a quarter of the plate.”
Redefining the look of your plate can have a huge impact on your overall health, Frugé said.
“This is just an easy way to get the 9-11 servings of fruits and vegetables we need daily without having to count servings,” she said. “I don’t, and I’m a dietitian, so even nutritionists lose track of what they have. But if I color half my plate, I guarantee I’m getting enough of those botanicals—foods high in antioxidants and mineral fiber that we need. “.
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This article originally appeared on Monroe News-Star: Tips for Affordability in 2022