Trying to cook healthy meals for one or two people is super simple. So what happens when its not just you and your significant other anymore? Well, It becomes a real chore to cook healthy as well as a real money sucker on your income if you arent careful. I know all too well how easy it is to blow through $1,200 bucks a month on food trying to feed a family of 11. This amount was actually how much I used to spend when I didn’t try and eat healthy or buy healthy snacks. Now I spend about $1,000 a month and I’m able to feed my family healthy meals every night and keep my home stocked with healthy snacks like fruits and veggies. unlike before where i would buy a 18 pk of mini chip bags for 8 bucks and my kids would blow through them in 2 days. I was spending around $112 bucks a month just in mini bags of potato chips. The junk was costing me more than the healthy food that everyone has a misconception of it costing too much. Bottom line, it costs too much to eat junk food! So here are some tips I have use to keep my family eating healthy and not breaking the bank.
- Make a week long meal plan before you go to the grocery store. Get an ingredient list of all recipes before you go so you don’t forget anything. This will save you valuable time at the store as well as steer you away from buying things you don’t need because they arent on your list.
- Buy generic if generic it’s cheaper. Note: Not all generic is cheaper. Make sure to always check prices. Sometimes a sale price of a name brand will actually be less expensive than the generic.
- Never forget to multiply or decrease your recipes to accommodate your family size. You don’t want to run the risk of over buying or under buying ingredients for your meals because this can cause you to either have to make something else you didn’t plan for which can eat into your food budget or waste gas running back and forth to the store every evening when you realize you don’t have enough to feed everyone.
- buy veggies loose when ever possible, not pre-bagged Pre-bagged can run more expensive as well as pre-cut veggies. So don’t be afraid to do the work and cut those veggies yourself. Note: don’t let the price of vegetables and fruits scare you. Yes, sometimes they can be more expensive than say a bag of white rice but rice is in no way a substitute for a nutrient rich green veggie.
- meal prep! meal prep! meal prep! The hardest part about eating healthy meals other than the price is how much longer healthy meals can take to prepare. This can be the biggest deterrent to eating healthy. So take an hour on a Sunday afternoon or which ever day works for you best and get to chopping those veggies, precooking those meats that need to to be shredded or any other pre-prepping steps you can think of for the next few days.
Look guys, I get it. Its easy to grab a pizza or a taco bell family pack on those busy nights. Ive been there far more times than i can count and Im not saying those nights dont have their place. Im saying that they dont have to become our idea of “normal” because we think its faster or cheaper. I can promise you, it may sometimes be a tad bit faster, but its almost never cheaper and your body and your kids bodies will tell you that it’s never worth the damage it will do to you in the long run.
Here are some of my favorite healthy recipes that are also pretty simple to make on a busy week night: