Archive for August, 2011

August 31, 2011

Eating Healthy On A Budget

by Ashley

Eating healthy on a budget?  Is that even possible?!  YES!  IT IS POSSIBLE!  I’ve received emails about this, and it’s something that I too, have to evaluate from time to time.  Eating healthy definitely can be expensive but it also can be done.

It can almost feel overwhelming when you have a food budget to stick to and all of these healthy foods that you WANT to buy are just so darn expensive.  Many people assume it’s just not even possible, but I can assure you, they’re wrong!  It IS possible.  My husband and I are far from the wealthiest couple on the block, and we still manage to stock our refrigerator and pantry with healthy foods while only spending about $50 per week on groceries!  How do we do it, you may ask?  Let me share some tips:

  • Buy what you can in bulk!  We go through milk, bread, eggs, yogurt, and chicken like it’s nothin’, so we try our best to purchase those goods from Costco.  (Make sure you compare prices to your local grocery store though!  We have found that some things aren’t necessarily cheaper just because they’re in bulk.)
  • Stock up on non perishables when they’re on sale.  Frozen vegetables, canned soups, peanut butter, rice, etc. can all be stored for awhile, so stock up!
  • Buy the generic brand.  I understand that some foods MUST be the name specific brand (i.e. my Adam’s Natural Crunchy Peanut Butter 🙂 ), but some foods you will barely notice a difference between the generic and name brand.  The generic brands are usually significantly cheaper, and even if they’re only a few cents cheaper, it adds up!
  • Purchase your “necessity items” each week (i.e. milk, bread, etc.), but opt for the “extras” only sometimes.  For example, we ALWAYS have peanut butter in our house, but I could easily buy every other nut butter out there too.  However, I choose to only allow myself to buy an extra nut butter once every few months. 
  • Don’t waste your money on junk food items such as chips, sugary cereals, processed/packaged desserts.  For one, they’re usually way over priced (a cereal box can be $5 these days!), and they hardly fill you up!  Wouldn’t you rather spend extra money on nutritious, satisfying foods than sugary, processed, NOT satsifying foods??  I certainly would.  If you’re really having a hankering for something sweet, bake a batch of cookies!  Something salty?  Buy some pretzels!  At least they’re better for you than chips.

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  • Use coupons.  I haven’t seriously gotten into couponing because it takes a lot of extra time, but I always go through our mail to see if I can find some good ones.  Even if it’s only a 25 cents off coupon, it adds up!
  • Only buy what you need.  So many people walk out of the grocery store with baskets full of food that they never even finish.  That’s a waste of money and food.  As my parents always told me, don’t let your eyes be bigger than your stomach. 
  • Make a grocery list.  It’s tempting to grab everything and anything in sight that looks appealing if you don’t have a list.  Make it a priority to check your pantry and refrigerator to see what items you need and add them to a list before you go grocery shopping. 
  • Buy produce that’s “in season”.  Produce being sold that’s not “in season” will be pretty pricey compared to the “in season” produce.  Not only that, but the “out of season” produce probably won’t taste very good anyways so don’t waste your moo-lah on it.   
  • Go to farmer’s markets to buy quality and inexpensive produce.  It’s incredible what you’re able to come home with without spending a ton of money. 

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  • Make meals that don’t have an outrageously long list of ingredients.  The more ingredients, the more money you spend! 

I hope these tips help!  I share this with you because I know what it’s like to have a desire to eat healthy and have healthy foods on hand but be on a budget.  I want you to know that it is possible! 

P.S.  This is your LAST CHANCE to put an entry in for the “Nutty Granola” I shared with you yesterday!  I will announce the winners tomorrow morning!

Questions:

  • What are some tips you have to eat healthy on a budget?
  • What’s your favorite place to get groceries?
  • What healthy meals do you make that are inexpensive?
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August 31, 2011

Taco Tuesday

by Ashley

First of all, can I just please share a picture of three of my favorites??  Such cuties they are!

Ok, onto the real deal now.  Last night I decided on tacos for dinner, so I entitled the day “Taco Tuesday”.  I had friends in college that would have “Taco Tuesdays” at their apartments or houses and invite a bunch of people over each and every Tuesday for dinner… good times!  Last night’s dinner consisted of the traditional tacos with seasoned ground beef turkey on hard shells with all the add-ins.  I was feeling an easy peasy dinner, and that’s exactly what it was!  Quite delicious if I do say so myself too. 

I topped my tacos tostadas with a thin layer of plain Greek yogurt (in place of sour cream), ground turkey, and my favorite salsa.  Unfortunately we were out of cheese.  😦  (I always break my taco shells in half and build them like tostadas… don’t ask. 😉 )   I paired the tacos with some whole grain Mexican rice and a spinach salad.  And I obviously went back for seconds, so don’t let the one taco in this picture fool you!

This got me thinking about all the many different types of tacos are out there!  Just to name a few:

  • Shredded chicken/pork/steak tacos
  • Vegetarian tacos (made with beans, vegetables, rice, etc.)
  • Fish tacos

  • Soft shell vs. hard shell tacos
  • Soft shell CORN tortillas vs. soft shell FLOUR tortillas
  • Taco salad
  • Ground beef/turkey tacos

I don’t think I ever realized how many different types of tacos are out there!  I could have tacos every night of the week and enjoy a completely different combination of foods, textures, and tastes each time.  (Not that I would, just sayin’.)  So friends, if you’re having a difficult time figuring out what to prepare for dinner one evening, take your pick of a taco dish!  There’s plenty of ’em! 

P.S. There’s still time to put your entry in for the “Nutty Granola” giveaway!  Hurry if you haven’t done so yet!

Questions:

  • What are your favorite types of tacos?
  • Do you like hard shell or soft shell tacos better?
  • What do you usually add as “toppings” to your tacos? (salsa, tomatoes, sour cream, cheese, etc.)
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