Ten Inexpensive Ways to Get More Nutrition into Your Diet
Want to boost your health without breaking the bank? Try these tips:
1. Prepare your own food from scratch. Buying food on the go or eating in restaurants is expensive, and it’s often difficult to find a healthy choice when eating out. By preparing nutritious recipes with fresh and nourishing ingredients including vegetables, fruit, whole grains and wheat germ, you’ll know exactly what goes into your food and you won’t have to pay for someone else’s labor.
2. Create a weekly menu and grocery list. Grocery shopping without a plan often translates to buying foods you don’t need or returning several times throughout the week, also leading to unnecessary purchases. To help you remember the items you need, try using a list like this supermarket shopping list from Meal Makeover Moms
3. Only buy what you need and don’t buy food just because it’s on sale. It’s easy to get lured by a good price, but if you were never intending to buy that product, then it’s still not a good deal. Also get to know your local grocery stores to determine which have the best deals.
4. Buy in bulk from the grain and nut bins in the grocery store—it’s usually less expensive than buying the same items prepackaged. Just make sure it’s a busy store and the items haven’t been sitting around for a while.
5. Buy seasonal produce when possible, preferably at the farmers market. When produce is in season, it’s typically less expensive. Food from the farmers market also tastes better and contains more vitamins and minerals since it was picked later and didn’t ripen on a truck.
6. Don’t go crazy at the farmers market. When you over-buy fresh produce, usually some ends up going to waste. Buy some of your produce frozen—it’s usually more cost effective and just as healthy.
7. Add wheat germ to your food to boost the nutritional value. A 2 tablespoon serving is low in calories and packed with vitamins and minerals, providing great value.
8. Save money by using animal protein to flavor your dishes rather than as the main course. Or, better yet, make vegetarian dishes using beans, lentils and other legumes for the protein, as in this Vegetarian Chili with Wheat Germ and Spinach Lasagna with Wheat Germ, which pack in the nutrients but won't cost a lot to prepare. Make sure to freeze the leftovers in individual servings so you can grab a quick meal to take on the go when you need it.
9. When you do buy meats, choose cuts that provide good nutrition but are cheaper because they tend to get overlooked, such as chicken thighs, turkey drumsticks, mussels, pork tenderloin and skirt steak.
10. Convenience costs: Slash your grocery bill by shelling your own shrimp, shredding your own cheese and chopping your own fruits and vegetables.
Do you have your own money-saving nutrition tips? Leave a comment below and let us know.