Keep your family eating well without spending a fortune in the grocery store. Here’s how.
1. Focus on veggies. No more than one-fourth to one-third of your plate should feature meat, or cheese-heavy dishes. Instead, highlight less expensive and nutrient-rich combinations, such as beans and rice or leafy greens with lentils and tofu. For extra protein, use nuts or eggs, which cost less than meat and provide vitamins and minerals.
2. Use beans. Organic legumes are the cheapest and most nutritious protein sources available. Dry beans offer an even better value than canned and are easy to cook in quantity. Learn about cooking beans here.
3. Purchase protein wisely. When you do buy meat, shop carefully for affordable lean cuts that you can stretch in stews, stir-fries, and casseroles. Organic ground turkey, whole fryer chickens, or chicken thighs, as well as grass-fed chuck roast and bottom round, often cost less than $3 a pound.
4. Eat in season. Off-season produce can cost double its peak-season price. Tailor your cooking to seasonal foods and freeze or can items like corn, tomatoes, and berries. Root vegetables and some leafy greens and fruits tend to come cheap nearly year-round. Oh, and revel in leftovers! See recipes and learn about the benefits of root vegetables.
5. Buy in bulk. Rather than prepackaged options, hit the ever-economical bulk aisle to save on costs (and reduce packaging). And remember: canned soups, cereals, snacks, and frozen meals, add up quickly on your bill. Make Vegetarian Irish Stew with inexpensive root vegetables and bulk barley, or try a Green Rice Salad with bulk brown and white rice.
Delicious Living is the go-to resource for the natural and organic lifestyle, helping readers eat well, live green, and stay healthy. Visit deliciouslivingmag.com for more articles and free recipes.
By Lisa Turner, Delicious Living