Tune in to Talk of the Town on NewsChannel 5 in Nashville at 11am CST on Tuesday, August 31st to watch my latest “Frugal Mom” segment on Eating Healthy on a Budget !
I hope you’ll tune in (or come back to watch online) and also get caught up on my Healthy Pantry Video Series, but I also wanted to give you a recap of how you too can eat healthy on a budget:
1. Start your morning with a protein shake
Many of us are often in a rush to get out the door in the morning, so a protein shake/smoothie is the perfect way to jump-start your metabolism and make sure you’re getting a good variety of fruits and vitamins. We love our Shaklee Cinch shakes and put their Energizing Protein in our kids’ shakes (as well as many of our other homemade baked goods!) Fill your smoothie with frozen fruit (often less expensive than fresh) and you’ve got a filling and nutritious breakfast or….
2. Stock up on produce when on sale and freeze
When organic produce goes on sale, stock up! Wash, prep, and cut it up, then spread on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer. Once frozen, you can double bag the produce and have it on hand for when you need it. This is great to do with fruit for smoothies or veggies you want to use for stir fry, soups or chili.
3. Go local!
There are so many great local farms and farmers markets that you’ll both save money and find healthier foods when you shop there. Even if you don’t buy organic, when you buy local, you’ll get food that much fresher, which means more nutrients for you and your family!
4. Use competitor coupons
You can’t afford not to use coupons these days because so many stores either double coupons or accept competitor coupons. This makes healthy eating so much easier, especially with coupons like “$1 off meat or produce” – it allows you to choose your favorite products and still save. Also, don’t forget to stack store coupons with manufacturers coupons for extra savings.
5. Sign up at your favorite companies websites for samples & special offers
Places like Mambo Sprouts and Horizon Organic have great eNewsletters and email coupons ALL the time. Go online to your favorite brands and look under their “Special Offers” tab – you’ll be surprised at how many coupons you’ll find. Wait until they go on sale and you’ll get a great deal!
6. Start by saving money on non-food items
One of the first remarks I always hear from people as a reason for not couponing is, “I don’t eat any of the things I find coupons for.” While I can usually find holes in that argument, my quick response is, “That’s fine, use the coupons for non-food items.”
Even my healthiest, most organic friends typically don’t live 100% organic. You have to choose where to spend your money these days. So my advice: save money with non-perishables so you can put it towards purchasing your organic fresh foods.
Start couponing with paper products, condiments, toiletries and the like. For instance, I haven’t had to buy toilet paper since moving to Nashville. Between Publix frequently offering Greenwise Toilet Paper as their Penny Item and the plethora of $.50 Angel Soft coupons in the Sunday inserts (that gets doubled to $1 and they are often on sale for $1), you’d be surprised at how quickly the savings start adding up. Take the money you save on these products and apply it to your organic shopping items.
Whatever you do, keep my basic couponing tips in mind. Collect as many coupons for your favorite items as you can, then you can really stock up when they go on sale. Whenever possible, stack a store coupon (like from the Whole Foods Whole Deal) with a Manufacturer’s Coupon (that you’d received from the Sunday paper or online) to maximize your savings.
You may also want to keep up with my own online weight loss journal to see how we’ve been putting this to practice in our own lives. It is possible to save money and eat healthy – so get to it!