We are halfway through summer already, which also means we still have half of it left. Hear me out… I went to try on that beloved teeny weeny bikini a few weeks ago, and pretty much looked like an overflowing muffin pan of flabby skin. Have you ever had that happen?
If you’re like me and you feel like it’s too late, guess what? It’s not! Personally, my sad sappy excuse is that I’ve been lost in the midst of work and homework and sleeping whenever there is extra time. But being busy takes a toll on your wallet as well as your waistline! Even if you don’t need to slim down, these tips I’ve been working on will help you to make smarter choices when it comes to health conscious budgeting. I’m sure there are more tips & tricks out there, so please add them in the comments below!
- Drink tap water instead of buying bottled water. It adds up.
- Carry your own bottle or thermos with you. If you already have a drink with you, you’re less likely to buy a drink [$] that could be unhealthy.
- Learn how to keep foods fresher longer.
Herbs: Wash first then store in whole bunches. Seal in plastic zip bags and place in freezer. Storing this way keeps peak freshness up to a month (which is more than double the time they’d last in the fridge).
Pasta, Rice & Flour: Flour usually keeps for a good 6-12 months and pasta can keep up to 2 years! But watch for the bugs! Just slip a bay leaf into the container to repel the bugs
Produce: store in the fridge. Even if the peel darkens, the fruit will be good for up to 5 days.
In general: do not place your fruits by veggies. And don’t put anything near the potatoes.
Meat: After getting home from the market, rewrap meat in plastic wrap and freeze up to 2 months. If more than 2 months is needed, wrap foil, plastic, or freezer paper over original plastic packaging.
- Buy groceries in bulk. (Especially grains, beans & nuts).
- Plan out meals with recipes ahead of time. This allows you to fix a second meal that won’t taste like gross leftovers. Also, you can prep meal ingredients ahead of time in containers to be time efficient.
- Try buying the store brand organic yogurts, packaged products and soups.
- Buy foods in season. Try to support local growers at farmer’s markets. They are often less expensive than a chain store.
- Having a treat in the AM may help you from giving-in to temptation too many times throughout the day. Try just a sprinkle of cocoa powder in your smoothing or even just a tablespoon of chocolate chips in your pancake batter for breakfast!
- Yes, you can still eat out! Utilize the dollar menu at fast food restaurants. Share your French fries. Keep portions in check by removing the bottom bun on your burger/sandwich. Order a water instead of soda/artificially flavored drinks.
- The most expensive foods are usually lean cuts of meat and fish. You can try eating other healthy proteins that are more wallet friendly such as beans and eggs.
- Frozen fruits and veggies have a longer shelf life (and have the same nutrients as fresh).
- Most importantly, eat your food slowly! Most of the time we’re in too much of a hurry with busy schedules, deadlines, and appointments. Making the most of each bite is a great healthy habit.
Oh, last but definitely not least, do NOT go to the grocery story when you’re hungry!