As I am typing this post I am in pain. You might remember the Plunkett's are attempting to eat a little better. After eating such a good lunch of fresh vegetables, grilled chicken, and bread we decided to have Taco Bell for dinner because it was cheap and I didn't feel like cooking! Not a good idea. My stomach is pretty much in knots right now as I sip this lovely glass of Sprite.
Besides caving in tonight, what have we done to better our diet? Well, taking tips from my friend, Elizabeth (I quoted her in my previous post about this topic) we are buying things locally. Lucky for us, we have an excellent grocery store where we live that sells meats from local farmers so we buy our meat there. On the topic of meat, my friend sent me this little tip regarding meat: No legs (fish, vegetables) are better than two legs (chickens), two legs are better than four legs (cows, pigs). We have decreased our red meat intake to about once or none a week and increased our fish intake to at least once a week. I have not mastered the art of cooking fish yet so that is a learning process.
We are also growing some of our own food but we don't have any to eat yet. We did get one okra and I did cook that one okra for Chris. The same grocery store I buy our meat at also sells local fruits and vegetables so I do buy those items there also.
Sadly, eating healthy is more expensive than not so these are the things we do to eat healthy on a budget:
1. I buy fresh meats and vegetables at a smaller grocery store in town. The smaller grocery store does have a purchasing program that gives you a $10.00 gift certificate for every $300.00 you spend. It's not much but any little bit helps.
2. Buy all other items at a larger store in town that is cheaper on other items but does not offer local foods. At this store is where I use my coupons because their original price is lower already.
3. I get coupons from all sources available to me: Sunday paper, internet, All You magazine, and in the mail. I only use coupons for things I would normally buy. I won't use a coupon for Coca-Cola just because I have one because I don't normally buy it. The coupons I use most often are diapers, wipes, household cleaners, and health and beauty stuff.
4. Eat simple for lunch. I stay at home with our son so I usually choke down a sandwich or something simple in order to save the "good" food for breakfasts or dinners with my husband.
5. Don't eat out. My husband and I only eat out if it is our date night. Of course, tonight we broke that rule and look where it got us. My husband does eat out on occasion because of his job but we don't pay for those meals so they don't really count as far as the budget goes.
6. Make my son's baby food. I buy my son's formula but that's it. Everything else I make. It is so simple I don't know why more people don't do it. If you have a stove and food processor you can do it. We did buy a food processor just for this purpose because I didn't have one before and it was taking forever to make his food in this mini food chopper thing. I'm pretty sure we've already paid for the food processor with the money we saved on baby food.
I think that's about it. We are not total die hards about this but we aren't suffering either. Eating and cooking at home is giving me the ability to learn some new recipes and/or new techniques to make food and sometimes I even hear, "You should make this more often. It is the best I've ever had." Ahhh, music to my ears.
If there is anything I left out or if you have any questions about anything leave me a comment and I'll get back with you!