Member Comments for the Article:

Eating Healthy on a Budget

Save Money Without Sacrificing Quality


9/15/2010 1:32:32 PM

10TOES's SparkPage
Making a dinner menu for the month BEFORE you do your monthly shopping actually does save money. We do it and then make the grocery list off of exactly what is on there. We don't do a lunch or breakfast menu since dinner is always the biggest and generally most expensive. Grocery lists are money savers as well as long as you stick to the list!
4/14/2010 4:42:01 PM

I long for the day that we become a nation of people who value the quality of food versus the quantity!
This article is one good way to get people to start re-thinking how they value food.

I mainly shop the outer perimeter of the grocery stores and find it hard to remember to venture down the aisles to get items like toilet paper and laundry soap. Any one else with that problem?
4/14/2010 4:29:28 PM

MCMONKEY2's SparkPage
Don't forget to mention Quinoa, pronounced Keenwa. It is a whole grain that is similar to cous cous and is high in nutrients like protein, vitamins and minerals. A great substitute for white rice too.
4/14/2010 4:26:44 PM

Soup is a great budget stretcher. I use all my leftover vegetables/salad veggies too... and cook them in crock pot with lentils or chick peas and pureed canned tomatoes and a few bouillion cubes. Add some spice and there is soup. I freeze soup as well especially in the summer when produce is less $$.and have it later in the winter
4/14/2010 2:54:42 PM

I just bought a CrockPot, and it is fast becoming my best friend. I'm a leftovers person, love the convenience, but hubby's not. Then I found out that it's not that he isn't a leftovers person, it's that he's not a leftover-hunks-of-meat person. Now I make chilis, stews, and curries in the CrockPot and he's more than happy to munch on it. It's only two of us, but I can make dinner for three days and keep us happy. The only problem is when I make two good CrockPot dinners at once. Then he just chooses a favorite and eats all of it!
4/14/2010 12:52:33 PM

Personal I find that your suggestions might work for a family. However for a single person most of your suggessions are reasons I spend more money. Double the recipe and cook more, usually end up throwing it out cause it has been in the freezer to long or I am tried of eating the same thing for days. Bulk buying only works if you have the storage.Most singles only have the top of the fridge for a freezer. It is bad enough that is more expensive to by single serving of something. Family size and bulk does not help when you are on your own.
4/14/2010 11:13:01 AM

Personally, I prefer to meal plan by the month - it relieves a lot of stress. I try and shop just once a week and stick to the list. My family has favorites that I rotate in so we all are happy about our supper time. Sprouts is a great place to buy produce if it is available in your area. I also use a lot of spices when cooking, cumin is a family favorite as well as smoked paprika and italian seasoning.
3/31/2010 8:47:16 AM

WHEREIS170's SparkPage
I don't buy junk food or prepackaged products anymore. They are full of too many preservatives and salt. I have changed my grocery habits to getting only what will get me thru 5 days. I also have a standard list of spices I keep on hand to add flavor and better taste to simple receipies. My favorite one is "Smoked Paprika". It is great on everything. I use Thyme alot on pork and chicken. Yum
4/15/2009 12:59:27 PM

I only eat out about once a month, when I meet up with friends for dinner. I rarely buy takeaways, as they are high in cost, fat, salt & calories. I live on my own, so I tend to batch cook at the weekends, portion out the meals and freeze them for later on during the week, so that I don't end up eating the same thing 4 days in a row. I make 2 or 3 dishes to give myself a bit of variety, plus soup for lunch, which is low in cost & calories.

I always make a list before I go shopping and try not to impulse buy, as I don't like wasting food. I usually buy generic brands (or whatever is on offer - BOGOFs, 3 for 2, etc), although there are some items where I prefer a named brand. For those items, I buy them in bulk when they are on offer. I like to shop at Lidl, which is often a little cheaper than Tesco or Morrisons. I'm also Queen of the "Reduced for Quick Sale" aisle, and will buy meat, bread and veggies that can be frozen or will keep in the fridge for a few days until I can use them.

It isn't necessary to eat low quality meals just because you are on a budget. With a little careful planning and preparation you can eat healthily without breaking the bank.
4/14/2009 8:47:51 PM

FSOFINDY's SparkPage
I shop Aldi's and hit the farmers markets in the summer for great savings on produce and fruit in season. I also get fantastic savings at every week shopping at Krogers and Meijers using coupons for so many healthy, nutritious foods that are on sale that week. It always saves me a ton of money and I rarely spend more than $50 each week and sets me up for at least a whole weeks' worth of meals. I also buy items in bulk when on sale which saves so much money (even certain fruits and veggies for freezing). I also freeze leftover meals, for quick, nutritious lunches, dinners and snacks.
4/14/2009 6:41:25 PM

BUNLUV2's SparkPage
I always plan my family's meals at least a week ahead and only buy missing ingredients. I try to buy larger things, like a turkey, roast or canned beans that will definitely have left overs. That way, I can prepare them for a big Sunday dinner and add leftovers to homemade soup (I make at least one pot every week), casseroles, quiches or sandwiches. If we don't want to eat the same thing all week, I freeze the meals and have them another day. I also make sure to freeze and can lots of produce in the fall. I don't have a garden, but use local u-pick, organic gardens. This way I always have healthy vegetables handy.

I use sparkrecipes and allrecipes all the time, so we hardly ever have something more than once or twice every few months. Unless it's a favourite of course.
4/14/2009 2:10:14 PM

Indeed I agree that the "Sav-a-lot" store is great for stretching your dollars! You may have to box your own items at check-out, but the savings are really great. For instance, I can buy the large can of coffee, McDaniel brand, for less than four dollars. I was a vacation guest in Florida when my hostess served this wonderful coffee. I asked the brand, and she told me "McDaniel" coffee from Sav-a-lot. This was a great discovery for me and I was happy to find this store in my area! I learned comparison shopping from my father....He loved quality at a good price. He would take us to the salvage stores, and he would always teach us thrift without waste. His wise shopping did not include junk food. Mom baked our treats like gingerbread and apple-betty!

Thanks for the great information we receive here!
4/14/2009 12:59:03 PM

.. I menu plan and go once a week, always on a Tuesday. i buy the fresh priduce and plans meals around them then use the forzen or can iteams the rest of the week.
3/19/2009 12:27:41 PM

MARVGRRL's SparkPage
I think that shopping at the local farmer's market has saved me a lot of money on my produce. I usually eat at least 5 servings of fruit or veggies before dinner, so I got through a lot of produce. I've spent less than $10 on an entire week's worth of food on average. If there is a farmer's market near you, it's worth a look. Also shopping with a plan of what exactly you are going to eat is a good idea. What's the use in buying a vegetable on sale if you're not actually going to use it?
3/19/2009 12:22:30 PM

By not buying any junk food , I now have the extra to spend on quality foods. I do buy my veggies frozen and frozen fruit is a wonderful snack.

It takes a little work to plan out and buy for healthier meals but we are worth the extra effort, aren't we?

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