Please join me on Monday where I will be starting a new series of posts called “Thrifty healthy”
As a modern day family living in a growing part of town with a goal to live as simply as possible and within our means, one of our biggest challenges is to eat as healthy as possible while on a tight budget, but we have managed to and still are able to do this, we do this by eating out less and cooking from scratch a lot of the time. We might eat out once a month as a treat and only more if there was a special occasion to celebrate, like a dinner date for one of our birthdays or anniversaries, but other than that everything is home made using what I have on hand. I prefer to do this as I can control what goes into our food (as much fresh food and as little processed food as possible).
It’s funny because most of the time when I mention “frugal” and “food” into the same sentence a lot of people will assume “junk” food. I think people have a mental image of me serving up lots of canned or frozen food for supper, either that or they are probably thinking our children are surviving on just bread and butter when they hear how much I spend per week on food. This however is not the case with our family, and this is what the “healthy thrifty” series will be all about. You can be frugal and healthy, you just need to prioritise, stick to your budget and plan ahead. Personally I find it cheaper to cook from scratch then to buy ready prepared meals like pizza from the frozen food section of the supermarket or heat up and serve meals from a can. However I am still human and will sometimes (though very rarely) serve up a can of spaghetti on toast to my kids, but it’s not a daily occurrence, I’m not judging people who actually do this daily as I am sure we all try to do the best we can from what we have for our family, but our aim as a family is to try to eat as healthily as possible on the budget we are on, so frozen and canned dinners almost never happens.
Once in awhile on a random Monday I plan to post up my shopping list for that *fortnight (I try to do my shopping fortnightly), I will also post my budget, the cost of my shopping, and list what I have in the pantry, fridge and freezer prior to my shopping, I will also post up my menu plan for you to see what we eat that fortnight. At the end of the two weeks I will add in anything I have had to buy extra/top up on and then add up the total and final cost for the fortnight.
The first “thrifty healthy” will be posted next Monday.
Here are a just a few simple things that I do which helps with our tight situation:
- I always try to buy fruits and veggies that are in season – these will always be cheaper to buy than those that are not in season.
- I try to purchase my meats from the butchers whenever I can. This doesn’t always happen and I do sometimes get my meat at the supermarket.
- Bulk up a meat dish with lots of legumes and veggies. – for eg. when I make bolognese sauce, 3/4 of it usually consists of red kidney beans and blended veggies ie. zucchinis, spinach or whatever I have at the time. It’s also a lot healthier and is still very much filling.
- Miss J is gluten free and gluten free bread/baked goods are so expensive, it is a lot cheaper to bake my own gluten free bread/cakes.
- It also helps that we grow some of our own veggies, so this helps us keep the costs down when the veggies start growing.
Looking forward to sharing more of our family’s journey with you through the “Thrifty healthy’ series.