Many nutritionists worry that people will eat more poorly in these troubled economic times. Already, the grocery chain Whole Foods is seeing a sharp drop in income while McDonald’s (home of the dollar menu) is seeing a slight increase in their profits.
But, cutting back on your grocery bills doesn’t have to mean expanding your waist line. In fact, when done properly, eating healthily can actually be cheaper than eating normally. Elite athletes consume “cheap” food as a matter of course: eggs, rice, tuna, fruits, vegetables, nuts and milk among other things. There is no need to buy salmon or lobster to get your protein. Buy cheap fish. Good nutrients can be found in very cheap foods.
People who choose not to eat healthy meals now will have expensive bills to pay in the long run. They miss more work, need surgery for heart attacks and knee replacements, and fall for all kinds of gimmicks and magic pills to cure their ails. In the long run, “cheap” food isn’t really cheap after all.
Here is one meal that can be healthy and cheap.
Breakfast: The Most Important Meal of the Day
The most important meal of the day is breakfast. If you want to cut your grocery bill, look for ways to provide a wholesome meal for less money first thing in the morning. Much of what we eat for “breakfast” is really dessert. A donut, for example, has up to 360 calories and 6 grams of trans fats. This is not the best way to start the day.
There are so many healthy options for breakfast. Choose from hot cereals, cold cereals, breakfast bars, eggs, bacon, sausage, frozen meals, and the list goes on. Breakfast is packaged fast and convenient for the busy consumer.
Serve the same things for a week or two at a time to cut down on what needs to be purchased. Each weekend, break the monotony by fixing a breakfast meal composed of all the favorites you don’t get during the week.
When buying cold cereal, the best way to save money is to purchase off-brands. Don’t spend the money on cold breakfast cereal with fancy names and lots of sugar. Look at the bottom of the aisle rather than at eye level to find these cheaper, healthier kinds of cereals.
You can purchase your breakfast staples in bulk. Instead of buying a box or can of oatmeal for four dollars, purchase a ten or twenty pound bag of rolled oats for a dollar more. A box containing five dozen eggs is more economical than buying a dozen eggs four times a month.
If you want to offer breakfast breads or muffins to your family, make your own. There are no preservatives in the muffins you make. Use fresh ingredients and substitute applesauce for a portion of the vegetable oil for a healthier choice. Make the muffins ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator or freezer to increase their longevity.
Breakfast doesn’t have to be expensive to be good. A little elbow grease and advanced preparation will provide even the busiest families with a hot breakfast each morning.
You can eat cheap, eat healthy and lose weight. Add a dose of common sense and away you go.