Eating Well on a Budget

Eating take-out or sitting in a restaurant for many meals every week costs a lot of money.  It also may be harming your health, depending on where you are dining. But we often hear it's too much trouble to cook or it takes too much time. But isn't nearly everything worth doing worth the time it takes to do it?  We find time for what's important, and when you see the benefits, both health wise and financially, to buying and preparing your own food, you will make it work 

Eating in offers you many opportunities to enhance your health and improve your finances.  Simply put, when you eat at home, you know what's in your food!  Many chefs have told me there are 3 ingredients they use liberally when they prepare food - butter/oil, salt and sugar. These ingredients may make food taste good, but they are not healthy when used in excess. When you prepare food yourself, you can choose from an array of herbs and spices to make your food fragrant and delicious without the use of empty calories.  The key is building an inventory in your pantry and in your refrigerator that makes it quick and simple to put together a nice meal.

Here's a partial list of foods to have on hand:  whole grains, whole wheat or brown rice pasta,organic  several varieties of beans and legumes, all the herbs and spices you like, whole grain cereals, fruits that are in season, canned tomatoes, green and sweet vegetables, rice or soy milk,  organic juice, sparkling water, butter (in moderation), peanut or almond butter, a good olive oil, expeller pressed canola oil, vinegars, honey, pure maple syrup, whole grain bread, eggs, teas, low-sodium broth, and if you are not vegetarian, hormone and antibiotic free meat and poultry, and wild seafood. 

Make a menu plan before you go shopping.  When you have a good inventory of basics in your pantry, the list will be fairly short except for the pantry basics that need to be replenished every month or two. Your weekly shop will be mostly perishables like fruits, vegetables, fish or meat. 

When you have these foods in your home, you will find that it is quite easy to put together a nice meal in less than 30 minutes. It will be tasty, nutritious and cost far less than a take-out meal.

Things not to have:  any foods with high fructose corn syrup listed on the ingredient label, and any food with partially hydrogenated oils of any kind.

Still unsure of how to transition from take out to home cooking? If you are motivated to move back to home cooked meals but aren't sure you know how, contact me to arrange a personalized session by phone or in person where we will address your needs. Investing now in your health and future has a great payoff, and not just in your grocery bill.