Eating Healthy On a Budget
It is not true that healthy food is too expensive for anyone. You can enjoy healthy food without worrying about the cost. That fat-free and sugar free-versions of particular foods is true, you do not need such items in your nutritious diabetic meals. In fact, you can eat the same everyday food your family members consume, if you just give more focus on nutrient content and portion size. If your family members get to eat like you, this healthy eating on a budget can only bring them better health.
American consumers, on average, use 9.5 percent of their pay on purchase of food. As such, if you can reduce your budget with healthy eating, it will bring lots of benefits, physically and economically, since it will assist you to control your blood sugar levels. It has been proven that better blood sugar control lessens the possibility of diabetes complications like kidney disease and eye disease. So, by tightening your budget on food now, you can help to get better blood glucose control and avoid those complications which require costly medical attention later.
If you doubt that healthy food can be affordable, the ADA (American Dietetic Association) can prove otherwise merely by giving an example of a whole day’s meal plan with a total of 1,200 calories at $6.99 which is what you pay at one of those fast-food restaurants for one of its “great value for money” lunch. The meal plan by the ADA (American Dietetic Association) puts attention on vegetables, fruits, lean protein,whole grains, nonfat or low-fat dairy products as well as other calcium and protein sources, following its own suggestions on foods as well as portion sizes taken from its Dietary Guideline for Americans published in 2005. As can be seen from this meal plan which is made up of food full of nutrients, healthy eating need not cost more.
Diabetes Management – Healthy Eating -Video Guide
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Below are ways to assist you in saving money as you achieve your healthy meals aims
Know your healthy meal plan
An appointment with an officially accepted dietitian who is an expert on diabetes is necessary to gather as much knowledge as you can on healthy meal planning and diabetes control. It does not matter what method you use to plan your meal, be it carbohydrate counting, or the exchange system , you ought to consume many types of wholefood such as beans, whole grains, lean protein sources, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy products which are all comparatively cheap. A better meal plan method reduces to a minimum, foods which can be expensive, such as meat, sweets as well as snacks which have high fat content. If your portion sizes are right, eating the suggested amount of food for each serving, your food expenditure will not be taxing.
List your menus
Having meal plans for a week ready before going to the grocery can save you time and gas as instead of making a number of trips, one would be enough to buy all that you need for the week. Another way to save money is to look for special offers at the grocery and plan your purchases for those days. Of course, having to plan for 21 meals each week can be daunting; if so, start with planning just the evening meals each week. You have to start with your diabetes meal plan as it shows the groups of food and the amount you can take from each of them. Have a record of all those meals you find suitable to your diabetic needs so that future meals can come from such a record and there may come a time when you no longer need to plan new meals each week.
Economical, healthy meals come together with good shopping habits. Every minute a person spends time in a market, $2 is spent, claims a survey. So, the thriftiest way to shop is to have a list of all your needs and buy only those so that there is no impulsive purchase and no buying of unnecessary items which can raise your expenditure, probably from $5 – $10 each week, or nearly $500 a year. Another way to cut costs is by using “member’s card” or whatever program the store has, to get more discounts. Another thing which can prevent savings is brand consciousness. Store brands are usually cheaper than other name-brands. Manufacturers of brand-name foods do sell the same foods without their brands. These foods taste just as good and cost up to 30 percent less. You should also think of cost for each serving and not buy big, economic amounts if you cannot finish the whole amount before the expiry date. If you purchase minced, precooked, chopped, presliced or packaged individually food, you can be paying more for such prepared foods. You can save cost by spending some time on preparation of your food.
Plan to use leftovers
Have you ever thought of cooking just once to eat twice or trice? Imagine the amount of time, effort and money you save! For instance, you may roast a chicken on a Monday, the left-over chicken for a broth on Tuesday and the bones as well as some meat for a soup on a Friday. If you make noodles, double the amount you make so that half can be cooked that day itself and the half on another day.
People may think of leftovers as stale food used again and again and again. However, cost-cutting need not necessary be having the same meal, reheated day after day. Put some imagination in to create interesting meals with some leftover food by putting in other ingredients to change the taste of the meal.
Eating out the economical way.
Cooking your own meals is less costly than paying for your meals cooked by someone else. Furthermore, it ought to be more nutritious as you will be the person controlling the carbohydrate, calorie, and fat content of whatever you cook. Of course, although it can be costly, sometimes we need to eat out as busy work schedules give us no choice.
The average yearly expenditure on carry-out, sit-down, and delivery meals of four members of a family in America is $3, 360. This expenditure can be reduced with good planning to avoid eating out. Impulsive dinning out ought to be stopped. Think of what you already have in your kitchen. Besides, microwaving your food is faster than driving over to queue at any of the drive-ins for fast-food.
If you have to eat out, think nutrition when you order and find out more about the food you want from the workers. Make use of oversized food portions by sharing one large item with one smaller dish, if you have someone to share the food with. When you combine your food this way, you save money. If you are alone, you may ask for a container to keep half the meal for another meal at home while you eat the other half at the restaurant, so that there can be no overeating.
Grow your herbs and vegetables
You can be surprised at the amount of food a garden in your backyard or windowsill can supply. For a small sum of money, seeds and plants to start with, you get fresh vegetables or herbs within easy reach. When you harvest your greens, any extra can be frozen or canned to used throughout the year. Imagine the amount of saving you make out of this little garden. Start a little at a time and develop from there with careful planning. For any advice on your garden, look up the Cooperative Extension Service, your local library as well as the internet. Although gardening is work, it is a beneficial activity as it helps to relieve stress and can use up about 300 calories each hour you work in your garden.
Healthy eating on a lean budget
As you can see from what has been discussed, money need not be an obstacle to foods which ensures health from a diabetes meal plan. Making the right choice in the food you eat is important to your condition as healthy eating on a budget can result in better levels of blood sugar. Cutting costs on food can take up some time and energy from you but healthy eating on a budget is obviously worth the effort.