Saturday, April 20, 2013

Getting Thrifty & Healthy In The Kitchen

In my constant quest to eat healthier, I ran into a familiar foe. And the name of that foe is retail shopping.

It can be quite difficult to cut costs when it comes to food, especially when it comes to special-needs dieting. Of course, I'm an advocate for shopping sales and clipping coupons. But since joining Weight Watchers and having to be mindful of the both the contents of my wallet and my tummy, I've been thinking about how best to utilize my food funds.

Here are just a few tips on how I'm staying thrifty in the kitchen:
  • Instead of going out to your favorite restaurant any time you get a specific craving, try making it at home. I can almost guarantee it will be cheaper when it comes to how many servings you can stretch out of a single recipe...and healthier since you can control exactly what ingredients to use. Those tofu lettuce wraps were inspired by the P.F. Chang's China Bistro menu. Only...I'm convinced mine were better at half the cost for double the servings.

  • In addition to combining sales and coupons, plan your meals ahead whenever possible. If bell peppers are dirt cheap...consider how many recipes can include bell peppers for the entire week. Stir fry, stuffed peppers, pepper steak, salads. You'll never have produce rot in the fridge if you already have plans for it all week long. 

  • Look for cheap recipes with ingredients you can readily buy. Everybody loves those Pinterest recipes, but if you can't find all the organic or ethnic ingredients at your local supermarket, you might want to reconsider the meal.

  • Get to gardening. Tend that soil and grow as many fruits and veggies as you can possibly fit in the ground. And after all your hard work planting, pruning and watering, you'll hit pay dirt when that produce starts sprouting. 

  • Experiment with different spices, herbs, vegetables, fruits and grains. I love cabbage with the combination of lemon and caraway seeds. And green squash stuffed with goat cheese and chopped mint is freakin' out of this world. Learn to love eating healthily and cheaply. 

Well, what are you waiting for?
 Tie on that apron and whip up something thrifty. 

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