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Success F inan ce
Meal planning and grocery shopping are always a challenge. The good news is that you can eat healthy, even
on the most super-tight budget. The key is being flexible, creative and shopping smart.
T E X T BY SA N DY L I N D S E Y
Freeze It: Produce prices vary by
season. Luckily, much of it can be
frozen. Stock up while it’s cheap and
store it through the pricier months.
Sale Shop: Make your weekly meal
plan based on what’s on sale. Most
grocery chains vary sales on a rotating
basis to keep things interesting and nutritious.
Still Prime: Eliminating meat is one
of the first things to do when on a
tight budget. Opt for cheaper cuts like
chicken thighs rather than chicken breasts.
Grans/Beans: One of the most
inexpensive and healthy ways to fill
a plate is with whole grains, brown
rice and black beans. Basically, all the fabulous
sides we order at restaurants anyway.
Plan Ahead: Prep weekly meals on
Sundays (or the day of your choice) to
lessen overall time in the kitchen. Plus,
you’ll end up using what’s in your fridge and
lessening costly waste.
6. Go International: Mexican and
Indian cuisines are some of the most
delicious fares out there yet are
comprised of some of the least expensive
ingredients, like broth, beans and rice.
7. Neat Beat: Leftovers are a staple
in our society, but often end up in the
back of the fridge/freezer until they
are no longer safe to eat. Store your leftovers
in air-tight containers and label them with a
Leftover Redux: Tired of the same
meal for several days? Repurpose
leftovers into imaginative salads,
sandwiches, soups, etc. This is especially
useful around special occasions.
9. Be Late: The key to shopping at a
farmer’s market is to go about an hour
before they close when vendors offer
great deals to offload their stock so they don’t
have to carry it all back to the farm.
10. Cultural Cheap: Ethnic
markets are a great source
of interesting ingredients at
great, below-market prices. A good example
is Asian noodles and ghee, both of which are
overpriced at most grocery stores.