Thursday, September 2, 2010

10 Ways to Make Your Favorite Frugal Foods Healthier

Healthy eating is something I know all moms struggle with. Believe me, there are times when I give in at meal time just to avoid conflict. With two little eaters and one more who will be starting soon, making healthy meals just isn't always a priority. Plus it often seems that healthy eating is more expensive than those items regularly on sale. But, healthy living doesn't have to be expensive. These ten tips will help you turn your favorite meals into healthier options. They can help you eat better and stay on budget.

1. Plant a Garden - There is nothing healthier or more fulfilling than eating vegetables you grew in your very own garden. It costs almost nothing besides time and space, and because you grew them, you know that they were grown without pesticides or other chemicals. Substituting these for grocery produce is healthy and delicious.

2. Become Friends with a Gardner - So, maybe you don't have time or space for a garden. Or, maybe you keep up with the 25 zucchini a week that your garden produces. Find a gardening friend. She may be willing to trade produce or even give you some. This is frugal and yummy. Once again, substituting home grown produce for store bought saves you money and is much healthier.

3. Double the Veggies - Doubling the veggies or using less meat in a recipe is an easy way to make any meal healthier.

4. Buy Organic Produce on Sale - It is hard to afford organic produce, but when you shop the sales you can find some good deals. Organic produce, especially things that are grown in the ground like sweet potatoes is much healthier than non-organic produce.

6. Use Whole Wheat Pasta - Substitute in whole wheat pasta for regular pasta, and you won't even notice the difference. I think it tastes the same and is often on sale.

7. Drink Water - Drinking water at any meal is automatically healthier than any other beverage and is totally frugal. Even if the meal you are eating isn't quite so healthy, at least you can feel good about this choice.

8. Substitute Beans for Meat - One of our family favorites is Quesadillas, but often I sub in black beans for chicken. Beans contain a lot of fiber and are low in fat, plus they are much less expensive than meats.

9. Plan Your Meals Ahead of Time - Simply planning your meals can help you tighten your purse strings and your belt. By planning your meals you can carefully consider how to make your meals healthier and stay on budget. No last minute fast food for you!

10. Use Dark Chocolate instead of Milk Chocolate - Next time you are making a dessert, consider using dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. It is high in antioxidants and health fats!

These are just some of the easy ways you can make your favorite meals healthier. My personal favorite is the Dark Chocolate, yummy!! What are some ways you make meal time healthier?

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and WeightWatchers SmartOnes blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.


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