Eating healthy and staying within a fixed budget often becomes a challenge. Add in limited freezer and refrigerator space and it sometimes becomes a nightmare. So how do we meet the challenge of consuming nutrient dense foods and have that pesky limited income stay on track?
Here are a few solutions to keep in mind:
Farmer’s/Flea Markets. Oftentimes, seniors are traveling to new places to cross them off their bucket list. When you stay in a new area, look for those farmer’s / flea markets by doing your research to see what’s available in that area. When you’re shopping at these local markets, you’ll find you’re getting fresher produce than at the grocery store and you’ll be supporting small, local businesses. Choose your fruits and vegetables with care, never buying more than you can easily store in your limited space. Also, make sure you know how to store your fruits and vegetables so that they’ll last the longest and still be good enough to use in recipes or eat fresh.
Meal Plan. You’ve been driving all day, sightseeing, or exploring nature so what’s the last thing you want to do? You’re tired but you’re hungry. What to do? Do you cook a meal or go out to eat that will bite into you’re carefully crafted budget? The answer is meal planning. By knowing what you’re doing that day, you can plan your meals around your activity. You can make a simple healthy meal, or you can cook up a storm based on your daily activities. Taking a few moments to plan your meals will not only help with what’s happening that day, it will also be a friend to your budget as you won’t be buying items that may end up in the trash can because they didn’t get eaten. As a note, in your meal plan don’t forget to add in breakfast, lunch, and snacks.
Master the Simple Salad. Making a basic salad opens a world of mouth-watering flavors. Salads are no longer bland and boring and doesn’t need to include lettuce. Many salads consist of basic ingredients that include legumes, vegetables and grains. For example, garbanzo beans with peppers, onions, asparagus, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, and rice dressed in olive oil & lemon juice with salt, pepper, and other herbs with a side of garlic bread makes a filling nightly meal. There are many healthy salad recipes out there that include or exclude lettuce. Salads, rice bowls not only use fresh, healthy ingredients but they can also use up leftovers from the night before. They can be vegetarian or include meat. It’s all up to you how you make them. Just learn the basic salad and a basic dressing recipe and elaborate from there. Your refrigerator is your oyster.
Have a few healthy go-to meals for when you don’t feel like cooking. We all have those days when cooking is the very last thing we want to do. We don’t feel good, we’re exhausted, cranky, just not into it. So this is the best time to pull out the instant pot, crock pot, salad or stovetop recipes or a rolling pin (for making sure your husband loves to cook – joking, guys!). Just make sure they’re healthy and not those that are full of salt, sugar and fats. The ones that have a protein, whole grains, and vegetables. These oldies but goodies are the ones that come together quickly with very little effort but let you sit down to a satisfying and filling healthy meal instead of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Keep it simple and healthy.
Share some of your easy go-to meals. We'd love to taste them!