Eating fresh, whole, nutritious fare without breaking the bank can be done. We’ve posted tips before, and at your request, here are 3 more great tricks for adding value to your diet without adding dollars to your grocery tab.
1. Cut meat protein with vegetable protein.
Mark is anti-grain and doesn’t espouse eating much in the way of starch. However, you can cut recipes calling for pricey grass-fed beef or free-range chicken with legumes that cost mere pennies per bag. This is a great way to make your meals – and dollars – stretch further without adding in very many carbs. Especially great, high-protein beans include lentils and black soy beans.
2. Eek…we’re going to say it…try canned veggies.
This was the subject of discussion in the last budget post. We’re all generally agreed that canned veggies taste about as exciting as silly putty. While canned veggies do retain their nutrition for the first several months, nothing really compares to fresh. That said, there are some canned veggies that aren’t so bad. Not many, mind you, but a few. Tomatoes – whether stewed, chopped, sauced or pureed – are wonderful in nearly any meal while adding a lot of flavor and nutrition. Canned artichokes and hearts of palm also stand up well. While greens aren’t great in the canned varieties, even the tomato trick can really help you save cash while dining on plenty of flavor. (And don’t forget all those antioxidants you’ll be getting!)
3. Stop eating so much.
Kidding! We know you’re sensible about those portions. Today’s third budget tip is to buy your fatty things in bulk. We mentioned buying a large jug of olive oil from Costco (you know, the one that could fill your swimming pool). But you should also buy things like almonds and butter in bulk. The trick to keeping them fresh is to keep them in the fridge. Nuts should be refrigerated to keep from going rancid.
Bonus tip: ditch sauces, go for mustard.
Condiments are insanely expensive, as previously noted. But mustard is super cheap, and it can make any piece of meat or portion of veggies or beans taste like a gourmet entree. Besides, mustard is really good for you!
Jayna Flickr Photo  (CC)