Healthy families require healthy food.
So eating healthy and staying on a budget is no easy feat.
In fact, most people complain that eating healthy is just not possible with their budget.
That’s where a Meal Plan is the game-changer for healthy families.
Because you CAN eat healthy with these tips for frugal meal planning for healthy families.
Planning meals will help keep you motivated to eat better and help you resist the urge to eat out when things get busy.
Eating out costs more money and can be not as healthy!
Here are some tips for healthy meal planning on a budget for healthy families.
Eat Seasonal Produce
Produce is so important for healthy families but it is most expensive when it is out of season.
Before heading to the store or making your meal plan, make sure to do a little research to find out what produce is going to be in season.
Also, you can check the going rate by checking the local sales ads online so you won’t be overpaying on that seasonal produce.
Don’t know what you should be paying? Here’s a handy download to give you some idea on the best prices you should be paying.
Eating seasonal produce can help you plan a healthy meal plan and help you stick to your budget.
Don’t forget to check out your local farmer’s markets for better prices than you can find in the stores. Or see if there’s a u-pick going on in your area.
Looking for some ideas of what are the best produce items to fit into your budget?
Don’t overlook these cheap produce items!
- Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes
- Bagged Spinach
Per pound, these veggies and fruits pack a wallop of goodness and will add bulk and nutrition to any meal.
Find some other ways to save on Produce HERE!
Look At The Prices
When you are frugal meal planning for healthy families, there are a few things you want to look for when planning your meals.
The price of canned, fresh, and frozen produce will determine which one is best for your budget.
If you are shopping seasonally, it might not matter which one you choose.
However, canned or frozen are usually going to be cheaper than fresh produce.
Not only will they have a longer shelf life, but if you are shopping for an entire month’s worth of meals, this can help you make sure you have some type of produce in your meal plan each week.
One of the great tips for healthy meal planning on a budget I tell people all the time, is to stock up when those items go on sale or BOGO!
Write down those frozen produce items you normally use so that way you can start checking out the prices. Then when they go the lowest, you can stock up and be prepared for your meals when you need them and never pay full price.
Start your own Personal Price Book with this free download!
Here are a couple of the frozen produce items we normally buy:
- Peppers and onions or Stir fry mix
- Green beans
- Riced Cauliflower
- Mixed Vegetables
We also try to think about what gives us the most nutritional benefit for the money. Yes, mac and cheese is quite delicious, but it really doesn’t give you the health benefits as much as a salad would. So we skip the mac and cheese and just opt for one side dish, a healthy one which also helps our budget!
Make Sure You Are Planning Your Meals By Expiration
Healthy families require a lot of fresh produce and ingredients, so you want to make sure you aren’t leaving them in your fridge too long.
You can help keep your produce fresh longer by either freezing it until you’re ready to use it or by prepping your meals ahead of time.
If you don’t want to deal with either of those, then plan your meals in a way that will let you use the ingredients with the shortest shelf life first.
If you have no clue how long your produce will last in your fridge, check out this handy chart.
It’s important to use up those produce items so your budget stays healthy too. No one likes to waste food!
One of the tips for healthy meal planning on a budget I use is keep those items in the front of my fridge. I keep a section of my fridge just for my meal planning items so I don’t forget them. If they stay in the front where I see them often, they won’t get a chance to go bad before I use them. That saves me money by not letting food go to waste.
Keep Your Recipes Organized By Skill Level And Cook Time
Meal planning for healthy families includes having a list of recipes you can go to that take only a few minutes to put together. Recipes that you can make quickly, is going to make meal planning so much easier and less stressful.
My tips for healthy meal planning on a budget is to keep your ingredient list short. This will help save you money at the checkout and help make sure you follow through on your meal plan. Because an easy recipe won’t seem as daunting as a complicated one with lots of ingredients.
These are meals you can reference when you’re short on time and help you put together a meal plan quickly.
Just check out Pinterest for a huge list of 15 Minute Healthy Meals!
Save Your Previous Meal Plans
Every time you make a new meal plan, save your old meal plans!
This is a quick and easy way to put together meals for the week when you are in a pinch, and you can also use them as a reference when you are fresh out of ideas for your healthy families.
This is also a great way to help you remember dishes you may have forgotten about or haven’t had in a while.
One of the great tips for healthy meal planning on a budget my mother gave me, was to get my dinner ideas organized. I keep my old meal plans in a folder along with a long list of what meals I have made before that my family has loved. I also keep a Pinterest file full of ideas so we never get stuck in a dinner rut.
Consult Your Family Members In Your Meal Plan
When putting together a healthy meal plan, you want to make sure they are meals your healthy families will eat.
A healthy meal plan won’t do anyone any good if nobody will eat the food.
Sit down with your family and give them options to pick from. Allow them to be part of the frugal meal planning for healthy families’ process and even assign someone a day to pick a meal.
If you are nervous about overspending, have your family put together a list of their favorite meals and use this as your reference when planning meals.
One of the tips for healthy meal planning on a budget my mother used to use was having a second side dish when introducing a new veggie side dish. This way if it wasn’t a hit, there would be at least another side dish to eat.
Frugal meal planning for healthy families doesn’t just happen overnight, especially if healthy eating doesn’t come naturally for your family.
If you put together a meal plan, you’ll not only save yourself time but money as well!
Meal planning doesn’t have to take a lot of work and can be done just a few minutes each week.
Meal planning can easily turn families into healthy families for life.