Friday, December 16, 2011

Eating Healthy on a Budget: Part 2

This Friday, I bring you the second part of my four part series on eating healthy on a budget. Last week, I gave you some tips on what foods to buy and what kinds of dishes to make in order to stay within your budget. I even left you with a simple and cost efficient recipe for chili. If you've been struggling with this issue, I hope that last weeks post has helped you. Remember, it's best to take things slow and build up gradually or you may  burn out and give up. Make one healthier change this whole-wheat bread instead of white, buy baby carrots instead of potato chips, or take a healthy lunch to work instead of picking up fast food. You have to start somewhere.

This week, my friend Misti is guest posting. Below you'll find her tips for eating healthy on a budget and one of her favorite healthy, cheap recipes. You can follow her journey through motherhood and her heart for adoption on her blog...Butterflies & Ladybugs.

But first, a little about Misti...

Hi! I'm Misti - wife to Jacob for (almost) 7 years and mommy to Anna

Beth (3), Lynnsie (2) and Creek (2 1/2 months).  My life is crazy busy, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.  I've had to concentrate to watch my weight for the past several years, it fluctuates a lot so
I have to work to keep it under control.  After I gave birth to AB, I
got within 3 pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight before getting pregnant
with Lynns.  I really got serious about losing weight after Lynns was
born.  I spent the summer of 2010 running, doing the Couch to 5K
program, and dropped down 7 more pounds from my pre-AB-pregnancy
weight, just 3 pounds shy of my goal weight.  Then I got pregnant with
Creek and I've now started the journey over again.  For now, I don't
get to fit exercise in just a whole bunch, so I am really having to
watch what I eat.  My plan is to pick out a running program and
complete it - whether I make it to the actual race or not - and throw
in some fun kickboxing classes and swimming at my gym. Right now, I am
11 pounds from my pre-AB-pregnancy only 20 pounds to go to
reach my goal!

Misti's Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget

1.  COUPONS!! I wish I could say that I spent hours upon hours each
week clipping coupons from the paper and scouring the Internet for
them, but I don't.  We mostly buy store brand and not name brand
items, but since our daughter has a peanut allergy, there are some
things that we have to buy name brand.  Here's what I do...I make my
grocery list first.  Then I look through a couple of websites, and, to see what coupons they have
that I need.  I don't necessarily buy something for future use, just
because there's a coupon for budget doesn't allow it most
months!  I do love Winn Dixie's "Buy One Get One Free" deals.  If they
have chicken breasts or other good meats on that week's deal, then I
definitely scoop it up.

2.  I replace Olive Oil when it calls for butter, a little more
healthy and it's a great taste (my kids love for me to saute frozen
green beans in olive oil, seasoned with a dash of salt and pepper).

3.  You can buy huge bags of frozen veggies at Sam's - here's why
that's great:  pretty good price, frozen veggies are better than
canned and it's cheaper and easier than buying fresh veggies every
day.  Actually, we've found that most things are cheaper to buy in
bulk at Sam's - 95% of the time milk is almost a dollar cheaper than
anywhere else.  My family goes through 4 gallons a WEEK - so we saved
the cost of our membership in just 2 months.

4.  For super easy meal-planning, you have to check out -
Dave Ramsey is all about it!  It is a weekly menu and grocery list on
the cheap.  You can choose your family size and where you do your
shopping. You can choose vegetarian meals, too.  It tells you the best
brand for the price and your menu is planned out for the WHOLE WEEK!
No planning, no recipe searching, no thinking required...which is
great for me since, with 3 kiddos 3 and under, I don't have time to
think through a menu!  The subscription is $5 a month, but it gives
you recipes that are easy, quick, and tells you how to save.  You
could always substitute an healthy ingredient for an unhealthy
ingredient, but most of the meals are pretty balanced.

Misti's Nacho Chicken Casserole
(Weight Watcher's Recipe)

1 can chicken
2 cups Minute Rice
1 Can Cream of Chicken
1 Can Cream of Celery
1 Can Mild Rotel
1 Can Fiesta Nacho Cheese Soup (or Cheddar Cheese Soup if they are out
or you want a little less "spice")
1 small can of mushrooms
13 oz bag of frozen cut broccoli

Preheat the oven to 375.  Mix all of the ingredients together in a
large bowl.  Pour the mixture into a 9x13 baking dish.
Cook for 35 - 40 minutes.

Thank you Misti for sharing with us today. Don't forget to head on over to Misti's blog.

As always, feel free to leave your own comments, tips, and recipes below.

Peace, Love, and Healthy Living,


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