LIVING

4 Simple Money-Saving Meal Tips for Busy Parents

February 25th, 2015

You’re busy and on a budget, but you want you family to eat better. I know—I’m right there with you.

So how can we all eat healthier, while saving both time and money? It is possible—I promise. It takes a little bit of planning, but ultimately you’ll feel much more in control of what’s coming out of your kitchen. Here are my top tips to set you up for success!

1. Meal planning

The simple act of sitting down once a week and planning for the week ahead will get you ahead of the game. Do you need to be rigid about it? No. But, if you want success, you need to plan for it. Meal planning helps you manage what you need to buy, which cuts down on impulse buying, and once you know when you plan to use the food, you’ll stop watching produce going bad in the fridge. Planning puts you in complete control over your choices, which helps you be proactive—not reactive—with your food.

2. “Planned overs”

You can keep leftovers interesting—let’s call them “planned-overs.” Planned-overs don’t look anything like the original dish. Make roasted chicken feel new again by whipping up chicken fajitas, chicken salad, or a spicy stir fry. Use extra salmon or halibut to make fish tacos. Planned overs are simply smart: You’re not starting from scratch, you reduce food waste, and you stop the chorus of “are we eating this again?”

3. Cook in bulk

If you want planned-overs, you’ve got to start by making extra of whatever you’re cooking. If you’re cooking up a batch of quinoa, cook a pot full. If your husband is bringing out the grill, load it up with extra veggies and meat. Boiling eggs? Boil six. Why not? It’s a huge time saver.

4. Buy in bulk

The bulk section is your friend when it comes to saving money. Brown rice, quinoa, rolled oats, lentils, beans, almond flour, popcorn, nuts and seeds are typically are cheaper in the bulk section because you aren’t paying for added packaging. They also last a long time in the pantry, so you can purchase more than you’ll need for one meal.

And here’s one more bonus tip: Thrive Market recently added a huge selection of baby and kids products! They’ve got everything from organic baby food and non-GMO snacks the kiddos will love to safe and gentle baby bath products. They’ve even got toys and accessories—all at big discounts.

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Stephanie MerchantStephanie Merchant is a Food & Lifestyle Expert and the founder of TheNutritionMom.com. She is an author, speaker, coach and mentor to busy Moms worldwide.

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