Parents today have a tough job. They want to provide healthy meals for their kids, but they don't want to spend an arm and a leg to have them. Healthy meals can be expensive, but the prices of junk food are far more. Initially, junk food may look like it cost less per calorie. 100 calories from a doughnut (about 0.70)is less than 100 calories of broccoli (can run about a couple of dollars). However, eating 100 calories of broccoli is much more filling than 100 calories from a doughnut, which is probably only a few bites. In addition, the long term costs of the doughnut will be 10 or 20 times the cost to the family than eating the broccoli.
So, how do you save money on healthy food? Here are 5 ideas and solutions to saving money.
Find or write healthy meal plans. Planning ahead what your family will eat is the number one way to save money on meals. When you know what you are going to eat, and plan according to the weekly sales, you aren't stuck with throwing together food that is going to cost more.
Don't always go for organic. Organic food does cost more. Save your money by purchasing only organic food that matters. Fruits and vegetables that you eat the skin on is a good place to spend your money. Organic cookies, probably a waste!
Eat at home. You will automatically save money when you choose to eat your family meals at home, rather than eating at a restaurant. The food will be healthier because you can control what goes into your food like sodium, fat, and sugar. Find healthy recipes online and fill your kids healthy plates with foods from all the food groups.
Use a shopping list. Heading out the store without a shopping list is like letting a child lose in a toy store with $100. Make a list according to your meal plan and stick with it. Don't be distracted by the bakery or the candy at the check out register.
Feeding your kids healthy food can be affordable and possible. Start paying attention to where your food dollar is going, and make it count.
Finally, have a budget. Without a budget, you can't know how much you've spent, or how much you have left to spend. If you only have $100 per week, take that money out in cash, and once it's gone, stop spending.