These are just some ways that one can save some money when they are on a tight food budget. I’m also including a list of 14 muscle building foods (basically foods high in protein) that can help get your daily protein intake, especially if you are struggling to get that in without having to use pre- made protein drinks.
1) Limit Alcohol.
No one “needs” alcohol in the home all the time and if you do, you might have bigger issues than budgeting. Limit to special occasions or completely eliminate all together. Seek help if stopping or limiting alcohol is a problem.
2) Homemade Foods.
Preparing things in bulk like gluten free bread, or parmesan crackers, in bulk homemade can be more cost effective than buying them pre-made week to week. Plus you control what ingredients go into it so none of the additives.
3) Plan your menus out for at least 1 week at time.
Plan out your weekly menus for at least a week at a time. If you go to the store with a list of what exactly that you need you are less likely to go and spend money on items you don’t need than going in blind. Plus planning out is a step towards helping with meal prepping.
4) Limit grocery shopping and stick to list.
Like mentioned before sticking to a list can help you stay away from getting things that you don’t need. Limiting the amount of times that you go to the store as well helps limit the amount of money that you are spending.
5) Designate a day (or days) for a “Meal Prep” day.
Whether you are meal prepping weekly, daily or every 3 days (like Derrick and I do), meal prepping is a great way to cut down on costs when added to the other ways like planning out your meals before you go shopping.
Meal prepping also helps cut down the urge to go get fast food or something “quick and easy” because you are prepared.
6) Keep a list of what’s in the freezer.
We all hate when we realize we had something in the freezer but unfortunately it has went bad for one reason or another (freezer burn). So keep track of what you have in your freezer so you 1)don’t forget about it and 2)to make sure you don’t buy things unnecessarily.
7) Don’t focus on the dollar amount, focus on your health.
Its is more motivating to think of it as a foundation for healthy eating instead of looking at it as cutting back. So don’t focus on the specifics of the money you are saving, just know that you are.
8) Watch for meat sales and other sales.
Sometimes local grocery stores (like Harmon’s here) has meat sales where you can get high quality meats for a cheaper price. They usually do them around here every month or every couple of months.
Or watch for local farms to have sales when they have a huge stock of meats they need to get rid of.
Next, are 14 protein packed foods that will help not only get your protein needs in, if you are struggling or looking for other options other than pre-made protein drinks to use or just need to mix some things up.
14 Low Cost Protein Packed Foods
1. Fresh spinach – 6 grams protein per cup
2. Eggs – 1 egg equals 6 grams protein
3. Beans – 1 cup equals 15 grams protein
4. Beets – not full of protein but inorganic nitrate which helps with muscle function
5. Greek yogurt – 15 grams protein per cup
6. Cottage Cheese – 28 grams protein per cup
7. Peanut Butter – 2 Tbsp equals 8 grams protein. Make sure to look at ingredients to limit additives to it.
8. Lean Ground Beef – 24 grams protein per 4 oz
9. Sunflower Seeds – 6 grams protein per ounce
10. Sardines – 23 grams protein per tin. Full of healthy fats like Omega 3
11. Edamame – 18 gram protein per cup. Full of mono and polyunsaturated fats.
12. Tuna – 22 grams protein per 3 oz. Full of healthy fats like Omega 3
13. Quinoa – 8 grams protein per cup. Best grain for muscle building due to being a complete protein
14. Asparagus – 4.5 grams protein per cup cooked. Low in calories only 40 calories per cup. High in Vitamin C, K, and folate.