So, if you are reading this post, it’s because you are, like most of us, trying to work out how to make healthy family meals on a budget. What parent isn’t?
I certainly am. And there’s a little bit of a back-story too.
Almost six months ago now, I decided to change my life and lose weight, and eat better, and more healthily. I was a mum of two. And I wanted to be full of energy and life, and I wanted to give the best to my little ones. I was worried that I was on this downward spiral. The number on the scales was going up, and my clothes were getting tighter. My arthritis (I was diagnosed as a child as part of my syndrome) was really becoming noticeable in my knee joints. And I didn’t feel right.
It took a while. But I realised one day, that there was no hiding how unhealthy I had become. I hated how I felt, how I looked, and I wanted to change it. And now, almost three stone down, I wish I’d had this epiphany years ago.
I started with a huge overhaul of what I was eating. I really tried to cut back on the things that I knew weren’t great for me, and I followed a new diet. I joined a weight loss group. And, along with that, I started making better choices for my family as well.
I am the cook in our house. And a rather good one, so I’m told! It’s always been my job to sort out our weekly food shop and the meals that we will eat. And I’ve always been quite happy to do that. I love to experiment in the kitchen. Especially with some music on.
And now our fridge is packed with fresh fruit and vegetables. And lots of healthy choices. But, kids being kids – they always want a ‘treat’. And I don’t blame them. I know the feeling of coming home from school feeling ravenous from a busy day of learning. I remember it well. I also remembering asking: “Muuuuum, I’m huuuuungrrrryyyyy. Can I have something to eat?”
And that’s why I’m pretty pleased to say that I am working with Organix on our own No Junk Journey for 2017. We regularly have their nibbles and snacks in at our house – never stand between Daisy and her rice cakes though – and it’s a perfect partnership for me.
I’ll be sharing various tips and tricks over the course of the year, when it comes to eating well, healthily and even cheaply, as a family.
Starting with this week, it’s about eating well on a budget. Now, in the past year, our family grew by one, I handed in my notice at work and became self-employed, and we made the move to eat more healthily. All of this sort of adds up to spending more money on food, and yet, at the same time trying to be better with money too.
I have found a few tips of my own along the way, but the tips below, that the lovely team at Organix have provided, is brilliant. My other tips, alongside theirs, are:
Try grocery shopping online – as you can tot-up what you spend while you go, and easily check your cupboards, all while in your pyjamas!
Cook in bulk – a bigger pack of lean beef mince is probably not going to be much more than the one you usually buy. You could start with a base of mince, onions, carrot and celery, along with some chopped tomatoes. Then add herbs, garlic, chilli and spices to a third of it, along with some kidney beans – and you have chilli con carne. Then add herbs, balsamic vinegar, red wine and garlic to another, to make a lovely spag bol. And then finally, add a beef stock cube and some dried thyme to the final lot and you have a base for cottage pie. Bulking up with extra veg is another way to stretch your meat further too!
Cook from scratch – if you cook everything yourself, you’ll quickly realise that it’s worth the effort in terms of how much you can make for the same price as a ready-meal, for a little extra work. It’s usually far nicer and healthier too. I found this a huge part of my weight loss too!
I hope you enjoyed all of these tips. I’ll be back soon with some more posts, but in the mean time, I best go and wrestle those rice cakes off my daughter or she won’t eat her tea!