Do you have a problem serving healthy foods for your family because you feel that they are more expensive? Find out how to find healthy foods on a budget.
How to save money on meat and protein foods
Here are other ways to save on protein foods:
Watch your portion sizes. Even an adult male, 35 years old who exercises more than 1 hour a day (in addition to regular routine) only needs 7 ounces of meat or beans a day spread over 3 meals. Cook only enough of those foods to give everyone the recommended amount. For a family of 5, 1 pound of ground chuck would be enough to give Dad 4 ounces, Mom 3 ounces, a 10 year old boy and 8 year old twin girls 3 ounces each. Those are the serving sizes recommended by the new USDA guidelines. (A 3-ounce portion of meat is about the size of a deck of cards.)
Skip the bacon. Bacon is expensive, very high in fat, and offers little or no nutritional value.
Use beans frequently as a meat substitute. There are many varieties, they can be prepared in a crock-pot so that dinner is ready when you get home, and they contain lots of fiber to improve regularity. The USDA recommends eating beans 4 times per week. If you have a problem with gas after eating beans, try washing them, covering with water, bringing water to a boil, then draining off water and refilling pot. You can also use Beano -- a natural plant enzyme -- if you have problems with gas.
If you live in a coastal area or an area near freshwater lakes where fish is plentiful, make that a staple in your diet.
Purchase chicken or turkey on sale and freeze. Again, be aware of healthful portion sizes. Some chicken breasts are large enough for 2-3 servings. Don't cook more than you need.
Peanut butter is inexpensive and popular with almost everyone. Use it for sandwiches instead of hot dogs or lunch meat, and buy natural peanut butter if it is available in your area. It does need to be refrigerated, since the oil rises to the top at room temperature, but it does not contain the unhealthy partially-hydrogenated fats that are in other peanut butters.
Meats and beans are good sources of protein. Lean meats are more expensive than meats with lots of fat, but still substantially less expensive than paying high medical bills incurred from consuming a high fat, less nutritive diet.
If you live in a small town or rural area and do not have a large supermarket or discount grocery nearby, consider making a trip once a month to a larger town to stock up on lower-priced non-perishable foods.