Eat This, Not That to Save Money (and stay healthy)

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eat-healthy-and-save-moneyWith a new year comes the promise to eat better and live a healthier life. Just because we’re heading further into the year doesn’t mean you have to give up your resolutions. Use our cheap and healthy food swaps that help you get more whole, healthy foods in your diet without breaking the bank.

Healthy Banana Pancakes

Instead of making up a batch of pancakes from the box mix, which is full of processed carbs and preservatives, make healthy banana pancakes with just two ingredients!

1. In a food processor, put two large, ripe bananas. (Great for using up over-ripe bananas, or grabbing a bunch of brown ones from the bargain bin at the store.)
2. Pulse until the bananas have a smooth consistency.
3. Add in four eggs and mix.
4. If you want, add a pinch of baking soda to make your “pancakes” fluffy.

You’ll get protein from the eggs, all sorts of nutrients from the banana, while you skip out on the empty calories of box pancakes.

Dehydrated Fruits

Who doesn’t have a bit of a sweet tooth? Unfortunately, regular indulgences can throw any diet off track. Instead of reaching for a candy bar, which has up to 250 calories, reach for some dehydrated food. You can make a small investment in your own food dehydrator and dehydrate some strawberry, banana, or apple slices whenever you need something sweet.

Check out Frugal Living Mom’s Pear Chips with Cinnamon.

Avocado Instead of Mayo

Mayonnaise is a mainstay in most sandwiches. While the creaminess is nice on a sandwich, mayonnaise is literally full of preservatives and fat. Instead, mash avocados and use their creaminess on sandwiches. They are every bit as creamy as mayonnaise, and you bump up your intake of healthy, natural fats.  I do know that not everyone can find good prices on avocados, though.

If you can’t find inexpensive avocados you can either simply use mustard or try your hand at A Lazy Girl’s easy and healthy 30 second homemade Mayo.

You may also be interested in these articles on Frugal Living Mom:

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Greek Yogurt with Fruit

Ice cream is a common treat for people, but it certainly isn’t the healthiest treat on the block. Chill some Greek yogurt and stir in fresh or frozen fruit. You’ll get the sweetness you want while kicking up the protein in your treat. You can also easily make ice cream with bananas, click here for the recipe.

Whole Grains

It doesn’t cost any more to buy whole grain bread or brown rice instead of white bread or white rice, so make the switch! Refined grains have been completely stripped of nutrients, so don’t be tricked by the “enriched” label. Whole grains have the nutrients nature gave them, so indulge instead. A bonus—whole grains have richer, deeper flavors than the bland refined options.

And although technically a seed you also might want to give quinoa a try.  It is more costly than rice, but is also full of protein!

Check out our Quinoa Jambalya and Greek Salad with Quinoa.

Grated Vegetables

When you make ground beef dishes like meatloaf or meatballs, you unfortunately get a lot of extra fat from the ground beef. Instead of using ground beef for the entire dish, finely grate vegetables and use them in place of some ground beef. If you have picky eaters in the family, grate and dice the vegetables very finely to avoid getting caught. Start with substituting 1/4 of the ground beef with grated vegetables, and adjust to suit your tastes.

Homemade Chips

There’s nothing wrong with needing some crunch every now and then! Instead of buying fat-laden store potato chips, buy an inexpensive microwave chip maker or a dehydrator . This way, you can control the salt that goes into your chips and try all sorts of different veggie chips, like our very popular Zucchini Chips or Cucumber chips.

Eating healthy on a budget can be yummy and fun!  What are your favorite ways to spend less and still eat healthy?


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