Tips on how to plan healthy meals and bring your food costs down.

When we think of eating healthy, we usually think that we need to spend a lot of money on healthy food.  That is not the case, as NEMO RAAWKS member and nutrition specialist, Carrie Snyder, informs us.  She has submitted this Meal Planning 101 to provide tips on how you can eat healthier for less. 

Meal Planning 101 By: Carrie Snyder, MPH, RD, LD

Groceries do not have to cost an arm and a leg every week.  Use these key tips to bring your monthly food costs down.

1.)    Determine your family’s monthly food budget.  Then divide it by 4 to determine a weekly food budget. 

2.)    Take thirty minutes every week to plan meals.  You can start out easy by planning for dinners only. 
        Maybe, plan to cook 3 nights per week and prepare extra for leftovers.

3.)    Meal planning saves time during the week and will decrease food costs.

How to Meal Plan:

1.)    Know what your family’s schedule is for the week.

2.)    Have a go to location where you will keep your menus, family favorite recipes, or a list of your child’s favorite foods.

3.)    Stay aware of food items in your pantry and the freezer.

4.)    Look at your weekly sale ads.  Plan meals around the ads and food in your pantry/freezer.

5.)    If you are purchasing a specialty food item, make sure it will be used in multiple recipes before it goes bad.

6.)    Complete batch cooking or stock up on staples when these foods are on sale or when your budget allows.

7.)    Make sure to plan leftovers into lunches or dinners.  Limiting food waste, limits food costs!!

Check back on Monday 11/11/13 - as we will post one of her five meals under $5.00 for you and your family to try out!