6 Tips for Saving Money on Healthy Meals is a sponsored conversation on behalf of Walmart, #NoKidHungry, and The Motherhood. Thanks for your support!
As you may have gathered from previous posts, childhood hunger is a topic that’s extremely important to me– as a teacher, I saw firsthand how it impacted kids and their families. I’ve taught in rural, suburban, and city schools and there was not one place where hunger wasn’t a huge issue. One of the biggest problems for all of us is feeding your family nutritous meals on a budget. There’s a perception that healthy food is expensive– and rightfully so. However, Walmart and the Share our Strength campaign are sharing easy ways to cook nutritious meals without spending a lot of money.
Walmart and Share our Strength are partnering to implement Cooking Matters classes across the country. Now families will be able to take classes on preparing healthy, low cost meals for their families at their local Walmart. Currently these classes are being offered to low-income families being served by community organizations and aren’t open to the public, however everyone can download the free Cooking Matters app contains over 90+ recipes and many of the tips available in the classes. You can also find recipes, tutorials, and TONS of great ideas on the Cooking Matters website.
I know we can’t all currently participate in the Cooking Matters classes, so here’s a few gems I learned in a recent briefing about serving low-cost healthy meals to your family:
Grocery Shopping and Healthy Cooking on a Budget
- don’t count out frozen and canned vegetables! They’re extremely nutritious because they are picked at the peak of freshness so they don’t lose valuable nutrients (unlike out-of-season fresh produce, which can travel thousands of miles before reaching your table); stock up on canned and frozen foods at discount retailers to get the most bang for your buck
- meal planning allows you to plan out healthy meals instead of reaching for processed foods at the last minute while scrambling to make dinner; set realistic goals, and plan quicker meals for busy nights
- making a grocery shopping list can help you stick to healthier foods and avoid impulse buys, and you’ll be sure to have all the ingredients for your meal plan that week
- whole grain pasta is healthier for you and makes you feel more full than white pasta; if your family is resistant, try combining half whole grain and half regular pasta until they’re more used to it (you can also use this trick for transitioning from whole milk to 1%)
- have the kids get involved with choosing fruits and vegetables at the store, and even cooking the meal– they’re more likely to eat it!
- instead of having ‘leftovers’ the following night, have ‘planned overs!’ PLAN how to use the leftovers in a creative way so meals aren’t boring. Chicken from one night can be shredded and used in tacos the next; leftover vegetables become a delicious pizza topping
Right now, apples are in season (and therefore less expensive). There are some great KID-TESTED recipes on the website that your family will love. They were written to be flexible and fairly open-ended, so you can use what you have on hand instead of sticking to a strict ‘recipe’. Don’t these dishes look delish?
Turns out you can cook healthy meals for less, if you have the right tools and information. I’d love to hear your thoughts and tips on this topic!
Do you have a favorite tip for making nutritious meals on a budget? Any go-to family meal ideas to share?