Sometimes money is tight, but you still have to eat. Stocking up on food and necessary items when they go on sale is key to maintaining a meal and budget plan, without having to eat cheap junk food!
Eating well can be pricey. When our budget takes a hit, it's was almost always the food budget that bore the brunt of the cuts. So meals become mostly starches - bread, pasta, rice, potatoes.
All great things and definitely have their place, but it's hard on your body when they make up your entire diet.
So what do you do when you want to provide those great nutrients for your family but the it's just not in the budget?
That's a question that plagued us for many years, but we finally figured out a few tricks. Seasonal eating has been around for, well, forever... It's only been in recent memory that we started having access to foods that weren't in season.
But there's a price for that privilege. Prices skyrocket during the "off season" and, while many things are still available, they are very expensive! Don't let your family pay the price for eating off season items.
Start shopping for seasonal produce and you'll be shocked what you really can afford to put back on the menu!
Produce that is SUPER CHEAP in December
You might think that December would be a little low on seasonal produce, but there are actually a ton of really great, nutrient rich foods available!
Apples are not only a great fruit to have fresh, but they also lend themselves quite nicely to being canned. So if you have some extra money, you can put some apples away for later when the prices go up!
I like to make apple butter, applesauce, apples in syrup, and apple pie filling while the price is low. You don't need any special equipment to water-bath can and it really is easier than you might think!
Who doesn't love a fresh pear? Seriously, they are delicious! And a great seasonal choice for this Holiday season.
Slice 'em up and throw a little cinnamon over the top... yum!
If you want to preserve some for later, you could can them or make this really easy pear fruit leather recipe from BrenDid.com!
Oranges, lemons, and grapefruit are all on sale this month.
We always get a few of the cuties in our stocking at Christmas... I may be 32 years old, but I still look forward to that!
You can also can citrus very easily. Seriously, you peel the fruit, make some sugar water to pour over then and put the jars in boiling water... SO easy! You can do this!
However, they are still super cheap! Sweet potatoes especially have a lot of great nutrients to offer as they are a "brightly colored" vegetable.
Cruciferous vegetables are all part of the same vegetable family (Brassicaceae for those who care), and are some of the best vegetables you can eat, regardless of season.
These vegetables are good for helping your body heal itself and are also SUPER tasty when roasted in the oven with a little butter, salt, pepper, and garlic.
If you haven't tried roasting them yet, do so. You'll thank me!
Cruciferous vegetables include:
Another fabulous set of vegetables to get your body working hard is the leafy greens set!
Kale (also cruciferous)
You can throw any of these into a salad, a smoothie, or into your morning eggs like I do!