Ready for advanced meal planning? Just kidding – but here are a few more tips that have made my life a lot easier recently.
- Be flexible with the plan! Need to switch up two days? Do it! Just can’t cook? Have PB&J! Going to a friend’s for dinner? Save that one for next week! The only way organizing truly works for us is when we stay flexible – but still have a plan. Hmmm…..that’s kinda how my birth plan went when I had Abi…..
- Find a co-op. We joined Town and Country foods, which is a freezer order co-op of sorts. They offer grass-fed meat from small farms as well as organic veggies. A stocked freezer makes meal planning much easier – and we can afford better quality meat than we could from the grocery store. There are freezer co-ops like this all around the country. If you are a big produce eater, look into CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) co-ops, or call local farms to see if they offer such a program. Dig deep to find these – but once you do, its worth it. I think its so important to know where your food comes from, if you can. I feel this is more important than Organics (but that’s just my opinion).
- Join Costco. Just like stocking your freezer or produce drawer, buying some items in bulk keeps the fast food and frequent grocery store runs out of the house. We have found that food doesn’t cost any less here, but we can buy better quality food for the same price – as in more organics, more fresh produce. We try to only buy produce we actually consume mass amounts of (right now, oranges and kiwi). Besides, Costco treats their employees like human beings, and that isn’t something you see in most big chains.
- For the super budget strapped, try SHARE. We used SHARE when we were in college. Not all the food is super healthy or high quality, but the produce is always good, and when you are really strapped for cash, this can be a wonderful alternative to the grocery store. There are SHARE programs all across the nation, but they are individually run so you may have to look around a bit.
Overall, I think the myth that healthy eating costs more is just that – a big fat myth. With 30 minutes of planning and one or two shopping trips per week, I really believe you can feed you and yours healthy and with a conscience- for less. Once you add up the costs of oodles of processed foods, fast food runs (sorry, Chipotle included, but I love it!), and generally feeling crappy – healthy eating wins every time.
Oh, and how did I come by this? From my Mom – she’s the champ of meal planning!