Ever since I found out I was diabetic almost 15 years ago I’ve had to try to watch what I eat. It’s not close to easy, and sometimes I’m just not in the mood to even bother. But at other times I know I have to do right, and yet I also want to make sure that my food choices are nutritious, tasty, and fiscally responsible.

You always hear that it costs a lot of money to eat healthy. Well, that’s true and not true at the same time. If you buy designer foods that tell you they’re healthy, you’re right. However, there are regular foods you can buy that end up being relatively healthy, or that, spaced out properly, won’t hurt you as much as if you just sat down and ate a bunch of one thing all at once.

Here are some tips to help you save money on food and also eat pretty well:

1. Buy frozen vegetables and go for larger bags. If you do a price comparison you’ll find that you’ll save more money buying the larger bags based on weight than you will the smaller, more individual boxes or bags. Frozen vegetables can last a long time also, so you don’t have to cook the entire thing at once if you don’t want to. Best of all, frozen vegetables don’t have the sodium that canned vegetables have, and you also lose that nasty can taste.

2. You don’t have to wait for holidays to buy a full chicken or turkey. Sure, they look expensive, but the reality is that you can cook up one of those things, then cut it up or piece it out and freeze it, where it can last a good long time. Long term it ends up costing you a lot less than going in on a weekly basis and buying it, or stopping at a fast food place and grabbing some. And there are lots of uses you might not have thought of.

3. Uses might be stir frys, which gets us back to using some of those vegetables along with the meat. This is a great way of preparing a meal, as it cooks fairly quickly, you can add other flavors to it while not using things that might add too much fat such as butter. The thing is that you can make a large stir fry so that you can put some away and heat it up at another time.

4. If you’re going to buy something like hamburger, which is what I love, buy the larger packages. For 80% hamburger, in most stores buying the small packages will cost you nearly $4 per pound, but buying larger package often costs around $1.99, or not less; sometimes at my favorite store it comes in around $1.39 for weight of 6 pounds or more. What you do then is take it home and, if you don’t want to immediately cook it all up front, break it up into smaller chunks, make hamburger patties in advance or break it all up into a pounds at a time, and pop it into the freezer. As long as you wrap it will it will last for a long time in the freezer, though not as long as frozen vegetables will.

5. Here’s the kicker; cook your foods in large quantities as often as possible. Something I like to do on Sundays is cook up something large like stew or chili or stir fry where I can mix a lot of things into it that aren’t all that bad for me. Then I break them up into meals that I weigh and put them in the refrigerator, and eat those throughout the week because they’re quick to heat up. Every once in awhile I eat something else, like eggs in the morning, but having multiple meals that, in the long run, helped me spread my food budget so I could use money on something else seems like a no-brainer.

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