Budget Cooking


One of my goals for this year is to live a healthier lifestyle. This includes reducing the amount of fast food that Mr. LL and I consume and trying to cook healthier home meals.

However, I've been struggling to find a good compromise between eating healthier and sticking to a grocery budget. It seems like when we try to cut carbs, eat more veggies and lean meats, our grocery bill sky rockets to over $100 a week! For just two people! Now, granted, my grocery budget also includes pet needs, cleaning supplies and some personal care items (like toothpaste, shampoo, etc.) because I like to buy all those things in one trip and it is just easier that way. However, I know I can feed us with home cooked meals and get all the other stuff we and our pets need for anywhere between $60-$80 a week – I've done it; but that means our meals are less than ideal on the health spectrum.

Also, because we've both eaten so poorly for so long, we seem to have lost our "taste" for a lot of veggies. So, I'll buy them, with the best of intentions, and they rot in the fridge. Waste of money. Doubly so, when you get down to the fact that because we don't eat them, we end up eating fast food.

So, I've been racking my brain for ways to make a healthy meal plan on a budget. I have a few recipes that I make over and over because they are easy: spaghetti (with meat sauce), shrimp/crawfish etouffee (whichever is on sale), "California" casserole (a family recipe), spinach + steak roll-ups. We also will do things like breakfast for dinner on a weekly basis. Even though I don't really like whole wheat pasta or brown rice, I think I've finally come to the conclusion that if I can just make simple substitutions like this in our staple recipes, then maybe I can start to join my goals of living healthier and becoming a budget boss into a harmonious balance. That and eggs. Lots of eggs.

Let me know what you do to eat healthy without spending a fortune? Know any good "healthy" recipes (for a picky-ish/will eat anything household)? Also, would you like to see our meal plans? Or a grocery haul?