If you have been following my Breaking Bad {Habits} series you know that we are trying some new things around our house. (If you haven’t been reading, start here to get caught up!) Our journey is beginning at a point of illness, but it is quickly giving us hope of growing into a strong healthy family.

The greatest conflict so far has been reprogramming ourselves to recognizes what is good for us and what is harmful. As I read the food labels in my pantry I feel like I should be armed with Mr. Yukk stickers. Some of the ingredients have more syllables than all of my children’s names combined! While long names don’t always equate with toxic, they rarely equate to healthy eating.

Coming to terms with the impact these foods will have on my family has been pretty tough. I love science and generally think modernization is better, but I’m starting to realize that old fashioned foods are the healthier choice. That realization creates conflict between what has been a “good” food choice in the past and what is actually a good food. 

In the past I would turn to crackers, peanut butter toast, or dairy products for a healthy snack. While I will admit those are better options than fast food or candy, they really shouldn’t be my number one go-to food. To make this healthier lifestyle stick I need to increase access to fresh fruits and veggies so that they become the go-to choice. I also need to reduce the number of sugary, salty, and overly processed foods we keep on hand. 

I wonder, is it even possible to feed our big family healthy foods on a tight budget? I think it is possible and here are a couple of illustrations from the National Institutes of Health that back me up:

I’m not sure which excites me more, saving $2500 or over half a milion calories! Both would be great! It seems that one of the keys to eating healthy foods on a budget is planning ahead. Fast food becomes a really tempting option when you have nothing prepared and your family is hungry! 

Menu planning and preparing a thorough shopping list are going to be really important as we move into week 2. I’ll have to make sure I have some healthy easy to grab snacks on hand. In order to stay within our budget I will likely have to buy larger packages and break them into snack sizes. Our family has already had great success with keeping apples and bananas on the counter for snacks. We are going through 2 bags of apples per week and I have seen everyone eating them! 

I will also have to take extra time to read labels before I buy our food. It will require more time in the beginning, but I’m hoping it will keep us from sabotaging our efforts with a snack that is loaded with hidden calories and preservatives. I’m definitely thinking slow and steady is the way to go on this journey. 

What are your favorite budget friendly and healthy foods? How does eating healthy change your shopping habits?

Copyright 2014 AngelaJHerrington