A Typical Weekday Meal For Me (Part 1)

 

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We have two priorities in my home when it comes to eating:  Eating healthy and eating cheaply.  For some, the concepts ‘healthy’ and ‘cheap’ might seem contradictory and impossible to have together, and while this can be true, thankfully it doesn’t have to be.

Basically, if you want to eat healthy and cheaply, you have to do the following two things:

  1. Be a smart shopper
  2. Be willing to not have a lot of variety

Being a Smart Shopper

What I mean by “smart shopper” is, you have to be able to shop for healthiness and low cost at the same time.  For example, it means you have to…

  • be willing to clean, cut and fully cook yourself or otherwise pay the cost of convenience,
  • go for the more common healthy foods (more common means lower cost), and
  • eat meat sparingly (since meat is more costly, and eating too much meat is unhealthy).

Clean, cut and cook yourself – For example, say that you would like to prepare turnip greens.  If you buy them by the bushel, you’re going to pay less than if you buy them pre-cut and washed.  Sometimes I go for convenience myself, and sometimes I do all the work.  It really isn’t that bad to clean your own greens.  We’re just spoiled, honestly.  Society does so much for us that we think cleaning vegetables is “hard,” but it really is not bad.

Go for common healthy foods – When you go to the store next time, compare the per lb price of asparagus or bok choy to that of cabbage or broccoli.  All of these are probably as healthier as each other, but the asparagus and bok choy are going to be much more expensive.  There’s nothing wrong at all with eating more uncommon vegetables, but if you’re trying to save money at the same time, stick with the common ones.

Eat meat sparingly – We don’t need meat three times a day.  We don’t even need meat every day.  Matter of fact, you can get by just fine with having meat once or twice a week.  You’ll be a lot healthier, and you’ll feel like you are as well.

Chill with all of the Variety

Let’s talk about variety.  Having some variety with your meals can keep you from getting bored with your food.  But is having lots of variety overrated?  I think so.  Especially if you want to save time and money.

I personally have found that trying to have a different meal every night is mentally exhausting (to have to plan all of the separate meals), time consuming (to cook every day), expensive (to have to buy different ingredients for different meals), and even sometimes wasteful if you’re not careful to keep leftovers from other meals from getting loss in the abyss that is the back of your refrigerator.

Green, white and sometimes even red fuzz…y’all know what I’m talking about.  I’m not the ONLY one who forgets about food in the fridge sometimes!

The practice of my wife and I is to cook two or three relatively quick meals during the week, and to cook a bigger, more special meal for Sundays.  Each weekday meal that we cook is healthy, and is cooked in relatively large portions to last.

In Part 2 of this post, I will give you an example of one of the quick and easy dinners we cook during the week.  It’s actually the one you see pictured above:  Good ole’ beans, rice and greens.

Part 2

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