Fort Berthold Diabetes Program

Eating Healthy on a Budget 

By Celeste Hart RD, CDE 

 

There is a common misconception that purchasing and consuming healthy foods is always expensive. There are many ways to save money while cooking healthy meals at home. I am going list several ideas to save money while planning and preparing healthy meals for your family.

It just takes a little planning and organizing to incorporate preparing healthy meals at home into your lifestyle.  Each week take a look at your families’ activities and decide what nights you need to prepare meals.  Then look at the weekly sales ad from your grocery store to see what is on sale.  

Write it down! For example, I see pork chops are on sale this week, and I know I can grill on Wednesday, so I should buy some pork chops, maybe 2 packs and freeze them for another meal in a few weeks.  I will marinate the pork chops in the refrigerator. And plan to have them on Wednesday.

I see on the flyer is see whole chickens are on sale, I buy 2 and on Monday I have a busy day at work and an appointment after work.  I can put the 2 chickens in the crock pot and have one for supper and use the other for burritos on Tuesday. Repurposing the chicken into the burritos helps to save money and reduce and eliminate food waste! Buying meat in bulk and freezing it, and putting it in the fridge to thaw when you are ready to have some of it, reduces costs. 

Before going to the grocery store it can be helpful to look through your fridge, freezer, and pantry to make sure that you know what you already have on hand. Choosing recipes that include something that you already have will help to keep the grocery bill low and reduce food waste. Choose recipes you want to prepare beforehand to prevent buying items that you do not need it. Once you have created your grocery list of items you need for the recipes you chose it is important to stick to the list and not buy items you do not need and will not use. 

One important rule to follow when you are grocery shopping is to never shop when you are hungry. When you go grocery shopping on an empty stomach you are more likely to over purchase and buy foods that you will not consume. 

Buying store brands instead of the name brands can help you save up to fifteen percent on some items.  

When purchasing produce, you want to buy what is in season and on sale. Some examples of produce that is in season in the spring are asparagus, carrots, kiwi, and pineapples. Local farmer’s markets also tend to have fresh produce for great prices! When purchasing produce that is not in season, consider buying canned or frozen to save some money.

Here are some helpful websites to find some tasty and healthy recipes.

  • www.diabetesfoodhub.org
  • https://recipes.heart.org/en
  • https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/nutrition-education/recipes

When you successfully plan and prepare a healthy meal on a budget it is such a rewarding feeling. With the extra money that you have saved by planning your meal, you can treat yourself or your family. It can be challenging and time consuming sometimes, but when you are consuming foods that make you feel good and have a little extra money in your pocket at the end of each month it is all worth it!

A few other helpful hints to keep your feet comfortable and healthy: 

Examine your feet daily, or have someone help you look for reddened areas, blisters or cuts and report any changes to your health care provider. 

Wash your feet daily, but do not soak your feet as this can cause excessive dryness that can lead to cracking and infection. Ensure that your feet are dried thoroughly, especially between the toes. 

You should apply lotion to the tops and bottoms of the feet, but avoid putting lotion between the toes as this can be a starting point for infection. 

When trimming toenails, cut them straight across using toenail clippers.  If ever in doubt, or if you do not feel comfortable trimming your toenails, ask for a referral from your health care provider to see a podiatrist or foot care nurse.  

Stopping use of tobacco products can decrease your chances of foot related problems, as tobacco decreases the blood flow to the feet.  Talk to your health care provider about options for helping you to quit using tobacco products. Joining support groups can provide a support system and fresh tips that can aid in the journey of smoking cessation. Go to https://ndquits.health.nd.gov/ for more information about smoking cessation. 

Dr. Guy Slann, D.P.M, is Elbowoods’ podiatrist who is available at the clinic two days per month.  If you are having issues such as foot pain or ingrown toenails, talk to your primary health care provider who can place a consult for you to be scheduled for a podiatry clinic visit. 

To make an appointment or for assistance with diabetes management/nutrition, call the Diabetes Program at 701-627-7931.