Eating healthy on a shoestring, Fave 5 tips for 2011

Like many people, we’ve been reworking our budget this month and I’ve been tracking food costs a little bit more closely. Yikes! As I’ve been reviewing credit card statements and receipts, here are some of my goals and ideas for trimming the fat on my grocery budget:

1) Eat in: sometimes even I get tired of cooking, but a $30 meal for our family of four usually costs me about $5 to make at home
2) Skip the beverage aisle: I’m usually pretty good about not buying soda or juice, but I do like my perrier water, tea, and coffee. Alcohol, juice boxes, and bottled water are some of the items that I keep around for guests, but not for our regular consumption.
3) Lentils! I’ve written quite a bit on this blog about the health and cost benefits of beans, but now that I have officially received my sixteen pounds of various types of lentils that I bought online, I’m ready for the apocalypse. Just kidding. But I am ready to have lentils once a week and try various recipes until I find a few that are worth keeping.
4) Stick to a list: I always carry a list when grocery shopping, but inevitably I stray a little and buy at least one “fun” item. That can add up!
5) Online shopping. Thanks to a few friends, I am now a fan of buying my teas at http://www.mountainroseherbs.com and some foods off Amazon.

And of course, planning meals weekly so I don’t end up desperate for something to feed the fam at 5pm.

Alright, any tips from the rest of you? And can anyone recommend other inexpensive CSA’s, co-ops, or farmer’s markets in the Houston area?

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