• Identify your favorite treats and allow them in moderation. We may never want to not buy chocolate and it can always be in our budget. We can purchase a bag of chocolate kisses that can last a long time. One or two can be just as satisfying as a dozen if you take the time to enjoy them.
• For healthy proteins, skip the bologna and choose tuna, eggs, beans, tofu and peanut butter. These cost a fraction of what you would pay for meat and most people can do with less meat in their diets.
• Make your own coffee and specialty drinks. Specialty coffees and beverages can be expensive and eat up your budget. Also they have extra calories. Make your own coffee and add milk, cinnamon and vanilla extracts.
• Eliminate bottled water and other bottled drinks. Use a refillable bottle to sip water all day, saving both money and calories.
• Avoid paying for extra packaging for ready-to-eat snacks. Buy a large bag of pretzels or nuts then portion them out into small reusable containers for lunches and snacks.
• Purchase store brand whole grain cereal or oats that you cook yourself rather than purchasing the more expensive brands.
If you are willing to do a little planning and preparation, you can stock your kitchen with nutrient packed foods that won’t break the bank.
Source: Colorado State University Extension
Kathy Smith is a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent for Parker County. Contact her at (817) 598-6168 or email@example.com.