Healthy eating is such a critical part of any plan to successful weightloss, and is definitely a critical part of a healthy lifestyle. One of the biggest parts of healthy eating is the need to consume large amounts of protein. If you were to ask any weightloss professional, or any personal trainer, they would tell you that a high protein diet is important. They wouldn’t try to convince you to eat more carbs. Nor would they try to talk to you about the many benefits of a high fat diet. The big problem here is that most proteins can be really expensive. Not just a little expensive, but we are talking $20 dollars just for enough chicken to make it through two meals for a family. So how can we cut some of those protein costs? Let’s take a look and find out.
Healthy Eating Protein Tip 1
Much like with produce (read here), one of the easiest ways to reduce the costs of protein is to freeze the fresh meat(s) when they are on sale. Now this is not to say buy frozen meats, unfortunately many frozen meats contain preservatives which can be less than good for you. However, if you purchase a pack of chicken breasts that you found on sale, take a few moments when you get home to portion that out and freeze it. This can come in very hand for those “Manager Specials” you may find. Don’t shy away from them, take advantage of them! Most sell by dates that are stamped on food are a week, sometimes more, before the meat is actually anywhere close to bad. At the same time though, be smart about it. Know what a healthy cut of steak should look like, or know that chicken should never be slimy. Remember, when in doubt, ask the butcher. Most stores still have the employee in the meat department that stocks the items. That person is trained in the ways of meat and can tell you what is and isn’t good still.
Healthy Eating Protein Tip 2
Another way to save at the market on protein is to not just buy the best and greatest cuts of beef. Sirloin, ribeye, and strip, sure everyone loves those cuts of meat. Those however are not the only great cuts of beef available, and what’s more is that you can find a great flank steak for half the price of the others. It may take a bit more creativity on preparing, but that part of the fun of cooking. Use Google to find a recipe for a healthy meal that uses flank steak. Or in the case of chicken, boneless skinless chicken breasts are great, but you can save a few bucks if you get the chicken breast with skin and rib meat. The only thing it will cost you is the few extra minutes of prep time to remove the skin with a knife. Or how about trying chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts? Chicken thighs are rich in flavor, cheaper and can really add to a meal.
There are certainly even more creative ways to save on costs of protein. If you are brave enough please take a moment to enjoy part 2.5 of this post; otherwise, let’s talk supplements in part 3 of Healthy eating on a Junk food budget.