For many families creating a weekly or monthly grocery budget is a necessity. Food budgeting is often solely framed as a conversation around economics. Yes, budgeting helps families manage finances but can budgeting affect other areas of your life such as your emotional well-being? Would you be surprised to learn that creating a grocery budget may also help reduce stress and anxiety around what to make, where to shop and how it will impact your overall financial picture?
There’s really no shortage of information for balancing your budget, the real question is will we actual implement the tips we read about on the internet? Well, here’s the truth…most people will not, some people will follow the tips for a short period of time and a very small number of people will read helpful tips and make lasting, sustainable change. This doesn’t mean that the people from the first two groups are less capable. It simply means that, as I like to say, “life keeps life-ing” this means that often other real-life things (work, children, family obligations, school …) take precedent over actually adopting a new healthy habit. All is not lost, there’s hope! There are some things we can do fairly quickly to help us adopt healthy habits…in this SCULPT blog/vlog series, I will share all of these tips with you (followed by a bold, well-balanced, budget-friendly recipe) here’s two tasty tips to get us started:
- Bite sized goals: Remember when your mom used to say, “eat slowly”? Well this same advice applies to your goals. Only try to change habit at a time. Instead of trying to cut out fried foods and white sugar; choose 1 goal and work on it for 3 months, chart your progress, if your see improvements move on to the next thing on your list. Remember to reward yourself daily in other ways, for sticking to your goals.
- Give your goals a juicy and exciting name: Many people simply state their goals such as “I want to save more money.” While this may be true, this doesn’t give your mind something exciting to hold onto that will help the habit seems less like a chore and more like a choice! Instead of “I want to save more money” repeatedly say “I am saving to live an abundant life of joy and ease!” You may even consider re-naming your savings account. I renamed mine to “Abundant Living.” Now every time I open my online banking portal, I see WHY I’m saving. Our goals are much like a good cookbook; it’s more inviting and helpful when we get to see the full, beautiful colorful pictures along with the recipe.
When building a nutritious, budget friendly recipe a smart tip, is to identify the most expensive item in your meal and see if there is an equally delicious and healthy cost-effective substitution. In the recipe below, the meat was substituted with well-seasoned black beans. Beans give a heartiness to the meal at a fraction of the cost as a top-quality meat. On his nutrition information website Dr. Gregor, founder of NutritionFacts.org (and contributor to the forward section of my latest book, Fork Disease…) writes, “legume consumption is associated with a slimmer waist and lower blood pressure, and randomized trials have shown it may match or beat out calorie cutting for slimming tummy fat as well as improving the regulation of blood sugar, insulin levels, and cholesterol. Beans are packed with fiber, folate, and phytates, which may help reduce the risk of stroke, depression, and colon cancer.”
SAVORY BLACK BEAN SKILLET TACOS
Prep Time: 6 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 16 mins
Total Recipe Cost: $5.71
Cost per serving: $1.68
***Add ingredients to hot skillet in the following order:
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- ½ cup fresh frozen mixed peppers
- 1 yellow onion- diced
- ¼ cup bunch green onions
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 2-4 cups cooked black beans (if canned (15oz.), drain first)
- 2 Tbsp Taco Seasoning (or desired seasoning)
- 1 12oz. can diced tomatoes or pasta sauce
Method: simmer all ingredients, see cook time listed above.
Serve over brown rice, with bread (like a chili) or use to fill soft or hard tacos.
Make your tacos even tastier! Optional: (not included in recipe cost): Top with desired toppings such as, shredded lettuce, cherry tomatoes, roasted garlic, sautéed mushrooms, cheese, sour cream, your favorite sauce, olives, freshly diced onions, jalapeños, cilantro, parsley or basil.
Written by Jasmine Simone, Certified Nutritionist, Plant-Based Chef, Food Justice Advocate, Agricultural Therapy Educator, Cookbook Author, Founder of: Of Salt and Soil, Wellness Solutions