Frugal and healthy: Try this
This idea, my teenager would fit into his “lame” category. Lame, to him, is anything that denies what he currently wants. Cutting him off from endless freedom, to him, is ultimate lameness. I can be pretty lame when I need to be. Endless freedom at all times is neither frugal nor healthy. This idea might be lame, but hear me out.
The idea began
Since I did The Plan diet a second time, I have continued to measure out my cereal in the morning. As I spied one of my children pouring a very generous bowl of cereal, it dawned on me how much more money we are spending on cereal and how unhealthy it is.
I looked at the box of cereal. It said that it contained 12 servings. 12! I don't think we're getting close to 12. The boxes of cereal get wiped out rapidly in this house. While I limit the amount of cereal we buy (when it's gone, it's gone until the next trip to the store), health is factor too. It takes a lot of cereal to feel full and, by itself, doesn't leave one satisfied.
I suggested to one of my children to measure out the bowl of cereal to one serving, add some nuts or seeds (for protein) and add a little fruit. This is what I do, and it keeps me satisfied all morning. Has this happened yet? No, but change takes a change of mind and time.
So, portioning is both frugal and healthy. This can be done with other things as well. That over-portioned steak could be divided up to make steak for another meal. (A healthy portion of meat is about the size of your palm.) Add a generous portion of veggies, and you have a healthier and less expensive meal. Do the math.
Something to consider
I imagine you might have some feelings of push-back hearing the not-new-at-all concept of measuring and portioning food. (Where's the fun in that?) But, this is a better solution to the word on the street that says eating healthily is more expensive. The comparison is often of the burger meal compared to the salad meal. In the fast food world, this may be true. Eating out is often more expensive than home-cooked meals anyway. If you can afford to eat out frequently, then frugal might not be the biggest issue, and the healthier option is within your financial reach–if healthier is a value. For those of us who are searching for healthier and frugal, portioning–even just one usually-generously-portioned meal–is worth a try. Each choice matters. Save some pennies. Eat healthier. It's worth the effort.