Thursday, September 29, 2011

Conquering the carbs

This post is in honor of Cam's total diet breakdown last night on Modern Family.

Carbs are cheap. A box of mac and cheese is $1.75 (anywhere other than New York can be as low as $.89!). A loaf of bread is roughly the same price.

When you're trying to save money on food, it's hard to avoid those carbs that pack on the pounds. I've been known to make a big heap of spaghetti to bring for my lunches, or eat a whole box of Kraft Mac & Cheese but I want to find other options that are still easy and much more nutritional. Carbs make me feel worn out just thinking about the gym, which is not helping my goal of using my gym membership.
Vegetables and salads are tasty but I need more to feel full and I'm hungry again an hour later. Hungry Katie doesn't lead to good things for my wallet. I get cranky and ultimately justify going down the street and spending $14.50 at Chipotle.
M suggested I try vegetable stir-fry. There are ways to do this for cheap and it's definitely delicious. Depending on your grocery store, you can typically find a frozen stir-fry kit where you just add chicken, beef, etc (which you should buy and stock up on it when it's on a sale). If kits aren't available, you can make it from scratch. A $3 bottle of stir-fry sauce last for 2 or 3 meals and a bag of mixed frozen veggies can be as cheap as $1 (if money isn't an issue, fresh veggies are obviously the best option). Add in some inexpensive poultry and voila. If you don't want to cut carbs all together, you can eat it with brown rice. The only negative is that the vegetables can get soggy after a while so I suggest cooking half on Sunday night and the second half on Wednesday.
Another option is salad in a bag (ceaser is good but the ones with mixed veggies are better) with deli meat. Salads are $4 but sometimes you can find them on sale for $2. Add some deli meat and dressing of choice (whatever is on sale that week) and it's pretty decent. I have tried making one bag last for 2 meals but it was not filling enough so I'll only purchase the bags when they are on sale.

I'm still trying to explore more options but for now it's a start. It's difficult finding healthy, inexpensive options but when it comes to nutrition and health, the research is worth it.

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