Eat Healthy While Saving Time and Money in the Kitchen

Many people mistakenly think that eating a healthy diet means having to shell out more money at the grocery store. It certainly can, if all you buy are expensive prepared meals. But contrary to what the marketing hype tries to convince you of, you do not need to buy any special food products in order to eat a healthy diet. In fact, studies have shown that you really do not even need to take any vitamin supplements if you're eating nutritious meals.

You also do not need to prepare different foods for different members of your family, unless one of your family members has a medical condition that requires it, or food allergies. If you're doing the food shopping then you have control over what your family eats and are in a position to make healthy changes to the way all of you eat. The first thing you need to do is quit buying junk food. If it's available then it will get eaten, which leaves you and your family with less of an appetite for the healthy foods you should be eating instead. When you buy junk food, it also means that you spend more on your monthly food budget than you need to.

If you're in the habit of buying microwaveable meals for your dinner, it's another bad habit that you should break as soon as possible. When measured by weight, microwave meals are actually quite expensive. But even worse, they're far from healthy (regardless of whether or not they contain the word 'healthy' in their product name). If you read the food label, you'll see that ounce for ounce they're high in fat, calories and sodium, and often contain dangerous levels of trans fat and food preservatives. If you have a hard time disciplining yourself when it comes to food, then it might help to think of how harmful a steady diet of foods like these can be for your family.

So if you do not buy microwave meals or junk food for your family, then what's left for them to eat that does not require you to spend hours in the kitchen preparation? Things like fresh meat, fish, grains and vegetables require a much longer cooking time than a microwave meal, and what if you've been working all day? If you think that you do not have time to cook, then it's time you become reacquainted with two kitchen appliances that have been a staple in kitchens for years: the pressure cooker and the humble crock pot.

If the thought of a pressure cooker reminds you of horror stories you've heard about them blowing up and spewing beef stew all over the kitchen ceiling, then you've been out of the loop. Those kinds of accidents were not all that uncommon with the old-fashioned style of pressure cookers, but the new design of modern pressure cookers makes that concern a thing of the past. You can have an unbelievably delicious, tender meal in a fraction of the time it would take using an oven or stove top, and not only that, a pressure cooker will seal in all the vitamins and flavor that are lost through traditional cooking methods.

What's that? You put your crock pot in a garage sale ten years ago? It's no wonder, because of what a mess the old style of crock pots were to clean up after using them. But once again, you might be very surprised to hear that they're finally designed with ease of use (and clean up) in mind. You no longer have to worry about keeping the electrical parts dry when you wash a crock pot, because the new design allows you to lift the pot itself completely out of the electrical housing. And if that is not convenient enough, you can now buy specially made throw-away liners to put inside your crock pot before you add your ingredients. Once your meal is over and any left-overs has been put away, you simply lift out the liner and throw it away. Which means that you never have to wash your crock pot at all!

There are many ways that you can help your family to eat healthy and save money too. With the extra money you'll save by buying fresh foods instead of junk food and prepared meals, you can splurge and purchase vegetables that are already cut up if you want to save time in the kitchen. You'll find countless recipes on the Internet that are perfect for pressure cooker and crock pot meals, and your healthy family will appreciate the extra flavor, and love, that goes into their meals.