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Healthy and Budget-Friendly Meal Plan with Michigan Apples

When a New Year starts there are two resolutions that seem to make it to the top of everyone’s list. The first is to eat healthier and the second is to manage finances better. The great news is that Michigan Apples can help you do both! With so many nutritional benefits and an abundance of budget-friendly Michigan Apples available, they make a perfect addition to your 2024 meal plans.

When it comes to spending your hard-earned income on food, buying Michigan Apples will ensure you’re getting the most nutrition for your money so you’ll want to pick up a bag, or two, each week and are easy to include in a healthy budget-friendly meal plan.

Michigan Apples are a healthy and budget-friendly grocery option. (Michigan Apples In Bag)

How to Eat and Shop Healthy But Stick To Your Budget:

  • Plan your meals.

Choose a day each week to plan your meals for the upcoming week. Then make a list of all the things you need to prepare those meals.

Make sure to check your refrigerator, freezer and pantry beforehand so you are using up foods before they go bad! When you’re at the store be careful to only purchase what you know you’re going to use in the coming week to avoid waste.

Find a 1-week sample menu plan featuring the nutritious goodness of Michigan Apples here.

  • Learn how to cook at home.

Cooking at home for a family of four is similar in cost to buying food for only one or two people at a restaurant. If you don’t feel confident with your culinary skills simply start with easy recipes and ask your family to help. The more you cook, the more your confidence will grow.

Use the weekend to pre-prep some ingredients or simple meals for the week. And remember, meals don’t have to be elaborate, even these quick Apple, Cheddar, Turkey Paninis would make a family-pleasing meal.

Apple, Cheddar, Turkey Paninis

  • Use leftovers.

Sadly, a lot of food is wasted by consumers on a daily basis which is like throwing money away. One way to reduce food waste is to ensure you are using up leftovers.

When you finish a meal, put leftovers into to-go containers to enjoy at work for lunch or freeze portions for later. You can also use up extra leftovers like veggies, fruits or protein foods in soups, salads, or stir-fries. Using leftovers can save you both time and money.

  • Seek out store brands.

Store brands, or private label products, often bear the name of the store they are from or another generic name. These brands are often much less expensive than national brands and are among the fastest growing and most popular items for sale at supermarkets today. They can help you save money and provide many general and unique choices.

In addition, the quality of these products has come a long way over the past several years. The best way to discover store brands you may like is to start by trying a few of them to identify those options your family will like.

  • Use all forms of fruits and veggies.

Most individuals do not consume enough nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables so remember they are available in many forms including fresh, frozen, canned, and dried.

When it comes to fresh produce, look for products that have a longer shelf life. Michigan Apples, for instance, stay fresh in the refrigerator for several weeks so you can be sure to use them for snacks and meal ingredients before they go bad. Even if they are a bit distressed, they can still be used in recipes like quick breads, muffins or in smoothies.

Keep a supply of frozen fruits and veggies on hand as well so you can use the exact amount needed while storing the rest. And don’t forget canned or jarred options like canned beans, tomatoes, applesauce and other fruits which are versatile ingredients with a long shelf life.

  • Use coupons wisely.

Strategically used, coupons may be a great way to save money on nourishing foods. Many stores offer digital coupons as well and you may find options for fresh and packaged produce items and staples that can help you make nutrient-rich meals.

You Can Plan A Healthy Diet on a Budget

The bottom line is that eating well can be affordable and delicious and there are many easy ways to include nutrient-rich foods like Michigan Apples into meals even if you are on a tight budget. Most importantly, remember that a healthy diet promotes overall wellness and helps you to avoid expensive healthcare costs.

Find more Michigan Apple recipe inspiration and meal ideas.

Meet the Author

Shari Steinbach

Shari Steinbach, MS RDN
Shari Steinbach & Associates, LLC

For the past 26 years, Shari has worked as a dietitian in the grocery industry for two major retailers in the Midwest. In her retail roles, Shari has managed consumer health communication, health influencer partnerships, nutrition programs, and solution-selling strategies.

Shari has served as a nutrition expert and corporate spokesperson, providing food and nutrition advice through monthly television spots on ABC, NBC and FOX affiliates and local radio segments. She has also conducted numerous educational presentations to community groups and professional organizations throughout the country. Her timely nutrition and food product information and strategic social media messages have reached millions of consumers.