Are you finding it hard to consume your fruits & veggies? Or finding that you purchase them but they end up spoiling before you can even get to them? Are you finding that you are spending too much on food in general and yet still feeling like you aren’t moving towards health?

Then here are 5 easy and actionable tips that help you to consume & budget for your fruits & veggies:

  1. Set your food spending goal for the week or the month and then divide it into weeks. So for instance say that you set aside $300 for the month on food, then you would divide that into 4 weeks for the month and it would equal $75 per week for food expenses.
  2. Buy your essentials and eat what you already have. Now this is the strongest tip because often we buy food, and don’t eat what’s in our fridge. So if you buy fruits & veggies and other food items that equal to $75 that week then you find that you are going over your budget by eating out, chance are you need to finish what you have in your fridge before you decide to eat out. You have a meeting? No problem offer a home cooked meal instead of going out, or make a potluck dinner for 2+ to use the food you already have. This not only forces you to stay within your budget, but it also forces you to consume the fruits & vegetables you have in your refrigerator. You’ll be more likely to be creative and come up with or try new recipes with ingredients that you have in your fridge now. 3 great apps to help with recipes according to foods you already have is: Epicurious, Ratio, and AllRecipes.
  3. Plan your meals ahead of time. This helps alot when you are a busy person with a lot on your schedule to do. It’s enough having to think about the stresses of your career, family, and life, being able to know what you will eat ahead of time allows you to stay within budget, look forward to recipes to try, reduce the amount of food you waste, and make sure you are consuming your fruits & vegetables. Plan your meals out by weeks in congruence with your weekly budget for food. So if you know that you are going to buy collard greens, pear, apples, sweet potatoes, brown rice, etc… Then you know that you can make green smoothies for breakfast and collards, sweet potatoes, and rice for dinner a few nites.
  4. Learn to love leftovers and when shopping use a list. I can’t tell you how many times in the past I’ve gone into the store, subconsciously knowing I had food in the fridge that I hadn’t finished eating and without a list! Big NO NO for staying on budget and consuming the food you already have. If you want to make sure you are eating your food in your fridge, which hopefully is chalk full of fruits and vegetables as staples of your meals, then you need to make sure that you eat your leftovers and love them as well as don’t go shopping more that 1-2 times per week without a shopping list in hand. Going into a store thinking to yourself, “I’m only going to get this” is a big recipe for disaster because if you are anything like me you will go into the store and end up coming out with 20 more things that were not in your original purchase intentions.
  5. Be creative. I can’t stress this enough, whether you consider yourself America’s next top chef or a person who can’t even boil water correctly, learn to be creative in the kitchen. You may be a wiz in the kitchen or a newbie either way trust yourself to be able to nourish yourself with the foods that are good for you. When in doubt please use recipes! The apps mentioned above are great as well as the good ole internet! There are countless other websites chaulk full of recipes for raw vegans, vegans, vegetarians, paleo eaters, etc… The list is endless. Use what you have in your fridge to nourish yourself and family. You can do it! Trust yourself and get creating!

Its your turn! What are some ways that you’ve learned to budget and consume your fruits & vegetables more?