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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Healthy Grocery Shopping On A Budget

When I hear people complaining that it's just too expensive to eat healthy I can't help but roll my eyes.  It's anything but!  In reality, it's more affordable.  Here are just a few tips to keep in mind when you hit the grocery store with health foods on the brain...


Tip #1: BUY FRESH!
Leave those pre-packaged, preservative-packed, sodium-filled "health" foods alone!  The real savings will show up when your cart starts filling up with fresh fruits and vegetables.  Let's see...Trader Joe's bananas are a measly $.19 each.  EACH!  Apples at $.69. Cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, and the list goes on, barely leave a mark on your wallet.  Bonus is the low calorie snacks and meals you'll be able to make!  As soon as you start to increase your fruits and veggies your metabolism will get a nice BOOST and assist you in maintaining or even losing your weight.


Tip #2: BUY LOCAL!
Forget the foreign and imported purchases...whether it be wine, fruits, or cheese.  Farmer's markets are an excellent find and every neighborhood has them.  Buying local not only supports your community, farmers, and small business, but you are avoiding the high costs of shipping, unnecessary pollution, and spending too much for the same food.


Tip #3: BUY FOR THE SHORT TERM!
You will find that when you start buying fresh foods, it doesn't last nearly as long as the packaged foods! But don't worry...just buy enough for 5-7 days...you'll definitely save $$$ by not over purchasing and having to throw your food away when it spoils.   Tip #4 will teach you the trick to avoiding the wasted food conundrum..........


Tip #4: BUY FROZEN TOO!
Now this might seem like a contradiction to Tip #1 but frozen foods can carry as many nutrients as fresh ones.  Lengthen the life of vegetables and fruits by buying some of them to stock your freezer so you won't be making trips to the store every few days!  Avoid the canned options which contain absurd levels of sodium and preservatives.  How healthy can they be if you can leave them in your cabinet for years?!? Frozen foods are often frozen immediately after ripening, sealing in freshness until you are ready to consume them.  They will keep in nutrients and you'll have healthy options on hand for much longer.  Frozen mixed veggie packs are awesome and steaming some for a side at dinner will fill your stomach without adding the pounds.


Avoiding the so called health food programs that send you fake food with cooking directions that entail "just add water" affect your check book dramatically. You can save hundreds each year by following the tips above for your diet. Your bank account and your body will thank you for it :)

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