Trim Your Waistline and Your Budget – Three Simple Steps!

Woman measuring waist with tape measureWith the holidays behind us its time to find ways to trim some of those extra pounds and pay off some bills.  It’s possible to eat healthier and stick to a budget.  Here are three ways to trim your food spending without sacrificing good nutrition.

1. Before you go to the store know what you are going to buy.  First, check your refrigerator and cupboard.  Do you already have items on hand for this week’s meals?  Then review local flyers for weekly specials.  No need to buy a newspaper; most stores have their ads online.  Include some of the sale items in your weekly menu.  Finally, make a list.  It’s critical to help manage your grocery budget; otherwise, it is easy to be swayed by unhealthy foods and things you don’t really need this week.

2. Back to Basics.  Fill your grocery cart with fruits and vegetables, meat, beans, chicken, fish, pasta, brown rice, whole grain bread, basic cereals like oatmeal, non-fat or low fat milk, and yogurt.  Skip the high profile foods like granola, power bars, chips, special drinks, and juices.  Package your own single size servings of  cheese and crackers and granola bars. (Peggy’s Pet Peeve …. Frozen vegetables are a good buy because you can use only what you need and the rest won’t spoil. Now, in the name of convenience, it’s hard to find a bag that isn’t a “steamer” bag.  The cost of the bags hasn’t changed, but now there are only 12 ounces instead of 16.)

3.  Drink Water.  Stop buying soda, juice and sports drinks, and switch to plain water or water with lemon.  Consumption of sweetened beverages for women in the U.S. has more than doubled, at a cost of 300-400 calories a day and $500 a year.  Soda, fruit drinks, sports beverages, lattes, smoothies, and sweetened iced tea are thought to be one of the main contributing factors to our epidemic of obesity.  Invest in two (2) refillable water bottles for each member of the family so there is always a cold one in the refrigerator.  Label them with names so you can reuse the containers.

-pointers from Peggy

13 thoughts on “Trim Your Waistline and Your Budget – Three Simple Steps!

  1. Thank you for your blog. I am an Iowa State grad student and also a newlywed so I am trying hard to create good menu plans while shopping on a college student budget.

    For menu planning, I try to make it to where we are not eating the same thing everyday. Our favorite meals are chicken tacos, stir fry, quiche, and various pasta dishes. I was wondering if you had a good source for calorie counting? I would be interested in knowing if we are eating too many calories everyday and if we are eating the right serving for vegetables, fruits, dairy, etc.

    I would also like to share a tip about drinks. We I was younger we drank a lot of juice and soda. Now that I am more conscious about my health try to limit those as much as possible. We love to drink tea. We are from the South and most tea is very sweet. I tried drinking unsweet tea, but it is an acquired taste. However we found that if we brewed a black tea with a lemon, mint, or peach tea, we do not miss the sugar because of the added herb and flavor. We always make our tea this way from now on. If we want to add sugar, we opt to add honey instead of the white sugar. I believe the tea has zero calories if it is unsweet, so this might be a way for people to wean off of sweet tea. The funny thing is that since we have started doing this I cannot stand sweet tea is restaurants or fast food places anymore-it tastes like syrup.

    Thanks again for the blog! I really enjoy learning about health, nutrition, and budgeting and I know this information is credible coming from the extension.

  2. Thanks for the insights on fruits and vegetables. I was raised to keep two facts in mind when eating; 1)clean my plate and, 2)eat those things that would “stick to my ribs.” The problem is, they have stuck … in the whole mid-section.

    It has taken me many years to realize the simple truth … if you eat more calories than you burn, you’ll gain weight and if you eat fewer calories than you burn, you’ll lose weight.

    I know there are discussions about “empty” calories, etc. … but one cannot escape that simple old fact. I am just beginning to get it! Alas!

    Thanks again for your article.

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  7. I agree with many of the comments that the best way to weight loss is to watch what you eat, when and you eat. In order to lose wight, healthy eating and exercise are very important. To keep your weight off you’ve got to eat healthly, eat right and exercise regularly.

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