With 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