Our current economy requires many of us to budget wisely and work to reduce our grocery bills. But cutting back on food costs doesn't mean you need to cut back on healthy, nutritious meals. It is possible to eat healthy and save, if you make smart choices. Take the time to evaluate your past grocery receipts and look for unnecessary items that add up to big dollars. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Cut the junk. Eliminate items that provide empty calories and little nutrition. Junk foods like cookies, candy, snack cakes and soda increase your waistline and waste your money. Packaged and processed foods put more into our landfills and deplete our bodies of vitamins and minerals.
- Eat at home. Save an easy $15 to $30 per week by eating out less. Pack a daily lunch and focus on home cooked meals. You'll be able to spend the extra money on higher quality foods. By eating in, you control the quality and quantity of your ingredients.
- Cook once, eat two to three times. Save yourself time and money by preparing larger meals and freezing or using up leftovers for lunches later in the week. A rotisserie chicken on Monday can turn into chicken enchiladas on Tuesday and chicken salad for Wednesday. At the beginning of the week, try making a healthy soup packed with fresh ingredients to enjoy at any lunch or dinner.
- Shop smart. Be prepared with a menu plan and grocery list that you can stick to. Shop the perimeter of the store first to fill your cart with whole foods, like fresh produce. This will leave less room for junk foods that are costly to your budget and your health. And don't shop on an empty stomach! Hunger and low blood sugar levels can lead to poor dietary choices.
Eating healthy and economically is possible. Buy purchasing fresh, local and unprocessed foods and eating at home you can save money and "Feel Better and Live Longer!".
Jody Anderson, RN, CHC
Succeed Health, LLC- Algoma