Stretching Your Nutrition Dollar
Good Monday Afternoon!
I hope you have started this week off dominating the day and tasks as you should! (If not, you still have time to get in gear!) I know that many posts that I write give you mindset and routines to get you going in your fitness and mental preparations, so this time I will talk about something that effects these plans directly: Money for proper nutrition.
Over 85 percent of your physical gains in fitness are directly related to your intake of the proper foods. Much of what we buy is based upon the funds we have available to stock up and feed our families and many times processed foods and “heat and serve” meals are appealing due to reduction in prep and cooking times. In this post, I am going to share some tips and tricks of how you can maintain a healthy eating style without compromising your family or your budget.
While eating healthy on a budget can be a challenge, it is a challenge that can be met with a little bit of effort. Planning ahead is the key to staying within your budget limits and meeting your nutrition requirements. Plan your menu for the entire week before you shop, then make a list of needed foods for that menu. Plan how you will use leftovers. Use grocery store circulars to find sale items — especially the loss leaders, those items that grocery stores price so low they lose money on them just to entice shoppers into their stores.
Use coupons. Clip coupons from the paper, or search for them online and print them out. (Simply type “coupons” into Google or another search engine to find multiple sites that offer a click-and-print service.) Be sure to compare the cost of the brand-name product purchased with a coupon versus the cost of the generic or store brand. Coupons may not always be the best deal.
Go vegetarian part-time. Meat often accounts for the highest cost percentage of your grocery bill. Most individuals tend to think that meat needs to be the main part of every meal. If you can skip meat one day a week or even one meal a day, you can achieve significant savings. Not only will you save money, but you will reduce your intake of fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. When you do eat meat, stretch it out. Use it in smaller volumes and not as a main dish — use it in soups, stews, and casseroles. You might want to substitute nutritious sources of plant proteins such as legumes (dried beans, lentils, peas) that are much less expensive.
Shop for veggies in the frozen food section! Frozen vegetables are just as nutritious and in fact are often more fresh than “fresh” produce. That whole “picked at the peak of flavor” marketing yarn is actually true for frozen veggies. Major grocery chains frequently offer large packs of frozen plants for just a few dollars; and scoop up those “5 bags for 4 bucks” deals, too. The most nutritious and cheap vegetables are usually broccoli, peas and spinach, but look for brussels sprouts, artichoke hearts, asparagus spears, and stir fry blends, as well. If you prefer fresh vegetables you’ll save a lot of money if you visit the farmer’s market once a week. Snoop around to find the best one with the lowest prices – you’ll be surprised at how cheap things like peppers, lemons and avocados can be when you don’t have to walk through air conditioned doors to get them!
(Note: make sure that the frozen vegetable blends you’re buying don’t have added unhealthy sauces full of oils or corn syrup.)
So these are just a couple of strategies you can try the next time you are getting ready for some grocery shopping. Let me know how it goes!
Thanks for reading!
Have a great day!
Posted on January 30, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged budget eating strategies, budget health, eating healthy on a low income, fitness and budget eating, fixed income healthy eating, health and nutrition, healthy dollars, healthy eating on a budget, stretching your dollar. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.