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How Healthy People Eat Cheap

How Healthy People Eat Cheap

From a March 2009 posting at Experience Li!fe

Eating well doesn’t have to break your budget. Our experts offer 15 tips on cutting your tab at the grocery store, without scrimping on the good stuff.

By Alyssa Ford / March 2009

Spendy vs. Savvy 

If there was one sound that rose above all others at the grocery checkout line last year, it was this: Ouch! When your grocery budget is under assault, it’s easy to succumb to panic (“Nine dollars a pound for organic chicken?!”) and become tempted to fill your cart with less healthy, but ostensibly cheaper, fare. Trouble is, downgrading the quality of your food is never a bargain. First, your health is just too valuable, and courting an avoidable health condition or lowered immunity by eating poorly is just way too expensive. Second, even in the toughest economic times, you don’t have to scrimp on the good stuff. You just have to know how to shop smarter.

In this, the second in our series on “How Healthy People Eat,” we’ve assembled another team of health-conscious experts to dish on their personal shopping habits:

Here, they share their top tips for creating wholesome, delicious meals on the cheap.

1. Make a strategic shopping list. Buying food on a whim, shopping haphazardly and going shopping when hungry all tend to drive your expenditures steeply upward. By planning your meals before shopping, you can save a bundle. Swensson and her boyfriend eat a nutrient-rich, whole-foods diet for no more than $55 a week. Swensson searches online circulars to find deals near her Brooklyn home, combines that information with what she knows about the food she already has on hand, then searches online for recipes that make the most of both. Then she creates a detailed shopping list from which she never strays.

2. Know the cost of your staples. Even though Farino lives in one of the most expensive food markets in the country, she’s able to eat well by keeping track of what things cost. “I know the price of Wildwood organic tofu at four different stores to the penny,” she says. By knowing what things cost, she can quickly identify a deal.

3. When you spot a sale, strike. Occasionally, olive oil, tamari and frozen peas will go on sale at Farino’s co-op, and she’ll stock up for several weeks. Plus, she doesn’t hesitate to buy in bulk when the opportunity arises. “I drink unsweetened almond milk, so when my favorite brand went on sale, I bought a whole case,” she says. The trick here is to buy only what you actually will use. (You may be able to get a truckload of olive oil for a song, but it won’t keep forever.)…

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August 1, 2011 - Posted by | Nutrition | , ,

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