Unwanted Weight — It's Not Your Grocery Budget
There is much data out there about how obesity and income level correlate. It is also true that some cheaper foods are not that healthy for you. The deal is that unwanted weight has little to do with how much you spend on groceries. However, it has a whole lot to do with what you put into your grocery cart. In this put-it-back blog, we talk about good foods and bad foods and why you should not let your stomach do the shopping.
Cheap Foods that Need to Stay on the Shelf
You are what you eat, as the saying goes. What you put into your grocery cart is a reflection of how you look. Poor food choices have nothing to do with cost. Potato chips, for example, are high in fat and salt and offer very little nutritional value. Soda is another example of a food that offers no positive gain for the human body. Per the instructions on the box of Mac and Cheese, you need to add four tablespoons of butter. Yeah, that's all fat.
The list of cheap foods that needs to stay on the shelf is extensive. There are entire aisles in the grocery store that should be named Obesity, Diabetes, Heart Disease. Think about what you eat before you buy food. Think about what your health goals are before you get to the grocery store. Think about how you struggle to lose weight and start putting things that offer little food value or do not help you meet your health goals back on the shelf.
Buying Cheap Foods that Help You Lose Weight
There are a few tricks to buying healthy foods that are still cheap. One of those tricks is to buy seasonal foods. Apples are cheaper in the fall than they are in the summer. Oranges are cheapest in February and March than they are in August and September. Shop for seasonal foods and adjust your menu to incorporate those foods. Dry beans and dry gains are almost always cheap and they go a long way if you use them as ingredients. Eat less meat and more veg.
The American Diabetic Association recommends that each meal consists of 25 percent protein, 25 percent carb/starch, and 50 percent vegetables. Vegetables are much less expensive than are meats. You only need 3 ounces of meat for dinner, but you can pretty much eat unlimited amounts of green vegetables. The cost difference in just reducing meat in your diet is amazing. You can also take full advantage of vegetable proteins with combinations like beans and brown rice that offer a complete set of proteins.
When buying meat, buy cheaper cuts of lean meat like turkey and enjoy great foods. Meals such as Spaghetti (squash) and meatballs or Skinny Tostadas are cheap to make and the whole family will love them. Vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals and enzymes that help your body to function at peak efficiency. You do more with fewer resources when you eat healthy foods. When you eat junk foods and foods that are full of empty calories, you actually need to eat more often. That gets expensive quickly.
Tricks to Save Money on Groceries
A good trick is to buy from a farmer's market rather than a grocery store. Farmer's markets have very little junk food so you can focus on your grocery list and not package marketing. Many farmers markets offer meat, vegetables, eggs, and even dairy products. Just make a shopping list based on your menu planning. Recipes such as this Taco Stuffed Peppers are amazingly good and fairly simple to make.
Consider Growing a Garden
If you are serious about saving money on food, consider growing a container garden. A single tomato plant will supply about $40 worth of tomatoes over the summer. Add in a single zucchini plant and you will have plenty of squash to add to your menu. Things like peas, beans, squash produce a lot of food in a small amount of space. A three vegetable example of part of a healthy dinner is this Green Bean & Cherry Tomato salad. You can easily grow these in a garden. If you are new to gardening, consider joining a community garden. There are often experienced gardeners who are happy to teach you how to garden successfully.
When it comes to eating healthy, there is a ton of ways to save money. A good place to start is at the Metabolic Research Center where they offer a host of free healthy recipes that not only taste good but also use seasonal vegetables and ingredients. Take a minute and explore the possibilities.
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