Friday, June 5, 2009

Top 10 Ways to Cut Costs While Cutting Calories

These days it seems we are hearing a lot about how to save money. When trying to eat healthy it does seem to cost more. This week we talked about ways to SAVE! Some of these ideas are ones we have heard for years and others may be new ideas for you.

  1. Make a list: Shopping with a list can help you limit impulse buys. I plan my meals on a calender and can easily shop from the menu. (always subject to change depending what's on sale)

  2. Think Filling Foods: The more processed foods you buy, the higher the price, which means Filling Foods make a great points value bargain AND help you save money. These can include beans, lentils, brown rice, whole wheat pasta- stretch your meals!
  3. BYO (Bring Your Own): A person can easily spend up to $10 a day stopping for a morning latte and eating out for lunch—not to mention a few stops at the vending machine. According to the lunch savings calculator on American Public Media website, brown
    bagging it can save you $70 per month! When going on day trips I pack healthy snacks, fruit, diet soda, water and yogurt. No need to stop at a convenience store or fast food!

  4. Buy Bulk: Bulk items generally cost less per item. Once you get your bulk items home weigh them out in serving size containers. "Bulk" items that were mentioned this week: oatmeal, granola, ground beef, chicken breasts.

  5. Raid the freezer or go canned: If fresh produce is too expensive, buy frozen or canned alternatives. They’re just as nutritious and in some cases more so, having been picked at the peak of the season and flash-frozen immediately to preserve nutrients.

  6. Be a bean counter: Beans are rich in fiber, plus they’re a cheaper protein source than meat. A pound of 93% lean ground beef can cost close to $6.00 while a can of black beans is a mere $.75.

  7. DIY (Do It Yourself): Generally, supermarkets increase the cost of fruits and vegetables when they cut and package them. This sure can be convenient, but if you want to save$$ DIY!

  8. Buy in season: Items like blueberries are a cheap treat in summer but practically an investment once it’s fall. eTools features a frequently updated column called Market Fresh, which highlights seasonal produce. Right now is a great time to buy strawberries and asparagus.

  9. Patrol portions: Your budget and pantry can be devastated by portion sizes that are too large. By monitoring the portions you use in meals, you can stretch your food throughout the week. I used to eat portions for 4-5 people, I'm saving money buy eating a regular size portions!

  10. Clip coupons: Coupons can help you save a bundle on your grocery bill. Shop the weekly ads too! You'll surprise yourself how much money can be saved.
These strategic shopping tips will pad your wallet; not your waistline.

Do you have any money saving tips? I'd love to hear them!

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