Eat Healthy and Pay Less

In this time of economic crisis, everyone is trying to find ways to save a buck. Me too, though I don't want to sacrifice good healthy foods to do it. I would like to pass on some helpful tips on how you can spend less and still enjoy organic produce and free-range meats.
"The secret to eating well on a budget is not to give up the high quality foods you love, but to buy only what you need, and then be sure to use everything that you buy." says Mollie Katzen, author of The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without
The following expert tips will help you discover how you can eat healthy for less.
  • Know your budget: "Before you can start spending less, you have to know what your budget is." ~ says Katzen. Save all your food related receipts - grocery store, farmers' market and restaurants for a month to determine what you're really spending. Save $ by cutting out non essentials like take-out foods and coffee to go.
  • Plan a weeks worth of menus: Start with two or three dishes, then come up with others that utilize similar food items that are not used up in another recipe, this way nothing gets wasted.
  • Shop around: Comparison shopping is critical, but it's not just comparing one store's prices to another, also look for conveniences, like precooked foods, for bargains. Save up to $2 per item if you buy loose greens instead of pre-washed and whole veggies instead of pre-sliced ones.
  • Find coupons on-line: These days you don't have to be a coupon clipper, you can find a multitude of organic companies offering coupons on-line - just a click away. Check out to download coupons.
  • High Nutrients: "To really get your money's worth, buy foods that are high in nutrients," says Katzen. Broccoli and celery are priced the same, but every dollar you spend on broccoli buys you much more vitamin C, iron and fiber.
  • Cut down on meat: Even the cheapest cuts of meat are expensive these days. Build your meal around other proteins such as beans. Replace meat with protein-rich barley, and pinto, kidney and black beans in soups ans stews. A pound of beef costs nearly $4 while a pound of dried beans is $1.50.
  • Seasonal produce: Buying what's in season at your local farmers' market will give you the freshest choices and the most nutrients for less. You can even buy extra strawberries, peaches, or other fruits or vegetables, and freeze them to use during off season times when the prices generally double.
  • Buy in bulk: When buying dried beans, grains and spices in bulk, you can get the exact quantity you need, and reduce wasting your foods. You will also save money and get a fresher product.
  • Join Warehouse store: You can find organic foods at Costco and Sam's Club now, and get an even greater bargain. This may be time to plan several meals around the foods as you will be buying a larger quantity than from a grocery store.
  • Grow your own food: You don't need a big back yard to grow your own produce. Any spot in the sun will do. Plan fresh herbs, tomatoes, even zucchini in pots. You can even "can" your own tomatoes and use them in the winter for additional savings.

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