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How can you put a price on a healthy diet for your family?
The cheap choices tempt us from grocery shelves. Do you
snap up the box of prepackaged mix that can feed a family
of four for $5? Or do you scour the produce section in
search of affordable organics?
“A spending plan, including your
grocery budget, should be values-
based,” advises Robin Thompson, M.A.,
president of Budget Wise Consulting
and the WXYZ Channel 7
Money Coach
.
“Some advisors say grocery budgets
should be 15 percent of your income –
but if you value eating healthy more
highly than that, you might cut back on
entertainment and dining out to offset
the cost of healthier food. Whatever your grocery budget,
you
can
make affordable healthy choices.”
Robin Recommends:
l
Buy frozen vegetables.
They’re often cheaper than
fresh or canned, and they don’t spoil, so you don’t
waste money. They are nutritious.
l
Seek reduced-price produce.
Stores will often have
a “reduced” rack of riper produce. If you know you
can use it today or tomorrow, buy it.
l
Buy the store brand.
Generics can knock 20 to 25
percent off your food bill.
l
Hit the farmer’s market.
Local in-season foods are
cheaper; you avoid shipping costs. Stock up, and can
or freeze for later.
l
Eat less meat and more beans, such as lentils,
black-eyed peas, pinto or black beans.
This can
offset the cost of healthier meats, such as grass-fed,
organic, hormone-free chicken and beef.
l
Drink more water!
Reduce or eliminate soda pop.
What About Bulk?
“Warehouse clubs now offer bargain-priced organic foods,”
says Robin. That can save time and money, but proceed
with caution, especially with snack foods.
“Studies show that the bigger the box, the more people
eat,” adds Zonya Foco, R.D. “That could actually cost you
more in new clothing and medical bills associated with
excess weight. If you buy in bulk, consider ‘pre-portioning’
into small snack bags so you’re not ‘tricked’ by the larger
container. Also, don’t
assume
bulk is cheaper. Keep a small
notebook to jot down ‘per ounce’ prices, so you can really
compare and know.”
Nutrition on a Budget
Robin
Thompson
Zonya shares more tips for eating healthy on a budget in her webinar
Eat Right and $ave Money Doing It
. Log in at
hap.org
, select the
My Health &
Wellness
tab, then
Member Programs > Weight Wise > Weight Wise Webinars
.
Wise Advice
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