In this economy, finances are a stressor, and the food budget is one place you may be able to cut expenses. But what is the wisest way to accomplish that goal? Making poor food choices actually increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure; so when you cut your food budget, don’t cut out necessary nutrients.
Here’s what Dr. Kristina L. Sargent, D.C., offers in the way of tips to follow for low-cost nutrition:
* Stay on the Perimeter: To choose the healthiest foods, stay on the perimeter of the grocery store. You don’t really need to make your way into the aisles – where the processed stuff is located – why tempt yourself to spend money on food without nutrients that stresses your body?
* Cut out Processed Foods: Chips, muffins, cookies, soda, sports drinks and other beverages are an example. Most of those foods don’t have many nutrients like vitamins and antioxidants, and actually rob your body of nutrients as it tries to process them.
* Meal Plan: Start by planning a week to 10 days worth of meals — and be sure to include breakfast, lunch (if you pack your own), dinner and snacks. You can save time by building up a recipe file with your favorite dishes. You can also use cookbooks, print out recipes you find online or keep copies of recipes in a special folder on your computer. Grab the advertisements for your local grocery store to see what’s on special — you can save even more money by planning some of your meals around those sale items.
* Buy Frozen Foods: With frozen foods there’s no worry about spoilage and you will be getting more of the nutrients your body needs to combat stress.
* Buy in Bulk: Buy in bulk, freezing your items in family-sized portions.
* Cut Coupons: Look for online coupons as well as the coupons in newspapers and magazines.
* Use your own Water: Buy a water-filter pitcher instead of expensive individual bottles of water.
These days are stressful enough, and your body doesn’t need more. So choose to de-stress by feeding your body an anti-stress diet, reducing your grocery bill at the same time.