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          Eating Healthy on a Budget

          May 22, 2009

          Think you have to be rich to eat healthy? Think again! Nutritionist and fitness trainer Robert Reames offers tips for eating healthy on a budget:

          • Buy in bulk. Separate then freeze and/or refrigerate portions for you and your family.
          • Don’t eat out. Prepare and eat all meals at home from scratch. Profit margins are huge in the restaurant industry overall. Plan so you aren’t stuck overpaying for a meal you really don’t want.
          • Don’t overeat! Portion sizes in America overall are just too large.
          • Don’t eat takeout or delivery.
          • Don’t buy deli concoctions. Take the idea that you see in the deli show case and make your own homemade version.
          • Use a crock pot to prepare many different kinds of soups, stews and sauces for your family. Bake a casserole. You can heat your crock pot for eight hours and it will only cost you 10 cents, whereas it costs 32 cents to run an oven for only an hour.
          • Take lunches to work and/or pack lunches for the kids.
          • Buy fresh foods at farms or farmers markets.
          • Grow your own vegetables and fresh herbs.
          • Make your own salad dressings using olive oil, vinegar and/or nonfat yogurt and your favorite herbs and spices.
          • Eliminate juices, sodas and any other form of processed hydration. You’ll waste tons of cash on these. Stay with fresh water. Flavor with a squeeze of fresh lemon, lime or orange for variation.
          • Buy a thermos or container that you can constantly re-use for water, soup, tea, etc.
          • Eliminate junk and processed foods. Excess sodium and sugar encourage over consumption. Not only are these foods bad value and a waste of money, but they are void of healthy nutrition.
          • Plan your grocery trips out. This will eliminate impulse buying. Also, don’t go to the grocery store hungry.
          • Find one or two places close by to shop at regularly to avoid spending excess gas money on driving around.

          Foods that are Excellent Value for Money and Nutrition:

          • Chicken, turkey and/or ground versions of these as well as lean ground beef: Buy frozen in bulk or bake a large chicken or turkey, then divide portions and freeze.
          • Eggs: These can be cooked many different ways and used along with other foods.
          • Fresh farmers market or frozen veggies.
          • Beans and brown rice: Add in a frozen or fresh vegetable. Use your own fresh herbs, spices and homemade sauces.
          • Quinoa, couscous or even high-protein/fiber whole wheat pastas in bulk.
          • Homemade soups, casseroles and stews.
          • Look for deals on large bag spinach and lettuce.
          • Iced green tea: A pack of 100 tea bags will cost $10-12 and will make gallons and gallons of tea.
          • If you drink coffee, prepare at home and travel with a thermos.
          • Go out to the country and pick your own fresh fruit, or buy from the grocery store in large bags versus individually.
          • Tuna: This can be used in many different ways.
          • High-fiber oatmeal: You can incorporate some whey protein powder, which can also be purchased in bulk, to add in your protein.
          • Use a Brita filter for fresh water versus buying plastic bottles.

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