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Recession Diet: Healthy Eating on the Cheap

One of the biggest complaints about eating healthy is that it costs a lot of money. While there is an element of truth to that, if you are going organic, it is a misnomer to think that you have to shed zeros on your account balance to shed weight around your waist.bananas

First, you need a basic “hunting and gathering” strategy when you enter your local grocery store. Experts have long pointed out that the best strategy is to stick to the periphery of the store, where most of the healthy items reside. If you’re trying to save money, and who isn’t in these lean economic times, here are a few healthy food suggestions that won’t break the bank:

Beans - I love black beans and rice. And if you pair them up with whole-grain brown rice, you have yourself a healthy and cheap side dish.

Bananas - I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who thinks bananas aren’t a tasty snack. And, you don’t have to wait for them to be in season. At about 70 cents a pound, you have a great source of fiber and potassium. And, a diet rich in potassium is believed to reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke. Extra savings tip: use them before they go bad. Add ripening bananas to a smoothie or banana bread.

Frozen Veggies - Frozen vegetables come in 12-ounce to 24-ounce bags that cost about $2. And, they usually average a mere 25 cents a serving. While there is some debate about whether or not they are are better, worse, or equal in nutritional value to fresh vegetables, considering that most Americans are sorely lacking in their daily requirement, it’s a pointless debate.

Canned Tuna - Fresh fish, while super nutritious, is a pricey luxury not all of us can afford all that often. But, canned tuna is cheap. For only a buck or two you can pick up a six-ounce can. Just make sure you pick the cans packed with water rather than oil to avoid unnecessary calories. Try this healthy tuna salad.

Popcorn - This is the tale of two snacks. At the movie theater, popcorn is a heart-stopping buttery mess. But, if you air-pop it at home with only light seasoning, it’s healthy and cheap. If you control portion size, which can be hard when you’re immersed in a good movie, popcorn is high in fiber and low in fat.

February 17th, 2010

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Brandi

My other "recession-friendly" tip for keeping healthful foods on hand is to stock up! When I find a sale, I grab as much chicken and turkey as I can. Then, I freeze in baggies (i.e. 2 chicken breasts or 1/2 pound turkey) so that I can pull out exactly what I need for a meal. We're never stuck with not having anything around for dinner and we save a lot of cash in the long run.

My other tip, intentionally make leftovers. You can either freeze and have a quick dinner later on, or healthy, homemade lunches for a day or two.

posted Feb 17th, 2010 12:28 pm



   
 

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