Ranae from Ranesheart.com joins us as a guest blogger today. Ranaesheart.com was born as the result of a life-changing weight loss and the commitment to “pay it forward” in helping others achieve the same success. This site is dedicated to helping people transition to a healthier lifestyle by implementing nutritional food choices, moderate exercise, positive self-talk and surrounding themselves with the support of friends, family and Internet social networks, such as MedHelp.org, an online health community that provides medical information and support.
In these economically challenged times, the competition for our food dollars is fierce. In addition, with large corporation failures, Wall Street tumbling and foreclosures at record highs, there is an ever increasing need for us to tighten our belts and be frugal with our food budgets.
Here are some suggestions on how to live on a shoestring and make wise choices while pinching pennies:
- Visit your farmer’s market or street side stand to purchase the freshest fruits and vegetables of the season. The further you get into the growing season, the more plentiful the produce and the greater value you can find.
- Check out the frozen fruits and vegetables; sometimes they are less expensive than their fresh counterparts.
- Watch the weekly ads at your local supermarket and plan your menu around those items. If you don’t get the paper showing you the advertisements, you can usually obtain a copy at the courtesy counter.
- Managers also have many in-store specials. Here are a few to watch for:
– Take a stroll to the meat department and watch for items priced to sell quickly. Just use them quickly or pop them in the freezer and they’ll be ready to use when you are!
– Scope out the produce department as markdowns are made when items reach the ready-to-eat stage.
– Stores that have their own bakery typically have an area designated to sell day-old items. This is an excellent time to buy some whole wheat, 7-grain or rye breads. Don’t forget that you can store them in the refrigerator, which makes them last longer
– Quite a few deli departments roast chickens and have them ready to eat. Near the end of the day, you can find them marked down for a quick sale as they will not hold them over for tomorrow. You can take it home; put it in the refrigerator and use for sandwiches, a meal, or in place of cooked or canned chicken in many recipes.
- Drink water and plenty of it. Not only is it very good for you, but it save lots of money!
- Buy foods in bulk packaging, divide into portions and freeze or store the remainder for future use. Items are usually less expensive when purchased this way.
- Avoid most processed foods as they are usually more expensive and not as healthy as cooking the natural ingredients yourself.
- Don’t go to the grocery store hungry! It’s too easy to buy too much and be tempted by foods better left at the store.
- Consider buying store brands or shopping at discount grocery stores. Many generic items taste just as good and are less expensive than the pricier national brands.
Pack your lunch and avoid the temptation of fast food, increased calories and high prices.
Living on a shoestring is not only possible; it is what must be done if we are to diet successfully in this economy. The old saying, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way!” has never been truer than now.
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