When discussing the demographics of the fast food customer, the discussion is usually centered around the problem being in poor neighborhoods, and that restaurants are largely patronized by middle or working class people. However, a recent study conducted by American Express Business Insights found that “ultra-affluent consumers” have increased their spending at fast food establishments by 24 percent in the second quarter of 2010, as compared to the same quarter in 2009.
The definition that American Express uses as “ultra affluent” is definitely unmistakably rich: people who charge over $7,000 a month on their cards. (more…)
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.
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. (more…)
It’s no secret that the economy stinks these days. According to a survey by a Chicago-based research firm, people are passing on the healthier options offered at fast food and casual dining restaurants in favor of a super-sized serving of comfort. Eighty-two percent of respondents say their better-for-you items are selling ‘lousy.” Customers are citing economic factors for their preferences.
More than half of consumers say they are more concerned about their eating habits than they were a year ago… yet:
70% say that healthful foods are harder to afford
53% say they buy less-healthful items because those items are cheaper (not necessarily, as I wrote about the price of salmon vs. hotdogs)
44% say their budget prevents them from eating healthful foods
34% of respondents say that they are choosing cheaper fast food over more-healthful options
9% are skipping breakfast and 3% are skipping lunch
To that, I say, this is totally unnecessary. People may think they are saving, but trust me, they are paying for it in their health. They’ll pay even more later whether it’s in some combination of weight gain, lower energy levels or poorer quality of life.
Instead, here are some tips to maximize your comfort with minimal strain on your pocketbook. (more…)
Grocery shopping can be such a pain. We have more choices than ever before. My friend told me she was “overwhelmed” by the eggs at a recent shopping trip – eggs! Evidently, there are too many varieties (whole grain, omega-3, cage-free, etc.).
We’d also like to keep food costs down, which is not always easy, but increasingly important in this economy. But I worry that the economic recession is going to drive well-meaning people into a nutrition recession, too. Don’t let this happen to you. It is possible to save money on your grocery bill without sacrificing nutrition and I’m going to tell you how in this video.
Having something to look forward to is often an important component of stress management and treating depression. It can be very helpful to find a way to reward yourself every day. Can you make your shower an experience rather than a task to complete? Can you find some alone time at the end of the day to just breath (even if you have to lock yourself in the bathroom)? I’ve found a fun way to integrate this technique for a more joyful life and be more disciplined with my diet.
When I go out to eat, which happens a few times each week for business things, I stretch my dollar and shrink my waistline by making sure to save some to take home, leaving me leftovers to look forward to. If I stick strictly to this principle, it will also prevent me ordering french fries, which rarely warm up well. (more…)
The recession is rough on everyone’s finances. But it also has an impact on our health. According to two national surveys and health experts people are reacting to tough times by skipping check-ups with the doctor, the gym, and other preventative care.
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and the American Heart Association conducted the surveys. Besides skipping doctor visits and the gym, people are buying cheaper packaged meals, which often translates into high-sodium, high-fat food. (more…)
In these wallet-pinching times, most of us are examining our budgets and eliminating extra dollars spent on non-necessities like eating out, concert tickets or a new handbag. For those who practice yoga, rolling up their mats is not something they are going to part with despite the dismal economy.
For many who are devoted to this ancient practice, yoga is as much a needed part of their lifestyle as their automobile, cell phone or laptop. From its mind-calming effects to the physical benefits they derive from each practice, yoga classes have shown in some cities across the country to stay fairly immune to the turbulent waters of the rocky economy.
According to Yoga Journal Magazine, subscriptions to their publication have stayed steady and attendance to their four annual conferences are full. With conference registrations costing more than $500 per person, there is something to say about where folks are willing to place their money these days. (more…)
Joining us in March as the Featured Guest Blogger of the Month is California Raisins. They’ve got a team of nutrition professionals who want to ensure all of us are living as healthy as possible, providing information about healthy, natural snacking and eating.
From gas to groceries, in these challenging economic times, Americans have become increasingly price conscious of their budget basics. While we may not be able to do much about the price of food, a few simple adjustments to our grocery list can help extend your food dollars.
The first step is to get creative and be positive. This is not the time for “ho-hum” thinking. Resourcefulness is one of Americans’ greatest qualities—put it to good use when you’re feeding your family. Think of foods that will give you the most nourishing bang for the buck. Often, this means going back to the basics, including: (more…)
In these hard economic times, most of us are forced to trim down our spending. From not eating out as frequently and to buying clothing only when its on sale, those of us impacted continue to devise creative ways to keep money in our pockets.
One aspect of lifestyle spending that some are not willing to go without are wellness activities like exercise and yoga. For devoted health enthusiasts, giving up their regular fitness routine is one of the last, if not the last, item they can eliminate from their budget. Exercise in general has been shown to promote physical and mental health and mind-body activities like yoga have been linked to reduced stress levels, which for most of us right now, are flying sky-high.
But you don’t have to renege on your yoga studio membership during these hard times. Here are a couple of things to consider before throwing in the yoga mat so that you can still continue to appreciate the numerous benefits of yoga and not depreciate your bank account. (more…)
With the economic downturn weighing down upon our collective consciousness, many of us are tightening our budgets at least until the storm blows over. Believe it or not, there is a silver lining. That is, you can find new and cheaper ways to prepare meals, and still do it on a tighter budget.
There are many ways you can stay frugal and healthy at the same time. One effective way is to make soups. I think soups (homemade, anyway) are the forgotten weight management tool. There’s a reason soup kitchens are used to feed the poor, and just generally associated with rough times – soups are economical to make, and in large quantities! (more…)
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