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grocery shopping

Why You Should Absolutely Shop Sam’s and Costco for Healthy Eating on a Budget

For six ounces of raspberries, that usually mold in a day or two, I pay my grocer $4.00. This seems ludicrous, and so raspberries are a “treat” that we get on sale occasionally. My grocery budget is admittedly larger than a lot of families, but it still has a strict cap and has to go a long way.

About six months ago, I visited the Big Box Warehouse Store in my city to pick up something with a friend. I was shocked. Those same raspberries, in a package three times the size, were the same price. And the kicker? They were organic. And I found that to be the case over and over.

I almost exclusively buy my fruits and vegetables at this warehouse store now, along with a number of other items that are always on our “healthy” grocery list. I get them at a fraction of the cost, and when anyone is trying to stretch their dollar further at the grocery store, less cost and more food is always a win.

Yes, the total at the end of your receipt might be higher than what you typically pay, but don’t let that initial sticker shock weigh you down. Remember, you’re getting at least two or three times the food for that price. Where you couldn’t buy raspberries every week before, now you can. And it doesn’t stop at the berries.

Last year, Lisa Johnson conducted an experiment to feed her family on a poverty level budget exclusively at Whole Foods for 30 days. She pulled it off, with wine and money to spare. Just imagine what you could accomplish with that budget at a place like Sam’s or Costco, both of which accept SNAP, or food stamps.

We’ll share with you our shopping tips for navigating the store and getting the most out of your time and money. As well, we’ll share with you the healthiest must-have food items there (at least at our location).
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5 Ways to Make Your Community a Healthier Place to Call Home

One of my favorite books is The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest. Author Dan Buettner looks at areas in the world, dubbed Blue Zones, with large populations of people who live past 100.

He’s taken their life lessons to create The Power 9. These nine habits create a “blueprint” to living a longer and healthier life. The interesting thing is none of the people he studied consciously followed these Power 9 or set a goal to live to be 100. They just did. Their lifestyles and communities were set up to make long life possible.

green hands

Would you say the same of yours?

My community is working on it. We are working on taking the Power 9 principles and making Springfield, MO a healthier place to live. There are a lot of exciting ideas floating around, especially after Buettner’s visit to our fair city this month. In his presentations, he gave us examples of work in other towns (and almost the entire state of Iowa) using the Power 9 to create an environment that supports overall healthy and longevity.

Do you want to make your community a healthier place to live? Here are great ways to get started from his talk:
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3 Meals That are Cheap and Healthy

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., lead nutritionist

Feeling like you’re about to go off your own fiscal cliff after all that holiday spending? No need to settle for cheap junk food to help pay down your credit card bills. The truth is, some of the least expensive foods are also the healthiest.

Here’s my core budget-but-healthy shopping list. (Check out my blog for more lower-cost items.)

Canned beans – dried are even less expensive, but require you to plan ahead
Canned tomatoes – no salt added (the store brand is cheapest)
Canned wild salmon and canned light “chunk” tuna
Dried herbs – whatever is on sale
Fresh fruit – whatever is on sale
Fresh vegetables – whatever is on sale
Oatmeal or steel-cut oats – large carton of plain oats (the store brand is usually cheapest)
Peanut butter
Tofu – for cooking pointers, click here.

The following meals use some of the items listed above. All three of these dollar-stretching dishes are also seriously nutritious.  I calculated the cost of each meal using prices at my local Giant supermarket in Washington D.C.; prices may vary in your area.
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Do We Only Eat What Big Food Tells Us To?

One of the most widely circulated pieces of advice for effective (meaning healthy) grocery shopping is to steer around the perimeter of the store where nutritious foods are traditionally on display. But food makers and the stores that sell their products aren’t happy just to sit still and not try to influence your buying habits.

Food ad spending in the U.S. rests at about $7 billion a year. Not to mention, the Newspaper Association of America reports about $1.5 billion is spent by food companies each year in newspapers and mailed circulars.

Billion with a “b” comes with a pretty hefty influence. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a UK study found that people alter their meal plan according to what products their grocery store is promoting.

Back Stateside, a new study evaluated the types of foods promoted by supermarkets chains and their corresponding share of advertising space in 2011 sales circulars. The food group that was given the heaviest promotion on the front page of supermarket sales circulars was meat with about 40 percent of the ads. Fruits and vegetables were each given about 10 percent of the sampled advertising space.
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Eco-Friendly Grocery Shopping Guide: What’s Good for You and Mother Earth

By Team Best Life –

Isn’t it nice to know that the healthiest choices in the supermarket often happen to be the greenest, too? You can reduce your ecological impact and the impact on your waistline at the same time by adopting a few eco-friendly shopping tips.

For instance, opting for locally grown, seasonal foods is a good way to protect the environment. These foods don’t have to be shipped long distances, so you eliminate some of that fossil fuel use. Another option: Go organic. Organic foods don’t use as many harmful chemicals in their production—the fewer pesticides and antibiotics used, the less impact those foods have on the planet. If eating exclusively organic is too expensive, consider buying only those fruits and vegetables that offer the biggest pesticide savings (click here for the list).

Mother Earth isn’t the only one benefiting from these savvy shopping strategies. These foods usually taste better and are better for you than processed or otherwise environmentally damaging foods. Here are a few more easy shopping tips to keep your body and the earth healthy.
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