Tag Archives: grocery shopping

5 Tips to Coupon Smart and Save on Healthy Meals

Most everyone can agree that they want to eat healthy. Of course, there are exceptions to this but, in general, it can be assumed that eating healthy and feeling great are goals most people have for themselves. Yet, purchasing healthy foods isn’t always the cheapest. In fact, if you aren’t careful, you can end up spending a lot of money on health foods that either go bad before you get a chance to eat them, or later find that you don’t enjoy them at all and end up being unable to finish them.

Luckily, there are many ways to save a buck in the grocery store. In fact, money saving has almost become its own sport in America with couponing becoming more popular year after year. In fact, US consumers have redeemed 3.5 billion in coupons and saved approximately 4.6 billion in 2011 alone. This is a 12% increase since 2010; however, are these savings helping people eat their best or just save money?

Although couponing and eating healthy may seem like two totally separate topics, they actually work very well together. Of course, you have to know how to best use your coupons and be able to identify what foods are worth the savings.


“What’s for Dinner” Never Answered so Easily than with FoodOnTheTable.com

For years I’ve espoused the many benefits of weekly meal planning. I rave to anyone (and even brag a little) about how it ensures we have home cooked meals most nights, how it keeps our grocery budget in check, eliminates a lot of food waste, and leaves little room for excuses about time. I can’t remember the last time I heard “What’s for dinner;” if I do, I point to the calendar on the refrigerator door.

From pen and paper to iPhone apps, there are numerous ways to adopt a meal planning habit in your house. Food On The Table is one digital tool that helps families plan meals almost effortlessly. The cooking, well, that will require a bit more muscle. I spent some time this week “playing” with the app and site, and asked Josie Maurer at YumYucky.com to take a look with me as well. She’s an equally health-conscious and busy mom who hasn’t quite adopted the meal planning strategy that I have. However, I think FoodOnTheTable.com changed her mind.

At FoodOnTheTable.com, or through their Android or iPhone app, you can make a weekly meal plan that is family-friendly (read: the kids will like it), keeps you organized, and reduces strain on your grocery bill. The app is free, as is a base subscription on the site; however, for more bells and whistles a monthly subscription is offered.

The site and app are both designed well. In fact, Josie and I agreed on her note that “It’s very interactive and highly visual, which encourages easy to understand navigation.” (more…)

Convenience Sushi at Walgreens Flagship Store Not Selling Chicago Residents

Today, Walgreens opened the doors to a “flagship” store in Chicago’s Loop neighborhood that touts healthier offerings, including made-to-order smoothies, self-serve frozen yogurt, sushi and juice bars, and a barista selling exclusive State & Randolph brand coffee.

The new Walgreens store will feature a clinic and an upscale cosmetics department that will provide makeovers and manicures. It will also sell wine and spirits and feature a cigar humidor.

While many Chicago residents are pleased to see the ubiquitous corner drug store expand its offerings to help them live a healthier lifestyle, some are also skeptical that retail giant will maintain a high standard of quality across all channels.

These new additions do not come as a surprise to frequent Walgreens customers who have seen fresh salads and groceries appear in stores across the U.S. The chain also offers blood pressure screenings, blood glucose and cholesterol screenings, free flu shots in low-income areas and has recently sponsored a number of national and local athletic events.

“I love when a store or brand expands its core business to healthy alternatives,” said Chicago resident and business owner Molly Lynch. “However, I think Walgreens is overextending itself by offering sushi. There are multiple reasons why sushi eaters (myself included) should be mindful when eating this delicious food. Health concerns abound and sushi should be served where it belongs: in sushi restaurants, preferably the ones that passed health codes.” (more…)

Eat Healthy While Still Saving Money

Diana Johnson (@DianasaurDishes on Twitter) is a recipe developer, cooking instructor and food blogger who loves teaching people how easy and affordable healthy cooking can be. Visit DianasaurDishes.com for her delicious, easy and healthy recipes on a shoestring budget!

I work on a regular basis with low income families who are trying to change their eating habits. The biggest barrier they seem to have in common is not a lack of desire for healthy eating, but the feeling that healthy food is more expensive and therefore unattainable. Here are a few of my favorite tips for saving money on groceries in the quest for a healthy diet.

Utilize your freezer.
A freezer is one of the greatest tools you have. In fact, if you have room for a standalone freezer they’re easily found on Craigslist and can save you a lot of money in the long run. Fruits and vegetables are more affordable in season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a variety of produce year round. Freezing is one of the least expensive methods of preserving. You can also create cheap recipes like soups and stews in bulk and freeze them in smaller portions for fast and easy dinners.


Private Labels Give National Brands Tough Competition for Nutritional Quality

Woman shopping in grocery storeMany shoppers associate national brands with higher quality and better nutrition than private labels, but in-house brands are often nutritionally equal and in some cases may be better for you, depending on your dietary needs.

A survey published in Consumer Reports found that 17 percent of respondents said that “name-brand foods are more nutritious,” but the same report showed that there’s often little to no difference between store brands and national brands. They did find that Kellogg’s Froot Loops have two more grams of fiber than Stop & Shop’s Fruit Swirls and that Ore-Ida fries have more sodium than Jewel’s. Store-brands often tout the same ingredients list as national products, and indeed, the nutrition labels confirm the similarity.

DietsInReview conducted our own informal study of 30 products at the Stop & Shop in Long Island City, New York. Like Consumer Reports, we found that many products had extremely similar nutritional values, and products such as fat-free milk, cream cheese and canned kale greens had identical nutritional values. We did not see any major trends when comparing sodium, fat or sugar in the national brands vs. the store brand.


13 Ways to Eat Healthier on a Budget

By Michelle Schoffro Cook for Care2.com

A whopping 20 percent of Canadians can’t afford their homes according to a study released this week and I’m sure this statistic is comparable in the U.S. and other developed countries right now. The report went on to state that these people frequently chose unhealthy food options because they believed them to be cheaper and felt they couldn’t afford to eat healthy. So in my effort to help everyone who is watching their money (isn’t that just about everyone these days?) I have compiled some of my favorite ways to eat healthier on a budget.

1. Double or triple your normal recipes and freeze the leftovers. You’ll dramatically cut down the cost of buying prepared and packaged foods. And, you’ll eat healthier when you’re tired or in a pinch for time.

2. Use seasonal produce as much as possible. When food is in season it is cheaper. Plus, you’ll be doing your part for the environment by eating more locally grown food.

3. Watch for sales. Plan your meals around some of the cheaper sale items you find.


What ‘Local’ Really Means to Your Grocery Store

green apples, red apples and orangesThis winter, Wal-Mart announced their plans to bring more local produce to their stores across the United States. The announcement is perhaps one of the most visible indications that the local foods movement has hit the mainstream, as it gains followers for both economic and environmental reasons. Yet it is necessary to approach such an announcement with a dose of skepticism when it comes from a company that seems to be driven so heavily by the bottom line.

Some have criticized Wal-Mart’s new policy to promote local food as little more than a marketing ploy, and have accused the company of re-labeling products they already procure locally. However, in a recent Wall Street Journal article, Wal-Mart says that the consumer demand for local produce is aligned with cost-savings objectives. Wal-Mart, like many other national chains, says that they can save money on transportation by purchasing food near to its point of sale and also cut down on waste due to food spoilage. In a press release, the company announced that they hope to source up to nine percent of all produce locally.

Many grocery stores also spotlight their local produce, although the definition of “local” is depends on the store. Here is a look at how some of the major grocery chains defined local produce.

Cost of Eating Healthy Should not Cost You Your Health

As the economic times seem to get leaner, it’s getting more difficult to afford the groceries we need to keep up with the nutritional guidelines. Whether the cost of food has gone up or the income of the average American has dropped, shopping for optimal health isn’t as simple as it once was. There are options and ways to avoid throwing in the towel in the battle for better health.

The numbers were crunched and the cost of meeting the recommended daily requirements of “My Plate,” the new U.S. nutritional guideline, will cost an extra $7.28 a week. This dollar amount is factoring in that “My Plate” calls for more consumption of potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin D, and calcium rich foods.

Most of these nutrients can be obtained from healthy foods that tend to cost more at the grocery store. Let us help with some easy cost-cutting suggestions that do not cut the quality of your food.


Top 10 Must-Haves on Your Grocery List for Weight Loss

When you lead a busy life, grocery shopping can be a time-consuming chore. If you’re beginning a new diet, you have probably seen a number of resources that offer sample grocery lists and suggested items that deserve a permanent place in your pantry or refrigerator.

While those lists can be helpful, they are sometimes more confusing than useful. Recently, we caught up with Caroline Cederquist, M.D. and founder of BistroMD, a gourmet meal delivery service developed by physicians. Cederquist shared her top ten grocery list items that she recommends patients purchase when they want to eat a healthier diet.

“The shopping list consists of top 10 mainstay items that help you stay on track, lose weight, and add lots of flavor to meals and snacks,” Cederquist said. “A lot of these items can also be used to substitute higher calorie foods for healthier ones.”


Major Grocery Stores Commit to Bringing Healthy and Affordable Produce to “Food Deserts”

Michelle Obama annouces expantion of grocery retailers in impoverished areasFirst lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America announced yesterday that they are working with a number of major grocery retailers to bring affordable, healthy food to areas that desperately need them. “Make no mistake about it, this is a big deal,” said Obama during yesterday’s press conference. The partnering companies have agreed to open or expand over 1,500 stores combined, according to PR Newswire.

Stores participating in the initiative include Walmart, Walgreens, Brown’s Super Stores, Calhoun Enterprises, Klein’s Family Markets and Supervalu. Walmart has been an early supporter of Obama’s initiative to fight childhood obesity. Earlier this year, they announced plans to reduce the sugar and sodium content of their in-house brands and is now committing to building or expanding 300 stores. Additionally, the California Endowment has pledged to give $200 million through the FreshWorks Fund for new, independent retail channels and food distribution programs in California.

According to Partnership for a Healthier America, these efforts will provide nearly 10 million Americans with the ability to buy fresh produce close to their homes. An estimated 23.5 million Americans currently live in low-income “food deserts” where there are no stores likely to sell nutritious foods at a reasonable cost. Michelle Obama has explained that getting businesses to take this kind of active role is key to the success of programs like Let Move!