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Monday, September 7, 2009

Eating Healthy Doesn't Mean Expensive

Eating healthy isn't tough, even if you're on a budget. Follow these tips and save yourself some money:

1. Shop locally: This summer I discovered the City Market and oh, my goodness, what a find! It's got all the same vegetables and fruits as the supermarket -- only much cheaper.

For example, this past Sunday, I bought:

2 green peppers
1/2 pound of mushrooms
1 large red onion
1 jalapeno
2 tomatoes
1 package of strawberries
1 pound green beans
1 avocado
1 lime

Grand total: $7.50

That would have cost more than $10 at the grocery store. (Just the green peppers, mushrooms, strawberries and avocado would have cost about $9.)

2. Don't buy organic: Sure, organic does have its benefits, namely it is free toxic chemical sprays. But comparing organic to non-organic foods, the nutritional content tends to be similar. A key difference is that organic products tend to cost much more. So if you're on a budget, don't worry too much about eating all organic. Plus, I keep reading stuff like this.

3. Buy store brand products: Most store brand products taste the exact same as their brand name counterparts, i.e. oatmeal, beans, rice, pastas, etc. You won't be missing anything by buying generic.

4. Buy in bulk: Purchase the largest quantity of a product you can store. Everything from oatmeal to meat. You get more for your money. If you buy meat in large quantities, just divide it into individual servings and freeze it for later use.

5. Plan your meals: Before doing your shopping, make a list. Plan out your meals for the week and stick to your list. Often times going in without a plan, it is easy to pick up items you don't necessarily need.

Changing a few shopping habits can save lots of money. Initially, when comparing products and seeing that the difference isn't that much, maybe .30 cents, don't forget that it adds up.

And it adds up fast.

Surprise! Healthy eating doesn't have to be expensive. All it takes is a little know-how and planning.

Tiffiany Moore is a certified personal trainer and NANBF figure competitor. Read more at www.trainertiff.com. Questions or comments? E-mail trainertiff@hotmail.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/trainertiff.

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