How to: Save Better & Eat Better
Chipotle, Panera, and Jason’s Deli. What do these three restaurants have in common? They were all rated as America’s Top 10 Healthiest Fast Food Restaurants by health.com. Americans actually prefer these restaurants to Burger King and McDonalds.
In the current “Food Apocalypse” Americans are choosing healthier options when it comes to dining out and eating at home. Organic produce is also experiencing a rise in popularity as consumers try to avoid food with pesticides. Susan Schwallie of NPD Group, a research company, said the rise of “better-for-you snacks” like yogurts and nuts are predicted to take over the sale of candy and cookies by 2018.
However, when people think about eating healthy they may have dollar signs flash in front of their eyes. There are steps for consumers to take to buy healthy foods on a budget.
When you walk into a grocery store and head to the produce section and look at the strawberries your jaw might hit the floor. When strawberries are not in season, they could cost you nearly $5.00. Look for the sales! You can get 3 packages of strawberries for $5.00 on a good day. Buying what’s on sale is a great way for you to save money and try fruit and vegetables you’ve never heard of. Publix often has BOGO deals with their fruit.
When it’s not on sale, produce and meat can hurt your wallet. If you’re having a hard time finding fresh food on sale, head to the aisles. Choose fruit canned in 100% fruit juice (beware of the sugar content) and vegetables with “low sodium” or “no salt added.” As for protein, canned meat is very affordable and we’re not talking about SPAM. Canned salmon and canned chicken are great ways to add protein to your salads. But it doesn’t stop there. Use canned meats to make Asian-Style Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Quinoa Salmon and Avocado Salad, even Coconut Curry Salmon.
If you’re trying to cut down on the amount of meat you’re consuming black beans and lentils are another great option. You can find a bunch of recipes where the main ingredients come from cans, like this one.
Keep Breakfast Simple
Most people don’t want to put too much effort into their breakfast. Some are satisfied with cereal. A great breakfast should have protein and carbs to give you energy to start your day. Egg whites are a quick, simple, delicious breakfast. This food is high in protein and low in fat. Liquid egg whites in the carton are the easiest for making your daily breakfast. You can spice it up by adding veggies like peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms (cut these up and store them in the fridge so they’re easy to grab). Along with egg whites, oatmeal is another great low-cost breakfast item. This power food boosts energy, supports weight loss and boosts heart health. Avoid the instant oatmeal with the fruit added in already. These are especially high in sugar.
Here are a few more quick tips you can follow:
- Tap water is relatively free. If water is too bland for you, add frozen fruit for a refreshing summer drink.
- Don’t buy things just because they are on sale. Only buy them if you have been wanting to try that food or it’s something you always eat.
- Look up and down. Stores typically put the higher cost item at eye level. Look above and below that item for cheaper options.
- Eat before you shop and stick to your list.