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Eat healthy and save money in Georgia with these 10 tips

DEC 20, 2016
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The New Year is a great time to consider new habits that will help make your life happier and healthier. A popular goal is to eat better, but many people worry that they don’t have the budget for it. If you’ve felt stuck between saving money and improving your nutrition, take heart — you can accomplish both with some smart planning and shopping.

 

Busting the myth: Nutrition doesn’t have to cost extra

 

“People always tell me how expensive it is to eat healthy, but this isn’t always the case,” says Registered Dietitian Ricia Taylor. “Ounce per ounce, whole foods (fruit, vegetables, and whole grains) are always less expensive than their processed food counterparts. Proper planning ahead of time is key.”

 

Steps you can take to save on good food

 

Here are 10 tips to help you eat healthily without breaking the bank:

 

1. Buy fruit and veggies in season. 

 

Visit your local farmers market for great deals on fresh, seasonal produce. Food that doesn’t travel cross-country is both fresher and less costly. Plus, there’s nothing quite as tasty as a locally grown apple!

 

2. Enjoy beans and whole grains more often. 

 

These staples are low in cost, high in nutrients, and surprisingly versatile. For a delicious example, season and simmer 1 or 2 cans of black beans with diced tomatoes. Serve over brown rice for a hearty, nourishing dinner.

 

3. Make a quick, tasty meal with canned chicken or tuna.

 

Make chicken or tuna salad something special by using hummus instead of mayo. Experiment with garlic, lemon juice, and sweet pickle relish. Colorful food is nutritious food, so don’t be afraid to add red, green, or golden bell peppers.

 

4. Skip the expensive, high-calorie coffee beverages.

 

Instead, opt for antioxidant-rich green tea or lemon water instead. If you really need a caffeine fix, try black coffee with a dash of cinnamon.

 

5. Buy plain, low-fat yogurt by the quart.

 

Plain yogurt is more flexible, so you and your family can add whatever you like. Try adding diced berries or bananas, or mix in diced apples with almond butter for a filling lunch. Plain yogurt also makes a great substitute for sour cream!

 

6. Buy popcorn kernels and pop them yourself.

 

Using plain kernels from a bag or a jar will save you money and calories, plus give you tons of options. Whether you use a pot on the stove or a lunch-sized paper bag in the microwave, you can add whatever you like. Try it with a little cinnamon, or add powdered garlic with parmesan.

 

7. Buy lean meats on sale.

 

You’ll save money and reduce food waste. Leaner cuts mean there’s less fat to throw away. Plus, fish, poultry, and leaner cuts of meat provide plenty of protein to keep you going longer.

 

8. Have a meatless day each week. 

 

This will work wonders for your budget, while encouraging you and your family members to munch those extra veggies.

 

9. Stock up on frozen vegetables.

 

Whenever you hit the frozen aisle, grab a cheap bag or two of your favorite veggies. This will keep your freezer stocked with healthy sides for family meals. Spinach is especially versatile — try steamed, chopped spinach with a little lemon and olive oil, or use it as a bed for garlic-sautéed shrimp or chicken.

 

10. Pack your lunch and eat out less.

 

Not only will this cut your food costs, you’ll find it much more nutritious, too. Depending on the restaurant, having just one meal out can blow your daily fat and sodium budget. By making your own meals, you control what goes in and what stays out.

 

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