Eight Tips To Save At The Grocery Store And Still Eat Healthy!

According to a new national poll of more than 1,000 women, published in the June 2012 issue of ShopSmart magazine (from the publisher of Consumer Reports), 57% of respondents said their main reason for not eating a healthy diet was cost.

How sad because it is possible to eat healthy on a budget!

I realize that your budget may be limiting you. I’m sure you want to stick to your budget so you can keep your household finances in order. A healthy bank balance plays an important role in reducing stress in your life!

However, let’s put this into perspective. You’ve heard it all before, how you can’t put a price tag on your health. Yet you aren’t sure how to get around it. You know that when your health is compromised, it is difficult to have the energy you need for the good things in life. Poor health can negatively affect every area of your life — time with family or friends, your performance at work and more.

The financial costs of illness can be steep! A major illness can destroy a carefully kept budget due to loss of wages, high medical bills, and sometimes even bankruptcy.

With all that said, you can’t afford not to eat healthy! The best part about it is that it is possible to eat healthy while staying within your budget.

Here are eight tips for eating healthy without breaking the bank!

1)  Make a list!  Plan your meals for the week and make a list. This keeps you from wasting food and money. For more meal planning tips, check out Meal Planning Helps You Lose Weight.

When planning, alternate the meatier dishes with meals that offer less meat with lots of veggies and healthy grains. This will help you stretch your dollar and increase your fiber intake.

Include other needed household items on your list, like toiletries and cleaners. Then, go to the store weekly. This will limit impulse buying exposure to one trip per week. After awhile you will get so good at making your list that you will add things to the cart by choice, not by impulse.

2) Compare prices! Not all stores have the same prices for the same or similar items.  I shop Trader Joe’s for a huge part of our list. The remainder I buy at our specialty markets and Nob Hill Foods. Trader Joe’s has a great selection of healthy foods, and the majority of their products are priced lower than their competitors. I only buy at Nob’s or specialty stores what I can’t find at Joe’s, plus the items I know are priced better elsewhere. Get to know the different stores in your area and their price differences. If they are close together, consider making multiple stops on your shopping day.

3)  Buy the store name brand! Many store’s have their own brands now which cuts costs significantly. Often times it’s the name brand food with a different wrapper. Read your labels and make sure you are avoiding trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils) and high fructose corn syrup. Organic foods are becoming more and more available under the “store brand” labels, so always check to see if your store has that option.

4)  Shop in season! Fruits and vegetables are always less expensive when they are in season. When you buy out of season you are paying for the extra shipping. Consider freezing seasonable fruits and veggies while they are less expensive and save them for later.

5)  Know your source! Local farms and ranches may opt out of the Organic label because of cost. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t growing and raising the food in it’s purest form. Visit your local butcher ,produce stand, bakery, and other specialized food shops. Often times you can buy natural foods that are antibiotic, hormone, and pesticide free without the hefty “organic” price tag. Ask the local farmer how the food is grown.

6)  Chop your own stuff!  I chop my own garlic. celery, onions, carrots, and other types of root vegetables. This allows me to buy organic and save the money I would be paying someone else to cut my vegetables for me.

7)  Watch the extras! Limit things like cookies, chips, sodas, and sugary cereals. Consider these foods to be treats. Try substituting fruit, oatmeal, and water.

8)  Get creative! Buy foods that can multi-task! I always have yoghurt on hand and use it for snacks, in place of sour cream in recipes, or to make smoothies. Only buying one product for multiple uses is great. I know I will use it up rather than watch it grow mold. Throwing away food is like throwing cash away.

Have a question or a money saving tip you’d like to share.  Please leave a comment below. I’m looking forward to talking to you!










Meal Planning Helps You Lose Weight

Taking just thirty minutes a week to do one simple thing can help you lose a lot more weight.  You will be surprised at how easy it is! Done right it will eliminate stress, save you time, and even save you money!

Want to lose 12 pounds in two months like Carvel did? He only exercised three or four times a week, plus did this one simple thing.

Imagine if you did the same, but added extra workouts! Interested?

If you have this one habit, it will help you lose weight!

Do you like to eat out? I enjoy going out to eat about once a week.  I encourage you to go out and enjoy yourself as well. However, the average American eats out four to five times a week. Be encouraged if that’s you! What I have to tell you will have a huge impact in your weight loss!

See, every time you go out to eat you will most likely be consuming an unknown amount of calories and portion sizes. That can sabotage your weight loss goals. Want to know how to change that? The tips I’m giving you today are so easy you’ll wonder why no one ever told you!

Look, I totally get why people eat out often. After a long day at work, cooking dinner can sound daunting. It’s tempting to swing by your favorite take out joint or restaurant. Packing a lunch takes planning, so it seems much easier to hit the food court.

Why didn’t anyone tell me I could lose weight AND save money!

Would you believe me if I told you that meal planning can do that? Well, I wouldn’t lie to you. Not only that, but it helps you keep it off, and it eliminates stress!

The truth is meal planning is one of the key ingredients to weight loss without dieting. It’s how my household is able to enjoy eating the foods we like without gaining weight.

Does meal planning mean that you need to go to culinary school and become a chef?  No!

It does mean that you need to spend a little time up front before your week begins. By meal planning you actually save time and money. Eating out less and taking less trips to the store or restaurants cuts calories and grows your bank account.

Ready to get started? Here are 9 tips!

1)  Make a quick plan. Decide what you want to eat. Make a list of what you want to eat for dinner and lunch for the next seven days. Look at your calendar to see if you have any planned dinners, parties, or lunches when you will be eating out.

2) Get inspired! If you like to cook, try using light recipes from the web, cookbooks or magazines to inspire you. Cooking Light is my favorite. EatingWell is another option.  If cooking is new for you, pick the 20 minute recipes to start.

3) Make quick and delicious no cook meals! Rather not cook? Assemble prepared food that is fresh. Try things like a roasted chicken, pre-cooked rice and pre-washed lettuce for a salad. Add some frozen organic vegetables on the side.

4) Go frozen! Try frozen organic pizza with a salad. Be sure to pay attention to serving sizes. A healthy frozen pizza has fewer calories than restaurant pizzas.

5) Use leftovers for lunches, or make sandwiches and bring fruit. If you have freezer space, try cooking enough for four meals and freezing three of them for later in the month. You can literally do all of your cooking in one to three afternoons per week with this method.

6) Write it down! Once you’ve decided what you will eat for the week, make a shopping list and write everything down before you go to the store.

7) Plan party dishes in advance. If you need to bring a food dish to a party, decide ahead of time what you will bring. Choose a “light” version if you are cooking. The guests will love you for it. Add the ingredients to your list to save a trip to the store.

8)  Go ahead! Outsource!  You may discover that cooking every night is a challenge. If so, consider these great ideas:

  • Order meals from a company like MagicKitchen.com. The food is made fresh and delivered to your doorstep. Voila! Still saving time, calories, and money.
  • An in-house personal chef! If you think that is too expensive, do a little calculating. You may find it a lot less expensive than eating out. Imagine being able to order exactly what you want and have someone cook it in your home and freeze your meals for two to four weeks in advance? Of course you can search on Google, but the two best places to search are: USPCA and APPCA.

9)  Stay consistent!  Pick a day and time that works best for you to meal plan and do your shopping, ordering, etc. Put it on your calendar and treat it like any other important appointment.

Have you tried any of these tips? Please tell me about that, or share any other meal planning tips. I really love hearing from you!








Lose Weight Living Your Life!

Family Running on beach

Welcome to Part 2 Of No Time to Work Out!

Sneak in Exercise!

What did you think of the most recent article? I Agree You Have No Time to Work Out!  I offered some really valuable tips on how my clients are overcoming this obstacle! If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend you do! This week’s tips will nicely complement last article’s suggested strategies.

Today I show you ways to maximize every day activities you are already performing; and I show you how to use them toward your weight loss/management goals.

1)   You may be more active than you realize! List the physical lifestyle activities you are already doing. These are either recreational or task oriented. Examples of lifestyle activities are gardening, walking the kids to school, raking leaves, housecleaning, taking the stairs at work, etc.

  • To get a “real life” picture, keep a 1-2 week journal. How much time does each take? Be sure to include that for each entry.

2)   Give yourself a high five for what you are already doing!  Total up the number of minutes from your list.  The standard recommendation for improving fitness levels is 210 minutes per week.  However, depending on type of exercise and the individual, closer to 300 minutes may be needed for weight loss (per The Mayo Clinic). [minor edit only]

For example, if you are walking your kids to school for a total of twenty minutes daily (20 x 5 = 100), subtract 100 minutes from 210.  This leaves us with only 110 minutes of activity to fit in during the busy work week! Divide that by six days and you are looking at a goal of one 20 minute exercise session six days per week.  If 300 minutes is your goal then you are looking at 33 minutes per day.

What do you think? Doesn’t that sound do-able? Did your “overwhelm” just disappear? You can start small and build up. Start with two sessions per week and work your way up.  Even if you have to start with 10 minutes, you will be surprised at how quickly your momentum will build and how much better you will feel.

3)  Wow! An hour of grocery shopping burns 156 calories! Did you know that?  You may as well burn those calories while reaching for healthy foods. Choose items you can assemble quickly to avoid eating out on busy days. That way you’ll avoid the hidden calories in restaurant food. Try buying roasted chickens, pre-washed lettuce, pre-cooked rice and frozen organic vegetables. Not only will you be cutting calories, but you’ll also save tons of cooking or traveling time! (More time for exercise!)

4)  Track your progress and create a caloric deficit!  Wear a pedometer or calorie counter that tracks daily activity for feedback and encouragement.  You can also track calories consumed versus calories burned to see if you are creating a deficit.  Data is empowering!

This will help you determine how much additional activity and or minutes you will need to add to start losing weight and/or maintain your current weight.

One of my clients gave a pedometer to her sedentary mother.  Her mother was motivated by the goal of visiting her grandchildren. She determined the number of steps she wanted to take per day and lost 50 lbs!  It can be done!

I hope these creative ideas help you tie your “every day” lifestyle into your weight loss or weight management program. It takes time and effort when we are fitting a proper weight loss regimen into a busy schedule. That’s why I will not make irresponsible claims like so many fitness ads you see in the media. However, I will tell you that when you begin to apply these principles you can and you will lose weight.

I’d love to hear from you. Did your activity inventory surprise you? How many active minutes did you discover in your day? As always, please feel free to let me know if there is anything I can help you with.

Blessings to you and yours!