Save Money, Eat Better!

 

As I am sure that you realize by now, I am a big proponent of healthy eating. I try to

coach all of my clients to improve their diets as well. Lately though, people are telling

me that it is too expensive to eat healthier. I can understand with the current state of

the economy that people want to hold on to a little more money, but this seems a little

extreme to me. Yes, healthy food can cost a little more than the alternative, but I fully

believe that every American could eat a healthy diet and save money. This month I am

going to show you some easy ways to improve your nutrition and save some extra cash.

I recently tried to persuade a client to eat boneless, skinless chicken breasts rather than

chicken thighs. The breast meat is very lean while the thigh is dark meat and has a

much higher amount of fat. She responded by telling me that the breasts were too

expensive. This took me by surprise, because at my grocery store they are not that

different in price. The grocery store in my neighborhood charges $3.99 for a pound of

chicken breasts and $2.49 for the thighs. She has been trading hundreds of extra

calories per meal, to save $1.50. I think investing a couple of dollars toward better

health is more than worthwhile, but she needed to be convinced. As we looked at her

normal grocery list, we were able to find more than enough “junk food” to cut out and

more than make up for the price difference. If she just buys 1 less bag of potato chips,

she will save $3.50.

While cutting junk food from you grocery list is an easy way to save money, there are

other ways as well. Many people are busy in the morning and rush out without eating or

even getting a cup of coffee. If you are one of the people that stand in that really long

Starbucks line every morning, you can probably save a lot of money if you just wake up

15 minutes earlier. I would guess that an average breakfast at Starbucks is about

$5.50. Having a cup of coffee, an egg white omelette and a bowl of oatmeal at home

will set you back about 75 cents. Not only is it a far superior breakfast in terms of

nutrition, it is probably more satisfying and it saves you a ton of money.

The simple way to eat healthier, while saving money, is to do most of your own cooking.

It makes sense that if you skip the fast food place and prepare your own food, you will

have healthier food and save money. If your family eats out several times each week,

all you have to do is cook at home one extra night.



Preparing your own meals also has another distinct advantage, you have control of

what goes into the food. If you are trying to be healthier, you will want to make sure that

you are not eating too much fat or sugar. At restaurants the primary concern is taste,

not nutrition. That means that they use butter, whole milk, heavy cream, sugar and lots

of other ingredients that taste great but pack on the pounds. At home you can make

substitutions that save calories and still taste good. A few examples are using less

butter, using skim milk instead of whole, using apple sauce instead of oil, and many

more.


While it is true that there are cheaper alternatives to healthy foods, it does not have to

cost a fortune to eat a nutritious diet. After all, it will cost significantly more to pay for

medications, illnesses, and surgeries that result from a poor diet. To improve your diet

without breaking the bank, start by looking for simple things that you can eliminate from

your grocery list and try to cook at home a little more. Remember, health is a long term

investment. You need to put a little bit in now to receive a much larger payoff later.

 

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