Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Weightloss Wednesday--Dieting on a budget

I am feeling better, still bloated and not all that confident about my weigh-in on Saturday but I feel good. I feel like whatever the scale says, I am doing really really well with my eating. I am not going off track. I am working really hard and eventually it has to show.

One thing I find about losing weight is that it can be really expensive. I don't understand why so many healthy foods are so much more expensive than the junky type foods. I shouldn't have to pay more because I want to be healthy and I want my daughter to be healthy too. this time, I have sworn to do this no matter how much I have to rebudget and figure things out to do it.

On that note, I read this article, "Eating Healthy on a Budget" I was particularly interested because my budget is pretty tight with Prince Charming going back to school and me not working right now. I can use all the help I can get.

Here are some of the things I found out:

  1. Stock your fridge and cupboards with items that are quick and easy to cook (yet kind to your wallet):
    Beans and lentils--, whether canned or dried, make nutritious, hearty soups, and can be a main course with the addition of fresh vegetables or rice.
    Brown Rice is a great addition to leftover meat and veggies. Although brown rice is slightly more expensive than white, the nutritional payoff is well worth it. Another inexpensive, easy-to-fix grain, millet, is best when bought fresh. Simply rinse and toast before using it in recipes.
    Soups can’t be beat for nutrition and convenience, especially since you can use canned or packet soups as your base, then add your own veggies and leftover meat. Again, try to experiment, adding your own herbs and spices.
  2. When cooking a big meal, make extra to freeze, or use later in the week for lunches or quick suppers. Double recipes, then freeze half. I do this all the time. It also means that sometimes I can make something special for Prince Charming that is not on my diet and I can just pull out something I made before hand out of the freezer for myself.
  3. Save your vegetable trimmings to make your own vegetable stock. Not only do you save money, but vegetable stock also makes a nutritious base for casseroles, soups, and Crockpot cooking. I haven't thought of this lately but I used to do this all the time.
  4. Buying in bulk is almost always cheaper; you can freeze perishable items (such as meat, milk, and even bread) in smaller portions to use as needed. It’s always a good idea to buy non-perishable items in bulk (canned foods, dried beans and grains, etc.). I was amazed at the difference in price. I went to the store and bought couscous and it cost about $3 for a small box. I went to the bulk food store and bought a great big bag for $2.
  5. Use less expensive cuts of meat for casseroles that you slow cook; add extra vegetables and beans to make the meal go further. I do this all the time.
  6. Capitalize on one-pot dishes, which generally save prep time, money, and dishwashing, and often make great leftovers. I LOVE one pot dishes!
  7. Look high and low (literally) to find the less expensive generic or store brands on grocery shelves, often very similar to higher-priced brand names though packaged under different labels. Stores deliberately place the highest-priced brand-name items at eye level, but if you compare the cost per unit, you’ll be able to figure out the most cost-effective purchase. You can even try your own taste tests— blind, of course— to see where you can save money without sacrificing flavor. This is a great tip. I always try to remember to check out all the brands and buy the best bargain.
  8. Take advantage of specials on staples—broth, soups, pasta, rice, canned veggies, even bread and meat. Many of these items have a long shelf life or can be frozen for short periods of time. I do this all the time. I am considering buying a memebership to Cosco for just this reason.
  9. Limit your dining out, especially when it comes to fast food, since you’ll find yourself spending unnecessarily on items that are high in fat, salt, and calories, which short-change you in the nutrition department. I hardly ever eat out.

2 comments:

April said...

Thanks for the awesome tips!!! Our money is tight and this are great!! Yes, we try and shop at Sam's when we can, it is like Costco. Really worth the memebership!

hugs,
April

Shelley said...

Nice money saving tips...I am the cheapest person alive so I am always looking for tips to living a healthy life on a budget.

For me...I often look over my bank or credit card statements and calculate how much money I spent on food and non-healthy activities (eating out, etc) before...and compare it to how much I am spending now. yes...my grocery bill is slightly higher, but in the end...I am still end up saving money.


**NOTE TO MY FRIENDS**
Come on in for a nice cup of coffee and a chat about my weight loss journey as well as all the healthy recipes I have found, including WW points and/or nutritional information if available. I am eating a vegetarian diet and concentrating on getting healthy and hopefully weight loss will follow. Thank to all my readers for their ongoing support.