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It all adds up somewhere, weather in your account or on your hips. Let's SAVE on both.

“Healthy foods are too expensive.” That's one of the most common complaints I hear. Yes, many healthful foods are more expensive than their highly-processed counterparts, but that doesn't mean that eating healthfully has to break the bank. That's why I've come up with the following tips to help purchase foods while staying within a reasonable grocery budget:

  1. Buy fewer sweetened beverages, cookies, cakes, candies, chips, and junk food. These foods contain little to no nutrients and are sources of added sugar and sodium. Added sugars and sodium are in turn associated with increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some types of cancer. Use the money you’ve saved to buy fruits and vegetables.

2. Eating more fruits and vegetables is a hallmark of healthy eating, and there are several ways to save money on produce:

  • Review the per pound price of fresh produce and choose the cheapest options. For example, in my grocery store last week there were fresh apples for $2.99 per pound, $1.69 per pound, and $1.29 per pound. Guess which ones I purchased?

  • Use the per pound price to decide which types of fresh produce to purchase. For example, if strawberries are $6.99 per pound and oranges are $0.99 per pound – choose the oranges.

  • Convenience costs more. Buy fresh carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and green beans that you can wash and cut-up yourself instead of the ones that are pre-cleaned and packaged.

3. Frozen fruits and vegetables are often less expensive than fresh options and you don’t need to worry about them going bad. Look for fruit that has been frozen without added sugar and vegetables that were frozen without added salt or fatty seasonings.

4. Store brands, on average, are 25% cheaper. Take a minute to scan the shelves as these items might be placed on a higher or lower shelf.

5. Use coupons, but always compare the price – often the store brand is less expensive than the name brand, even with a coupon..

6. Whole chickens are less expensive than boneless, skinless cuts of chicken. Look for sales when you can purchase chicken in bulk, then package what you've purchased into meal-size portions and freeze.

7. Eating seafood 2-3 times per week is one of the Dietary Guidelines goals, yet seafood is often expensive. Use these tips for healthful, less-expensive seafood:

  • Choose frozen seafood that isn’t breaded or seasoned instead of fish at the seafood counter. Much of the ‘fresh’ seafood was frozen after it was caught and then thawed.

  • Canned tuna or salmon are quick, simple and less expensive ways to include seafood in your meals. Canned light tuna is lower in mercury and also less expensive than albacore or white tuna. *FasTrac clients salmon isn't recommended.

These tips have helped me SO MUCH! NOW its your turn to give them a try!

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