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How to Eat Right On A Budget—Contest Winners, part 2 of 3

Enjoy the ideas of Joanna Keilson  of Cary, North Carolina, on how she feeds her family with limited funds!

Tips from Joanna Keilson of Cary, North Carolina:

1. Identify the foods that are healthy, that work for your body, that you actually LIKE. Keep a list, and capitalize on that list. Take 60 seconds on Google to learn to use them in a variety of ways, or learn about the nutritional profile.

2. Buy those foods you like, in bulk. Ask grocery stores for a discount if you buy a case.

3. Use cash when you grocery shop. You’ll spend less if you bring only the amount you need to spend.

4. Never go to the grocery store hungry!

5. Put 2-3 stores on your shopping circuit, not just one. I recommend three stops, if you have these where you live: a health food store like Whole Foods Market, a regular store like Kroger with a decent produce section, and a club store like Costco. This allows you to comparison-shop and know where the best deals are. Sometimes a second trip to a store you’ve been at earlier, on the way home, is warranted.

6. Join a co-op near you who delivers to you. Google to find out what’s close.

7. Shop your local farmer’s market. The middle man is cut out, and you’re eating local produce, reducing your carbon footprint.

8. Lots of food in your fridge, but none of it seems to go together? Use recipematcher.com or another online tool to find creative ways to use whatever’s in your fridge!

9. When something’s on sale and can be frozen, stock up and put it in the freezer, ready to use in small, washed portions.

10. Don’t buy ready-made things when it’s easy to do it at home. Know the cost differentials, and plan your time and buying accordingly. For instance, it’s probably not worth it to buy fruit and vegetables already cut up. Cut them yourself. However, it’s probably worth it to buy whole-grain breads rather than make your own, unless bread-baking is a hobby of yours.

11. Read the ingredient list. Pay less attention to fat or calorie content than what is actually in your food. If you spend all your time trying to find low-calorie, low-fat everything, you will likely pay more than you need to, causing you to buy more to fill you. For example, coconuts, avocados, and nuts and seeds are high in calories and fat but are very good for you and are a great way to fill you without breaking your wallet, because you need to eat less of them than other things to satiate you.

12. Save by eating less, and stop before you are full. You might be surprised that you need to eat less than you think, even if you are slim). There are people in other countries who live on 1,300 calories a day and are healthy and lean.

Note from Robyn: Interesting that Joanna would talk about this, her #12. In the U.S., people eat 1,200 to 1,300 calories only when they’re “on a diet.” Most of the world does live on 1,200 to 1,300 calories a day. I will blog on this controversial topic soon, and the #1 thing on GreenSmoothieGirl.com that gets me hate mail.