It’s hard enough to find time to eat, never mind to shop and cook healthy food. These tips will help you trim the fat off your grocery bill, your schedule, and your waistline. (Author)
1) Meet your new personal chef: the crockpot. Crockpot recipes can be simple, quick, and tasty. Experiment with different veggies, lean meats, and low-calorie sauces. Don’t have the cash for a top of the line model? Get a cheaper crockpot. Buy a $5 automatic light timer, and use it to turn the pot on and off while you’re at work.
2) Cook a lot, eat a little, freeze the rest. When you take the time to cook healthy food, why not make enough to have leftovers? Stews, plain pasta, and chili freeze and reheat well in freezer safe bags.
3) Plan ahead to avoid unhealthy choices. When you’re on the go, doing outreach or visiting clients, fast food is a quick and easy option. If you’re staffing a shelter or soup kitchen, the choices are not always nutritious. Plan ahead by bringing leftovers or paring a little bit of the less healthy food with a big salad from home.
4) A head of lettuce goes a long way. If you find yourself bored by basic salads, try adding canned corn, chick peas, or black beans for a more filling and unique meal. Aim for a colorful salad that includes a variety of nutrients and flavors (think yellow, red and orange peppers, tomatoes, strawberries, summer squash or dried cranberries).
5) Shop the sales and buy in bulk. Sale prices make a huge difference in your grocery bill so use the opportunity to stock up. If you buy meat and chicken on sale, separate them into individual servings before freezing.
6) Save your quarters for the grocery store. In Massachusetts, canned soda in a vending machine is often $1. A regular priced 12-pack is $4, which adds up to just 33 cents a can. When on sale, that 12-pack may be $2—only 17 cents a can. If you drink one can of soda a day, buying it at the grocery store can save you $245 to $303 per year!
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Newton Centre, MA