There are many suggestions from sources that claim that the way we shop makes all the difference in how we choose buy (food)stuffs at the grocery store. One suggestion is that one should never go to the grocery store on an empty stomach, nor go shopping without a well, thought-out grocery list. By not adhering to these suggestions, one could easily be lead down the path to “impulse spending.” Taking this into consideration, it would probably be best to leave the kiddies at home, too. The desire to keep them quiet and happy can also lead to making unplanned purchases.Another suggestion is to shop the “outer perimeter” of the store, first. This allows the shopper to make the most important nutritional options first. Along the perimeter, most stores have their fresh produce, dairy and fresh, lean meats.
In earlier times, many of us knew a mother or a grandmother who prepared large meals for the family. Depending on how many were served, there may have been tons of leftovers—or not. The reason this phenomenon exists is because many of our fore parents grew up during the Depression Era and learned to cook in bulk to make the weeks groceries last as long as possible—at least until the next windfall. Therefore, when looking to make your grocery dollar stretch, take a page from granny’s notes and think of cooking in bulk.Plan and prepare weekly meals in advance and cook in large quantities. Create stews and soups to freeze for later consumption. When it’s time to eat, just heat up and add a green salad. Also, prepare large amounts of proteins for quick, energy snacks like hard-boiled eggs; cold, baked chicken or slices of hard cheddar or Swiss cheese.Instead of spending money on a $1 bag of chips or soda, save these dollars purchase healthier foods like carrot sticks or bananas. In the long run, the investment is far more economical and you begin to eat better and feel healthier.
When making the switch to greener eating, think of all the money you’ve spent on unhealthy foods and take notice of the “financial surplus” such “green” prudence has provided you. To those who like to purchase and consume “organically-grown” foods, you already know that “high quality” can be a bit expensive. However, think of the trade-off you get when you begin to feel better about your health and your contribution towards a “greener” planet. To those who can afford to make the “organic sacrifice” much is to be gained in the knowing…and that’s priceless. As for the rest of us, finding out how to eat greener for cheap is the way to go.
So many people rarely take into consideration what they drink is just as important as what they eat and can be equally expensive. Alcoholic beverages and sodas can be pretty hard on the wallet and are not the best drinks to consume, regularly. Substituting soda with tonic or seltzer water is a viable alternative. Ultimately, the very best alternative would be clear, room temperature water. But, some people need their water to do something, so make a cup of tea or coffee. You can have it sweetened or unsweetened—hot or iced.
Just a note about sweeteners, many people often gravitate to artificial sweeteners to curb sugar intake. If you are looking to save a couple of dollars, there are store-brand -sweetener “knock-offs” that most market chains carry. They are cheaper than the actual name-brand product and just as good. If your health is of major issue, natural sweeteners like Agave nectar are a good alternative. Agave is a plant. It is not sugar; however, it comes in syrup form and tastes great. It’s good on anything from toast to your morning coffee. Agave is an organic product, so it may cost a bit more. Again, the investment is worth it when you’re considering your health over pennies.
It is no secret that poor nutrition leads to poor health, poor quality of life and lowered life expectancy. Most low-income and impoverished families suffer with what many researchers call “food (deserts),” or “food (insecurity)” where there is little to no access to nutritious and affordable foods. Policy-makers are at the cusp of developing innovative sustainable food sources for needy communities (both urban and rural) as alternative solutions to the food desert phenomenon. As we learn to talk-the-talk and walk-the-walk of saving our planet, let’s take into consideration what each of us can do individually to make good, healthy eating a profitable endeavor on more than a personal level. Let’s put the power of “green” back in green!