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The Princeton Longevity Center Medical News

Take a Bite out of your budget with these 5 budget-Slimming Diet Moves

5 Tips to trim your food budget while improving your Health!

It’s true that the grocery store is one place we can always manage to blow the budget. Expensive meats, prepared foods… the temptations are endless!  And while it seems that the “cheap food” tends to be the unhealthy food – with just a little bit of planning and some PLC tips to trim your food budget, your shopping trip can be both healthy and a bargain!

  • Go Meatless by using beans more often:  Think of your favorite recipes and replace the animal food in them (chicken, beef, pork, etc.) with beans.  There are so many different kinds of beans so finding a bean that complements your favorite dishes just requires some experimentation!  Dried beans are the most economical, but canned beans are cost-effective as well!  While a pound of chicken breast may sell for $3.99+ per pound, you can buy 3 cans of beans for about $2!  If using canned beans, rinse them before adding them to a dish. 
  • Use canned fish:  Canned tuna and canned salmon are excellent ways to add protein and healthy omega-3 fat to a meal!  If you have bought fresh fish recently, you know how expensive it can be! So, opt for the canned version for the same benefits as fresh fish at a fraction of the cost.  A 6 ounce can of tuna generally costs less than a dollar and it can go a long way when you add it to casseroles, pasta, vegetables, etc.
  • Try new vegetables:  If you take a closer look at the produce section, you’ll find that there are plenty of vegetables that you may have never eaten!  Kale, collard greens, and cabbage are just a few that you may find.  These vegetables are rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, fiber and other cancer-fighting nutrients.  They generally cost less than $1 a pound and they can add great flavor to any meal!  You can use them in soups or you can quickly sauté them with some garlic and olive oil to make a quick side dish.
  • Stick with water:  Buying soft drinks, sports drinks and fruit drinks can add a lot of money to your grocery bill as well as extra calories and sugar to your diet.  Make the decision to stick with tap water or filtered water to save money, calories and to help in reducing waste.
  • Stop buying packaged foods:  These foods can drive up your food bill very quickly and, usually, these foods tend to replace healthier options.  You will find that eating healthy is more cost-effective when you stop purchasing the less healthy items at the supermarket.  A typical box of cookies costs $2.99, which is the same price you’d pay for 2 pounds of apples.  Your health and waist-line will improve if you buy cookies, chips and other non-nutritive foods on a less frequent basis.  Avoid going down the cookie or snack food aisle to keep temptation at bay.

Remember that you will tend to spend more money on food when you arrive at the supermarket without a list or a plan.  So, before you head to the supermarket, write out menus for each day of the week based on what foods are on sale at your supermarket.  Then take a look in your pantry to see what you already have and make a list of what you need to purchase to follow through with your menus.  Estimate how much fresh produce your family usually eats throughout the course of the week so that you don’t buy food that will end up spoiling before you get to eat it.  When you get to the store, buy only what is on your list. 

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