Sunday, March 29, 2009

Credit Crunch Tactics

The price of food is changing and it is time to reconsider our consumption habits During this time of economic uncertainty, money may be tight and sacrifices might have to be made. But don’t be tempted to put your healthy diet on hold. Try a few new tricks to get great fresh food for you and your family at affordable prices. Changing times Some health reports, issued since the economic downturn, have suggested worrying statistics that people may be spending less on fresh fruit and vegetables because of rising food costs. While times are certainly a-thrifty, it is still important to make sure you eat at least five portions of fruits and vegetables everyday to help get the nutrients needed to help stay healthy and trim. You may walk past the chips and snacks aisle in your supermarket and notice huge discounts and offers, but remember that such potentially high-fat and sugar-laden foods, which might be relatively cheap, can be a false economy when it comes to your health. Rest assured, there are ways of seeking out high quality, fresh foods that give your body real sustenance and won’t break the bank – or literally cost the earth in unnecessary air miles. Shopping strategy Before you even go near the grocery store, try writing out a budgeted shopping plan based on meals for the week and stick to it. If you shop online, use comparison tools to get the best value. Buy local, buy seasonal Don’t just stick to the supermarkets; experiment with produce from local stores and farmers markets to find out where the best offers are and to take advantage of locally grown produce. Buy seasonal produce for nutritious meals. Investigate organic food boxes in your area — often the lack of transport needed will offset the cost of buying more expensive organic produce, and you’re helping out farmers in your community. Get gardening Grow your own. It’s a good time to consider preparing a plot for salads, vegetables and fruits and greens. You can pick exactly what you want to sow and with some perseverance, you’ll soon be saving, as well as getting some exercise. Most vegetables and fruits can be frozen. You can prepare portions and freeze for quick nutritious dinners for hungry mouths. Club together Buying certain foods in bulk can work out cheaper in the long run. If you don’t have enough space, why not try creating a food co-operative with friends or neighbors to help keep costs low for everyone? Waste not, want not Remember this old adage? Well, it’s back in fashion. Think creatively if you have fruits and vegetables which are nearing their natural end — soups, smoothies and pickles are just some of the recipes that favor well-ripened produce. Compost old scraps to feed your garden plot. And finally... Keep a check on your portion sizes. Are you buying and eating more than you need? As well as your waistline improving, your pockets may benefit from a healthy evaluation of your diet. Article courtesy of Weight Watchers

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