Deal Diva

Eat For Less

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Eating Cheap

Tightening your belt can help you save money while eating nutritious

What should be your Monthly Food Budget? The USDA keeps track of the cost to eat in the United States – and according to their website the typical family of 4 (2 adults, 2 kids) spends between $509 and $988 a month on groceries. This figure should include eating out and at home.   

Do you know what you are spending now? Look back over the last 3 months and add the amounts you have spent on food. Does the total surprise you  

So Now What? – Failure to Plan is a Plan to Fail Everything starts with a plan. Go through your pantry and refrigerator and don’t forget the freezer! Do you ever throw away food? Ask yourself why – did you not integrate the ingredient into more meals. Did your family not like it?   

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Do you know what your family needs to eat to be healthy?

Protein. – For muscle development and energy

Fat. – The good kind

Vegetables – especially green fibrous veggies. Fruit. – Again lots of vitamins

Water. 8 glasses a day

Whole grain food. Oats, rice, pasta, breads,  

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Best Food for your buck? Here is a list of what are great food values.

Eggs: high-quality protein -  low price. Pair eggs with fresh fruit, whole wheat toast, or create an omelet or frittata with eggs and vegetables.

Milk: With growing and aging bones, a good source of calcium is a must...

Cabbage: Add to salad, make slaw, wrap it in foil, add some oil and seasonings and grill it.

Frozen Veggies especially frozen corn: Add corn to salads, casseroles, tacos, burritos and soups.

Pasta: Use it as a base for a meal. Sauté frozen veggies with olive oil and add cheese. A great cheap picnic treat is a pasta salad with seasonal veggies and salad dressing. Rice is officially pasta so it belongs here too.

Canned Salmon or Tune: Great sources of protein. Add to a salad or pasta for a seafood meal that is budget and heart healthy.

Carrots: Don’t buy the precut – you are paying for convenience. Add to soups, pasta salads, steam and enjoy.

Beans : Beans are a great protein - super affordable. Add to salads; create a meatless meal without losing the protein by pairing with seasonal veggies or rice.

Whole chicken: Not up for meatless meals – try whole chicken. There is a lot that can not be dome with chicken, add to casseroles, salads or eat with veggies.  

Size Matters Serving sizes were created to help consumers monitor the amount we eat but few of us really understand what a serving of something is.

Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta (6 to 11 servings) A serving is: 1 slice of bread (size of an audio cassette tape) or 1/2 cup of cooked cereal, rice, or pasta (size of a tennis ball

Vegetables (3 to 5 servings) A serving is: 1/2 cup cooked or chopped

raw vegetables (size of a scoop of ice cream) or 3/4 cup vegetable juice or 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables (size of a baseball)

Fruits (2 to 4 servings) A serving is: 1 apple, banana, or orange (size of a tennis ball) or 3/4 cup of fruit juice

Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs and Nuts (2 to 3 servings) A serving is:2 to 3 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry or fish (size of a deck of cards or a cassette tape) or 1/2 cup of cooked dry beans or 1 egg or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (size of a ping pong ball)

Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese (2 to 3 servings) A serving is: 1 cup milk or 1 1/2 to 2 ounces of cheese (size of a 9-volt battery or 3 dominoes) or 1 cup yogurt Fats, Oil, and Sweets (use sparingly) A Serving is 1 -teaspoon butter, margarine (size of a stamp or the thickness of a pencil) or 2 tablespoons salad dressing (size of a ping pong ball)  

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Everyday Changes can lead to more Change… (In your pocket) 1. Switch to Water. 2. Use a Multivitamin. 3. Buy in Bulk 4. Take Food To Work. 5. Watch your portions 6. Grow some of your own.

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