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Healthy Shopping – On a Budget

Reported by foodem.com, the online wholesale food marketplace-

It is becoming more and more evident that maintaining a healthy diet has a huge effect on our health. We all know people with diabetes – and most of us have friends or family members that have passed from cancer, heart disease, or diabetes related complications. These diseases are all degenerative – they are a result of not taking care of our bodies over extended periods of time. This is a good thing – if we are smart about our diet, we can greatly reduce the chances that we’ll spend the second half of our lives sticking needles in our thumbs every day. Or worse – finding ourselves sitting on an operating table right before a coronary artery bypass.

But Eating Healthy Costs Too Much!

This is usually the first response I hear when I talk to people about eating healthier. Yes, you will pay more for your food, but many of these costs can be greatly reduced by shopping smart and doing your research. I spend $50 bucks a week on local and organic food for two people. Think about it this way – eating healthy is health insurance. By paying a little extra on better food, you are reducing your medical costs in the future.

So How Can I Start Eating Healthy Without Handing Over My Wallet?

Know what is healthy and what isn’t

Do your research. There is a lot to read about healthy eating and you can never learn too much. I will warn you now – you will find many people that swear something to be healthy, and others who swear that same something should be avoided. Check poster’s/writer’s backgrounds – if they make money on a food product they could be biased to say it is good. Make sure to get your information from different sources. You need to get as many viewpoints as possible so that you can make the best decisions about what you need in your diet and what ingredients you will need to avoid. Forums are a great place to get information – the discussions in a forum are much less likely to be biased than an article that is written by one person or a company. If you’re unsure how to start, do a Google search of one of these phrases: “GMO Foods”, “High Fructose Corn Syrup”, or “Enriched Flour”.

Come Prepared

Know what you are looking for before walking into a grocery store. You have to be very careful, just because something is labeled as “healthy”, “low-sugar”, “low fat”, or “natural” does not mean that the product is good for you. Always read nutrition information and become familiar with the words that require certification. Most importantly, be skeptical of what grocery stores tell you. After all, your future is at stake!

Try to shop at as many different stores as you can.

Every store is different. There is no one store that will save you the most money every time you need groceries. Some stores reliably have dairy on sale, while other stores offer better prices on bread. Get a feel for the stores around you that offer the best prices on products you need on a regular basis. You will save money in the long run versus going to the same store every time you shop. Some people follow shopping schedules to make this easier to manage. They might buy bananas, oranges, and milk at Store A on Tuesday, then buy cheese and bread on Thursday.

Sale” Doesn’t necessarily mean you pay less

Chain retail establishments are notorious for raising prices on merchandise before putting it on sale. Say an item sells for $20 bucks. Retail establishments will often claim that the original price of the item is $30 dollars, then say they’re taking 50% off by selling it to you for $15. Usually you are still saving money, but don’t be drawn into thinking you are getting an incredible deal on something you wouldn’t normally purchase. As with everything else, take sales with a grain of salt and ask yourself. – “Do I really need this?”

You can read this article to learn about this happening in Kohl’s.

Keep The Store’s Intentions In Mind

Most businesses exist to make money. While some stores sell healthier food simply because the market exists, a few stores are specifically dedicated to selling healthy food. Their “generic” brands often contain no artificial dyes or hormones, and you can get cheaper prices on organic food than you would at a regular supermarket. Trader Joes, Whole Foods, and Mom’s Organic Market are examples of stores focused on health. Mom’s Organic Market often has recycling and donating programs on the front page of their website.

So go out and give it a shot, and your future self will be singing in the shower!

Please comment and discuss!

How do you get around the “high” cost of healthy food? What are some of your favorite stores to shop at?

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