Thursday, April 26, 2012

Eating Healthy doesn't have to cost a fortune

You can do little things to add up to big savings. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Grow your own food:
Start small. Plant a tomato plant or cucumber in a pot on your porch. Grow some herbs like basil, chives or cilantro in the window. You can plant in raised beds too. I bought one piece of lumber, 16' x 2', and had the store cut it for me. Took it home nailed the pieces together. I filled it with a mix of soil from my garden and one bag of starting soil. Now I have a raised bed and it only cost me around $30. We now have carrots, basil and lettuce planted in it now. Once the lettuce is gone, we are going to plant cucumbers and let them grow on a trellis. I started this raised bed this year for my two nieces to teach them how to grow their own food. I believe teaching a child how to grow their own food teaches them knowledge of where their food comes from and hopefully will result in healthier eating habits. My best advice in gardening, is start small.

Sign up for Savings:

Go to your favorite companies websites and register for their emails. Most of them will send you coupons or specials savings on your birthday. They are pretty good with not sending you massive amounts of junk mail. They want your business after all. Sign up with your favorite restaurants to. Lots of them have birthday programs where they send you something free on your birthday.
Smoothie King is offering a great coupons when you sign up for their emails.
Trader Joe's gives you recipes, new items and grand opening news with their Fearless Flyer.
Whole Foods has great coupons. Check with your local store and see if they allow stacking coupons.
Earthbound Farms is one of my favorite companies to sign up with.

Don't forget to shop your local farmers markets. Buy Local :)

Eat at Home:
Eating out can be fun, relaxing and easy. Sometimes you've had a bad day at work, nothing is going right and you don't feel like cooking, so you run by that fast food restaurant  and pick up dinner.
Try planning out your meals. When those stressful days hit, don't panic you have a plan. Dinner is planned, served and money saved.
Plan your meals around sales. If chicken is on sale this week, pick some up and make meals that include chicken. Don't buy that big steak just because, wait until it's on sale and then stock up.
You can also do a freezer cooking day. Take one day that you have a few hours to spend in the kitchen and cook lots of meals to put in your freezer. You will be amazed at how much time it will save you later.

Make from Scratch:
Sometimes making your own food from scratch doesn't necessarily save you money but if you look at the ingredients, it's worth it for your health. Take a normal store bought loaf of bread verses a homemade loaf of bread. When that store bought bread from two weeks ago still is not green, that scares me. Food is suppose to go bad. If I can't read the ingredients, I don't want it in my body.

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