Eating healthy doesn’t mean spending more money or buying expensive healthy foods. You can eat healthy on a budget by planning ahead and choosing healthy foods that give you more nutrition for your money. As a matter of fact, if you stick to your list and budget, you might find it less costly to eat healthier.
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To save money, buy store brand items instead of name brand products. It will also be wise to use free grocery coupons, look for sale items or use supermarket discount/membership cards.
Start planning your healthy meals and healthy snacks in advance. Take a shopping list every time you go to the grocery store and be sure to only buy items on your list. Before you shop, it will be good to check store flyers to look for nutritious foods and ingredients that are on sale. Most often than not, these store flyers have free grocery coupons that will help you save money. Take advantage of these money-saving coupons.
You can also save a lot of money when you buy large packs of food. If you do this, you might want to share half with a friend or family member. It’s true that large packages may cost less per pound, but it will only be considered a bargain if you will use all of it. If you don’t, you end up throwing some, which will actually cost you more, rather than buying small sized foods.
If you really want to stay healthy, be sure to select nutritious food by choosing fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, fat-free or low-fat milk products. Avoid or limit sweets and other junk foods that give you fewer nutrients that end up costing you more money. Check the Healthy Pyramid diagram below to help you with your healthy meal planning:
Healthy Food Pyramid:
Remember, before you buy any product, try to assess and think about how much you will use. Do not buy plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables if you know you won’t be able to consume before the “use-by” date. Remember, fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish, meat, seafood, dairy products and eggs are perishable. It is important to check the expiration date or the “use-by” date marked on the package before you purchase these items.
Dinning- Out on a budget
If you prefer to eat out, find out if the restaurant offers senior discounts, early bird specials, budget meals and other promotions, which you can definitely take advantage of. You can also check your mail, newspaper, magazines or the Internet for restaurant coupons in your area.
When eating out, pick a restaurant that offers a variety of healthy foods. Try to avoid going to all-you-can-eat or buffet places, otherwise, you will be tempted to overeat. Choose low-fat, low-sodium or other healthy foods from the menu. When it comes to sauces or dressing, tell the server that you want it on the side instead of mixing it with the food so that you can control how much to put.
Also, you might want to consider sharing your food with your spouse or companion since most of the time, restaurant servings are big. If you want to order something else, you might want to tell the server to put half in a “To- Go” box so you don’t end up eating everything. By doing these, not only will you be able to save money, but you will also be able to control the amount of food you eat, thus being able to stick to your diet without having to spend a lot.
Government Programs For People With Limited Budget
If in case you need any financial help in buying foods, research about programs that offer assistance to seniors with limited budgets. The government offers food stamps that will help pay for groceries. This program is available to low-income people, who do not have enough to buy food. The good thing about this Food Stamp government program is that it also encourages good nutrition and health.
Another program of the Federal Government, which low-income older adults can take advantage of, is the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. Under this program, the federal government gives seniors, coupons that can be used at farmers’ markets, roadside stands and other places. The coupon can be redeemed for fresh, nutritious, locally grown fruits and vegetables.
You might also want to check different senior center in your community that offer free or low cost-meals. Check the yellow pages for senior centers or places of worship in your area to get their contact information. Sometimes, delivered free meals or low-cost meals may also be available for people who cannot get out. Contact these places to get more information.
You can also contact your Area Agency on Aging by calling the Eldercare Locator toll-free at 1800-677-1116. They can give you more information about different senior programs in your area.
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About the Author: Catharine D. Allado is a Senior Care Expert and the COO of SeniorCareHomes.com – A trusted and comprehensive online directory of Senior Care Homes such as Assisted Living, Nursing Homes and other types of Senior Housing in California, Florida, New York, Arizona and the rest of the United States. SeniorCareHomes.com also provides FREE Assisted Living options to help seniors and families find the best Senior Housing on the planet!
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