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Living Well In Yalobusha County

Five Ways To A Lower Grocery Bill And Better Health

By Pamela Redwine

Everyone is watching their dollars and food dollars are no exception.  Follow these five tips to lower your grocery bill and make healthier food choices.

1. Switch to oatmeal:

Buy bulk oatmeal instead of boxed cereal – pay .13 per ounce instead of .40 per ounce – save almost $400 per year for four people!  Eat less sugar and sodium and more soluble fiber, too!  Did you know that a tub of oatmeal contains 30 servings while a box of cereal usually contains 10 and they both cost about the same?  Oatmeal takes just minutes to prepare in the microwave so you don’t lose that much convenience!

2. Replace chips, crackers and cookies with fresh fruit:

Most fruits cost about four cents per ounce while most chips and cookies are about 30 cents per ounce. Fruit is a much better choice because it contains far fewer calories per ounce and has fiber, too!  One banana costs about 29 cents and it can be a great grab and go breakfast or snack that can keep you out of the fast food lane and vending machine. A delicious peach can quench a sweet tooth and help you avoid the waist unfriendly nightly splurge on ice cream or cookies. Peaches are just 12 cents per ounce, too!

3. Get rid of bottled beverages:

Drink filtered water from the tap. A 12 pack of soda can cost up to $4.99 for a brand name and it disappears quick.  Water seems not likeable when you have too much soda around. Save about $400 – $500 per year for four people and eliminate consumption of 27 pounds of sugar a year by a simple switch to filtered tap water.  You don’t have to spend a lot to get a filter for the spigot or for a filtered pitcher for the refrigerator.

4. Serve more rice, pasta and potatoes:

Rice, pasta and potatoes bought in bulk are still inexpensive and easy to prepare.  You can find all sorts of low-fat recipes online. These three items, bought in bulk, in place of frozen or boxed meals, or expensive meats, are much cheaper – around six cents per ounce as compared to .25 – .40 cents per ounce. PLUS they are much lower in fat and sodium than frozen meals!

5. Substitute lentils and beans in place of meat more often and use less meat!:

Dried beans and lentils are about five cents per ounce and contain a fair amount of fiber and B vitamins plus no saturated fat.  Find fun recipes for them on the back of their package or online and make a switch at least a few times per week.  Meat is much higher in saturated fat with no fiber and is 5 times the cost; start using less meat gradually and no one will notice.  Cutting meat out twice a week can save $400 per year for a family of four.

(Article Source: Communicating Food And Health, July 2008)

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