All Entries For shopping

Find Your Sole Mate: The Perfect Shoe for Every Workout

Wearing the right shoes while exercising can mean the difference between a comfortable workout, and one filled with pain, or worse-injury. With thousands of workout shoes on the market, how do you know which one is right for you? By answering a few simple questions, you can narrow down your options and use this guide to find the pair that is your "solemate."
Posted 2/14/2014  6:00:00 AM By: Jen Mueller : 37 comments   219,583 views
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What is Your True Size?

I don’t know about you, but for the past several years clothes shopping has become more of a headache than the nice enjoyable activity it once was. Sadly, for me the fun is long gone and is replaced with countless hours of frustrations. There was once a time I could go into any store, pick something right off the rack, make a purchase and go home. But not today. That would be too easy.

Like a hunter searching for his prey, I head out early in the morning just as the stores are opening while I still have the energy for what I presume to be a day long mission. After trying pants after pants, hour after hour, store after store, I find myself literally worn out heading home more times than not dejected and empty handed.

While the styles and trends do count for many of my frustrations--I am not a BIG fan of the low rise trend--just finding a size has become a chore. In one store I can easily be a size 4, in another a size 6, and yet another I could wear a size 8. And let’s not even talk about online purchases without knowing beforehand my size in a store. Why is that?

Well the answer lies within a sales tactic that clothing manufacturers discreetly call vanity sizing.
Posted 5/24/2013  12:00:00 PM By: Nancy Howard : 704 comments   58,510 views
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13 Healthy Foods to Try in 2013

Did you resolve to cook more in 2013? Want to branch out from your favorite healthy foods? Here are my top 13 healthy foods you have to try in 2013! Some of these foods will be completelyt new to you; others will simply be new uses for old favorites.


Traditionally grazing animals on grass brings on the flavor but leaves the fat back on the farm.  Swap out ground bison for any recipe calling for ground turkey or beef.  According to the USDA,  a comparison of bison to 90% lean ground beef awards the medal to bison.  A 3.5 ounce serving of bison contains 146 calories and 7 grams of fat, while the beef arrives at the table with 176 calories and 10 grams of fat.
Bison Bolognese
Greek Turkey Burger
Ground Beef-Potato Casserole
Keema (Ground Beef Casserole)
Salsa Turkey Burgers
Turkey Chili with Corn and Black Beans
Vegetable Beef Soup
Posted 12/31/2012  12:00:00 PM By: Meg Galvin : 18 comments   25,202 views
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Shop Smarter and Save More on Black Friday

Turkey, pumpkin pie, football, family. Thanksgiving might include any of those things, but for many people, a vital part of the holiday weekend is the shopping. And while there are countless bargains to be found, not all promotions may be worthy of an early wake-up call or being jostled by crowds. We put Claudia Lombana, PayPal Shopping Specialist, to the test for her best Black Friday advice. 
Posted 11/20/2012  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 15 comments   10,184 views
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More Fall Favorites for Every Budget

I'm not one who loves a lot of stuff, and I'm constantly trying to get rid of things rather than amass them. That said, when I find something I love, I want to share. Today I'm spreading the word about some of the products that I love this fall.
Posted 10/16/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 24 comments   12,784 views
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6 Ways to Combat Rising Food Costs

This summer was hot, with temperatures averaging in the 90s for months here in Cincinnati with no rain for weeks on end. The heat took its toll: Gardens wilted, fields dried up, and farmers struggled. With summer fading fast, you might think that the worst is behind us, but a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests otherwise. The drought that plagued much of the country this summer will mean higher food costs for all of us in the next year. While it's still too soon to say exactly how much the costs of specific foods will rise, the effects will be seen as early as this fall.

According to the USDA, the first price increases will be seen in beef, pork, poultry, and dairy--especially milk--in the next couple of months. In 10 to 12 months, we'll see the prices of processed grain products rise. Retail food prices rise on average between 2.5-3% a year due to inflation, and next year that increase will be between 3-4%. That means your gallon of milk that cost $3.43 in July, according to the Consumer Price Index, could cost 10 to 13 cents more next year. If you bought a gallon a week, that would add up to an extra $6.76 a year.

The good news is that those increases should be mostly in a few areas. The bad news is that those sharper increases are in foods most of us eat quite often--and they're the foods that already are costly: eggs, meat, and dairy. Rather than dwell on the negative, let's focus on finding ways to combat those rising costs while still enjoying the foods you like.

Posted 9/26/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 33 comments   91,517 views
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Are You Willing to Pay More for Healthy Food?

A recent study finds that Americans aren’t willing to put their money where their mouth is for healthier restaurant options. Are some foods worth the extra cash?

Footing the Bill

study published in June finds that a large chunk of Americans aren’t willing to pay more for healthy foods at restaurants. The New York based marketing research firm that published the report found that approximately 70 percent of consumers over age 50 don’t expect to pay a higher price for more health-conscious menu items. The study also points out a decrease since 2007 in overall interest in seeking out healthier fare. 
Posted 6/20/2012  2:00:00 PM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 49 comments   16,089 views
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Dress for Success: Your Guide to Plus-Size Workout Clothes

If you've ever embarked on a weight loss journey, you'll probably agree that the process can be overwhelming. Not only do you have to change the way you think, eat, and move, but you also have to set yourself up to succeed at those changes. One of the most underrated ways to keep up a steady stream of motivation and positive results is by buying proper workout clothes.
Think about it: trying to adopt a healthy lifestyle without quality, functional workout gear is like stocking your pantry full of junk food and then wondering why you can't find anything healthy to eat in the house. Just as you have to set yourself up to succeed with your diet, there are certain things you have to do to help you meet your fitness goals. Chances are, if you're working out in clothes that aren't made for exercise, you're not going to be comfortable or confident, and will ultimately end up hindering your results. It's amazing what workout clothes can do to elevate your motivation, performance, and outlook on fitness.
~INDYGIRL, a SparkPeople member who has lost over 160 pounds, agrees:
''Before I started my journey to weight loss and better health, I thought that ''active wear'' was only reserved for people who want to show off how gorgeous they already look.  Well, my mindset has finally changed. Losing 166 pounds with SparkPeople has taught me that workout clothes are a must for getting fitter.  Without them, it is harder to be motivated to work out.  Workout clothes help get you in the mindset that you are a person getting better, getting fitter, and fulfilling your own dreams."
Posted 3/6/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 72 comments   87,073 views
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Finding Your Perfect Size

Having spent many years hating the thought of going into a mall only to scour the racks for hours in quest of the perfect outfit, I just knew once I lost the weight I would join the ranks of those loving to spend a Saturday afternoon with their girlfriends taking in some nice retail therapy. However, that has not been quite the case.

One of the most frustrating aspects to shopping for me is going into a store and having no clue what size I wear. Because there is no standard size for clothing, I literally have to take two or three different sizes into the fitting room with me to try on. I can wear anything from a size 4 to a size 10 and in some cases a 12. There was once a time that I knew my size, but that is not the case anymore. It all comes down to trial and error. This includes every article of clothing from my running gear to casual wear to evening wear. It has become such a chore to go shopping that once I find the so-called 'perfect' pair of jeans I buy in bulk just so that I can avoid the trials of having to try on hundreds of different styles to find yet again the 'perfect' pair.
Posted 2/28/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Nancy Howard : 86 comments   14,067 views
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Healthy Holiday Gift Guide: Ideas for Everyone!

The holiday gift buying season is in full swing. Make life easier, and loved ones' lives healthier, with our healthy gift picks.

Our friends at Remedy's share their best healthy finds for everyone in your life.
Posted 12/16/2011  10:00:00 PM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 10 comments   14,284 views
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Peek Inside Hungry Girl's New Book (and Enter to Win a Copy)

UPDATE: The link is fixed, and the giveaway will run for TWO WEEKS!
Attention, Hungry Girl fans! HG Lisa Lillien has a new book out: Hungry Girl Supermarket Survival: Aisle by Aisle, HG-Style! It launches next week, and we're giving away three copies!

They say:
Finally . . . a real-world guide that will help you navigate the supermarket and stock up on guilt-free foods, from mealtime must-haves to snack finds and more! It’s Hungry Girl’s ultimate resource for grocery-store survival---a must-own manual that makes shopping for better-for-you foods easy and fun! Inside you’ll find:
* HG All-Stars and grocery-store standouts! 
* Calorie counts and comparisons for foods in every aisle
* Guilt-free meal ideas and snack solutions for every craving and situation!
* Easy-to-digest info about nutrition labels and ingredient lists
* HG’s complete supermarket list with aisle-by-aisle food finds
Hungry Girl’s amazingly comprehensive supermarket guide is your key to guilt-free shopping, eating, and living!
To enter, click here! Be sure to read the rules. This contest will end TWO weeks from today!
In the meantime, let's peek inside at some of Hungry Girl's essential supermarket foods!
Posted 10/8/2011  12:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 61 comments   23,658 views
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Are You a Food Waster?

I'll admit that I'm not a fan of grocery shopping.  One of my biggest pet peeves is going back to the store multiple times a week for more milk, fruit, or because I forgot an ingredient for tonight's dinner recipe.  So I make a list once a week before I go, planning out the week's meals, and I even organize it by row so that I can get through the store as quickly as possible. 
Posted 8/25/2011  6:00:00 PM By: Jen Mueller : 62 comments   16,239 views
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Which Helps You Shop Healthier: Pushing a Cart or Carrying a Basket?

When it comes to healthy eating and weight loss, does the method you use to cart—or carry—your food around the supermarket really make a difference?
I hadn't thought about it much until I heard about an observational study published recently in the Journal of Market Research. Researchers observed 136 people grocery shopping and found that those who used a grocery cart were more than three times as likely to choose healthy items versus unhealthy ones.

The explanation behind these findings gets a little interesting. Researchers theorize that bodily sensations—like holding the weight of a shopping basket—can influence your thoughts and emotions. They believe that the act of flexing your muscles to holding a basket influences people to choose instant gratification—like junk food. And that for some reason, pushing a cart with the arms extended or lengthened, has the opposite effect.

I'm not sure that I agree with this small study or the theory behind what the researchers observed, so I wanted to ask, which do YOU think results in healthier shopping habits: pushing a cart or carrying a basket?  
Posted 7/29/2011  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 128 comments   17,851 views
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Products That Take the Guesswork out of Portion Control

By Beth Donovan (~INDYGIRL)

I didnít lose 145 pounds overnight. It took many baby steps to change my lifestyle. Why a lifestyle change instead of a diet? Iíve now kept over 100 pounds off for over 3 years and lost even more. Diets never did that for me. Two baby steps I took to change my lifestyle were paying attention to my portions and the types of food I ate.

I read avidly on SparkPeople to find out just how much of each food was considered healthy to eat as a meal and as a portion. I also had to re-teach myself what to eat. It wasnít a matter of simply swapping out fried potato chips for baked ones. Growing up in the Midwest, I was brought up on a big piece of meat, some kind of potatoes and corn, peas or other starchy vegetable for a meal. Now I eat a big serving of vegetables and fruits and smaller servings of meat and grain.

So what would be an easy way to get your portions and your proper meal components without much thought? Nobody wants to get out the measuring cups, spoons, etc and start measuring things in front of their friends, especially at a restaurant or a home dinner party. Sometimes dieting is a discreet thing for whatever reason. Sometimes youíre just in a hurry and want to get a portion controlled, healthy meal put together fast.

Posted 5/6/2011  10:00:58 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 43 comments   32,073 views
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Benefit from Coupons Without Being Extreme

They can make a reality show out of just about anything, including the use of coupons. TLC's Extreme Couponing show allows us to meet people that have taken the art of bargain shopping to a completely new level. For some people highlighted on the show, tough times created the need for using coupons to stretch their food budget. For other people, using coupons to save or take advantage of deals seems to have triggered compulsive tendencies such as buying 35 bottles of heartburn medicine because it is an awesome deal or hoarding 75 boxes of cereal and dozens of other groceries in a closet.

There are a variety of tips that can help you save money at the supermarket. Here are some coupon tips and resources to help you get the most from coupon savings without having to go extreme.

Posted 4/25/2011  6:00:54 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 34 comments   13,477 views
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