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RUNNINGWOLF1's Photo RUNNINGWOLF1 SparkPoints: (777)
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5/26/17 7:12 P

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Look into container gardening. I have a row of buckets with my plants in them and I don't have to weed them and they are easy to take care of.

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5/26/17 7:01 P

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you can get the great value frozen berry mix at Walmart for around 3$ and they are great in smoothies

SARAJAYNEE Posts: 79
5/26/17 7:00 A

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Going off of what Zelda said-have you looked into produce containers for your fridge? I bought a few of these a while back and it amazes me how much longer produce keeps now! They're Rubbermaid Freshworks and they have a tray insert and holes in the lid, that removes moisture from produce. My spinach lasts an extra week now when I put it in one of the containers :)

And buying what's in season/the stores weekly loss leader is a great way to save money. Strawberries are $1.66lb this week here, so I bought 4lbs and will be freezing them to add to my green smoothies. But, blueberries were $3 a pint, so I passed on those this week.

~Sara
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ZELDA13's Photo ZELDA13 SparkPoints: (78,108)
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5/26/17 1:35 A

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It really helps to buy what's in season. This week I was able to get strawberries and cherries at 1.99/lb. Raspberries are 4.99 for 6 oz. If your lettuce goes bad before you can use it, I would either buy less, or swap it out for spinach which is good for a salad and can be steamed as a side or tossed into a soup or stew before it goes bad.
I check out prices before I go and decide what meals we'll have. If something's on sale it will probably show up on our table that week. If it's a great sale, I'll buy extra and either freeze some, or cook another meal to freeze for another day. I usually make a big pot of soup, stew or chili each week. Very healthy, easy to freeze if needed, and a cheap meal. Pair them with a salad or a grilled cheese sandwich. I'll also use the chili to top tortilla chips with, roll burritos, top a baked potato and even top a salad. I often add some spinach to all of these for an extra veggie.
I am a big fan of dried lentils. Inexpensive and easy to cook. They can stretch any ground beef dish including burgers and chili. Cuts down on the fat and cholesterol.
We also do an egg dish once or twice a month. Usually scrambled eggs or egg whites with some cheese. I'll make a green veggie, sliced tomatoes and either a potato or bean dish to go with it.
I'm fairly limited in grocery choices. No Aldis here, and Walmart only has a small frozen section. In a couple weeks the farmers markets will open. I can get 2 big bags of veggies and fruits for under 20.00 They stay fresh longer and taste better.
I used to do a few veggie plants, but not sure I can do it this year. I am hoping to do some tomato plants in containers and herbs on my deck. If you can do it, it's great to have super fresh veggies you grow yourself. Maybe your children can help out with that.





Alice

"I have not been placed on this earth to fit your mold or conform to what makes you feel more comfortable with my existence." Michelle Steinke

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SARAJAYNEE Posts: 79
5/25/17 3:03 P

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I eat a mostly whole foods, plant based diet ie. a 'healthy' woe. It's quite a bit cheaper eating this way vs the way I used to eat (fast food 3-4 times a week, a lot of frozen entrees like Lean Cuisines etc). I shop mostly at Aldi and buy whatever fresh produce is cheap and then supplement with frozen veg/fruit to fill in any gaps. My one splurge is sprouted grains bread, but Aldi has it for $3 a loaf so not a big deal. Otherwise oats, beans, lentils etc are cheap. I also get frozen wild caught salmon at Aldi and it's under $5 for a pound.

~Sara
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RSCUNU's Photo RSCUNU SparkPoints: (10,713)
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5/24/17 8:35 A

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I recently did some cost breakdowns, and it actually costs me less to eat whole foods....
McDonalds Egg McMuffin Meal = $4.89
Frozen Breakfast Sandwich = $5.79 for 4 = $1.45 each sandwich
3 eggs/slice of cheese/1 apple = $0.89


as far as vegetables go, I grow my own. I have a very small area for gardening, and grow most in containers. I also hit the local farmer's market during the season.



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WALKERANT's Photo WALKERANT SparkPoints: (836)
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5/23/17 8:10 A

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Well, typically it is, yes, but if you leave the Atkins bars out of it my grocery bills are actually much smaller now! Salad kits aren't that much, hardboiled eggs aren't that much, Greek Yogurts a dollar or less a piece..

"Take it one day at a time."


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RUBYREDSTAR19's Photo RUBYREDSTAR19 Posts: 5,975
5/23/17 6:55 A

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They just know that there are crazy people out there who will buy it. Have you ever looked into making your own of the crazy expensive things. Or, some things that you love that are cheaper, you could always make those also because honestly every bit helps.

I sprout my own seeds, brew my own kombucha and for the first time ever trying my hand at my own garden. I have my own bread maker, and then I'm going to learn how to can this year. Previously I just froze my veggies. But it cuts down the cost a little.



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CHELHART's Photo CHELHART SparkPoints: (4,034)
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5/22/17 3:43 P

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We are very cost conscious at my house. I will say that we saved about $20/trip to the store when we changed from cold cereal to hot cereal. My kids like CocoaWheats, and my husband and I eat oatmeal. I don't mind the kids eating Cocoa Wheats because my 2 yr old is picky, and it is a good source of iron.



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STINKERBELLS's Photo STINKERBELLS SparkPoints: (42)
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5/22/17 1:14 P

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It is easy to say that "X" is cheaper or "Y" is cheaper.

The reality is that where you live plays a very big role in how expensive healthy vs unhealthy foods are, which includes factoring in travel to get those foods.

There are areas in the USA that are pretty big "food deserts" and way too many people are forced to do what they can with what is in their areas. Many mail order/delivery options are completely unaffordable to those people.

Additionally, while I found the cost of living in California to be ridiculous compared to Upstate NY, I found it much cheaper to eat healthy because of the climate and availability of an abundance of fresh produce and fish.

SUEBEEGRAM's Photo SUEBEEGRAM Posts: 68
5/17/17 4:06 P

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Interesting subject. Usually the prettier the food the more expensive it is. That is why it's ok to purchase the less beautiful foods, some of which are less processed and better for you. For instance, a small scarred apple or pear is usually cheaper than one of those big beautiful flawlessly skinned, shiny, but waxed ones with the inedible skin. Protein is an example too of beauty being more expensive, such as one of those big beautiful marbled steak, or a skinless boneless chicken breast. You can save money by buying a larger piece of meat and cutting steaks yourself, or deboning and removing the skin from a chicken breast. You can cut costs by doing much of the work yourself.

Edited by: SUEBEEGRAM at: 5/17/2017 (16:08)
PETALIA's Photo PETALIA SparkPoints: (124,506)
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5/16/17 9:14 A

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Thank you ELSELTZ for your reply. I learned a lot in your dense yet succinct post. Wow. I hope you make a Spark Page so I might be able to read other writings of yours. Thanks again.

PARICARP's Photo PARICARP SparkPoints: (15,383)
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5/15/17 9:49 P

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Eating healthy can be cheap if you plan ahead, hunt down deals, shop bulk, opt for cheaper varieties when you can, and aim for in season produce. There is so much money in the health food industry that healthy packaged foods specifically are way more expensive than they would be if you just made them at home.

For example pistachios are one of the pricier nuts. Peanuts are super cheap $2/lb, while walnuts in the bulk section can be $8/lb, trailmix $6-7/lb.

Gala apples vary in price, and you can easily find apples for $1/lb in season; bananas are always $0.7/lb or less. Maybe as a treat once in a while buy some raspberries.

Bread is something where I make compensations, since the fancy stuff is way pricey. Just buying a normal whole wheat bread with at least 3 g of fiber is better than nothing.


ELSELTZ SparkPoints: (2,833)
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5/15/17 2:01 P

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Well, the short and literal answer as to "Why?" is because of the economics of industrial agriculture and processed foods.

The reason so many processed foods are full of corn and high fructose corn syrup, soy, and a long list of other bulk/filler ingredients is that the government subsidizes farmers to grow them, so ingredient prices are artificially suppressed. Industrial farming practices also create long-term consequences for soil fertility, topsoil loss, pollinator loss, depletion of aquifers and increasing droughts, mineralization of soil by irrigating with groundwater, increases in species-specific blights, etc. The financial savings of these practices is temporary. Eventually our ability to continue them will end, and the price of organic foods will be the normal price of food.

The largest cost in food production is labor. Automation makes it cheaper. So many processed foods are made in textures & shapes that can be handled by machines as much as possible.

Although some GMO's are created to solve plant-disease problems or human nutritional problems (like the sweet potatoes with extra Vitamin A to reduce vitamin-deficiency-blindness in Africa), most of them enable industrial farms to use large quantities of pesticide and herbicide without killing the crop, or to make the crop tolerate machine handling and shipping, making farming more automated and hands-off, and allowing long-distance transport.

The excess salt, sugar, and chemical preservatives extend the shelf life so foods can be shipped and stored for long periods of time without going rancid, which also brings the price down.

Many fast foods and processed foods are also made from byproducts, offcuts, and parts of the plant or animal that consumers would not buy in its natural state. Ever see the video of the "pink slime" that goes into fast-food hamburgers? It's meat, but you wouldn't pay for it at the meat counter.

As I see it, the price of real food is the real price of food.


FAERY_PRINCESS's Photo FAERY_PRINCESS Posts: 416
5/15/17 12:13 P

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The cheap fast food has a high price when you look at the cost of medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes over a lifetime of eating cheap junk food. In buying healthier choices now you are saving future dollars in meds. Just one way to look at it.
In addition to all the shopping tips, I have at various points in my life done the following:
I've noticed which houses on my street have fruit trees and elderly residents. As their fruit is ripening, I offer to pick it for them. I propose a 3 way split to them: 1/3 for them. 1/3 for me and 1/3 for our local food pantry that accepts such donations. They get free labor and the feeling of helping the community and I get essentially free food.

Life is a roller coaster! Be that person who holds someone hand in the dark tunnel and shares a knowing look up the high peaks. Most of all, be that person who throws hands up in the air and screams for joy!


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RUBYREDSTAR19's Photo RUBYREDSTAR19 Posts: 5,975
5/15/17 7:20 A

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I hear you! I think the president should flip the costs of food, junk food should be more expensive because honestly look at everything that is in it! How on earth is something that has 1 ingredient in it more expensive?

Summer is coming though and gardens!!!



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MARVINLZINN1 SparkPoints: (548)
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5/14/17 6:48 P

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Yes, I do the same. I am especially happy all summer when most of my food comes from my garden. Will you come pull weeds for me? ;)

JUDYDSJOURNEY's Photo JUDYDSJOURNEY Posts: 1,216
5/12/17 4:04 P

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I stopped buying junk food and a lot of packaged food. I buy a lot of frozen fruit and veggies. I shop daily for fresh produce and I stock up on meat when it's on sale. I make smaller portions and that helps cut down on waste.


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SCARLETFERN's Photo SCARLETFERN Posts: 267
5/12/17 5:35 A

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I too find trying to feed five people healthy foods expensive. Mind you mine are not teenagers yet but they sure can go through the food. And when it comes to fruit and vegetables I do not limit them to how much they can eat. I try to let them pay attention to their own bodies, not the eat everything on your plate thing I grew up with. Some days they eat like birds and other days they eat as much as we do or more.

I am lucky enough to be able to stay at home, so between the kids and the farm I am able to make most things from scratch, the chickens lay eggs but a person only breaks even for the feed cost, I don't get paid for time. But I do know how they live and what I feed them. Like I said I am lucky enough to have time to do this. And I still find it expensive, I try to buy only stuff on sale unless we are right out. I do go to a store that says they will price match but usually the stuff I buy is cheaper there. I go early in the morning or late at night to get the marked down meat. This year I found a farm box club to join you pay every month to support the farmer and get a box of fresh veggies and fruit delivered to your door. I used to think this would be expensive but the one I found is quite reasonable. I pay 60 a month to get food delivered every two weeks to my door, I get a large box about one and a half times the size of the produce boxes in grocery stores you see them stocking shelves from filled with different stuff each week. You may be able to find something like this in your area that works for you.

I try using coupons but I don't usually buy the products that give out coupons. I have heard others say they have a hard time trying the coupon thing in Canada also.

I find it frustrating because stuff like you mentioned nuts and some fruit is crazy even when you break it down per serving I don't know any kid who will stick to just a handful of nuts, butter and coconut oil way more than margarine, olive oil more than corn or canola I could go on and on.

I do like others mention tend to buy frozen especial during winter, when produce is in season and a good price IF I have some extra money I will buy more and freeze it. This works if you have space for a freezer and extra storage, not everyone does. There are 5 of us living in 600 square feet with two dogs and a cat, My freezer is outside in a shed. If I lived close to town and could walk to the grocery store every day I could get all the sales , I have to wait until my husband is home from work so I can use the vehicle so I don't get to go to each and every store that has a good deal. On the other hand if I lived in a busy city like some of my family they don't even have a car so they don't go on big shopping sprees and stock up on lots of sale stuff because it's either pack it home on a bus or lose the money you saved by paying for a taxi.

I think it is great we all have ideas to help each other, sometimes though it is easy to throw out a solution that seems simple to us when we don't really know how the other person is limited. I guess at times it comes down to what is the most important thing to each of us and tweaking our lives to make it work.



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WHYNANA SparkPoints: (549)
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5/11/17 2:24 P

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c see if you have a fresh thyme store around.lots of sales,can fill your on jars of fresh peanut butter,olive oil,.meat is good.i have a here today gone tommrow store,has can goods mark down,frozen foods.

SPARKARINA's Photo SPARKARINA SparkPoints: (38,947)
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5/9/17 2:00 P

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Rather than drive around from store to store, find out if your grocer price matches competitors prices.

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ELONKA1's Photo ELONKA1 SparkPoints: (21,774)
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5/9/17 10:54 A

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Keep in mind the gas used driving around to all of those storea



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SWEET-PEASMOM's Photo SWEET-PEASMOM Posts: 324
5/9/17 9:54 A

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"You could give each kid a little plot, pay for the seeds, and then pay them grocery store prices for whatever they grow. They will eat veggies if they grew them."

I LOVE THIS IDEA!!! How wonderful :)

"Love chooses to believe the best about people. It gives them the benefit of the doubt. It refuses to fill in the unknowns with negative assumptions. And when our worst hopes are proven to be true, love makes every effort to deal with them and move forward. As much as possible, love focuses on the positive."

THE LOVE DARE


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PETALIA's Photo PETALIA SparkPoints: (124,506)
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5/9/17 9:39 A

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Calorie dense foods tend to be fast foods and packaged foods. They also tend to be cheap. Nutrient dense foods are not found at hamburger joints. When advertised as nutritious and found in a box, they usually aren't all that healthy and they are expensive.

Cooking from scratch takes time. If one doesn't know how to cook, it seems completely baffling. There are many tools now which can help us to learn. I've had good luck with the internet and the library. Cooking from scratch takes time. Pros: You know what you're eating, the sensory process of smell, texture, taste, and color is delightful and calming. The slowness heals and feels good in our 21st century lives. Cons: The slowness, the need to prepare and consider, the need to shop wisely...

Purchasing the ingredients to cook need not cost lots as the other posters have already stated. The foods the original poster listed are expensive. They would be a rare treat for me; they would probably be impulse buys.

I loved ANARIE's suggestion about baking bread with one's children. My father's bread machine runs every couple of days. Talk about easy! He gets his various flours in big sacks. Talk about cheap! I grew up with once a year deliveries of sacks of legumes, beans, rice, and grains. I grew up going as a family to the farmer's market. Not everyone wants to or can do this.

All the posters listed numerous means that they have found inexpensive ways to eat healthy, whole food. It's doable. Good luck to you finding your way.


Edited by: PETALIA at: 5/9/2017 (09:57)
CHRISTI253's Photo CHRISTI253 SparkPoints: (11,781)
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5/6/17 11:34 P

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This time of year farmers markets are a great source of less expensive ...not necessarily cheap...produce. Take the kids and let them choose and prepare their favs. If you can, plant a few seeds or plants, in the ground or in pots, and grow some of your own. Orchards in the fall are a great source of less expensive apples, squash, etc...plus a nice family day.

Join any email lists at the stores you shop at regularly. Most of them offer special deals for their regular customers, ranging from BOGO, free items, and coupons for extra discounts, including gas. With planning you can take advantage from home and choose your store(s) ahead of time which is helpful with a busy family.

We've been amazed at how some "healthier" stores really have cheaper prices that you realize...the trick is to know about the specials since they usually don't spend on big budget advertising. And don't despair...even some of the fast food places are now offering healthier options. Just read the labels on everything...you might be surprised!



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DEEA2Z's Photo DEEA2Z Posts: 4,485
5/3/17 11:25 A

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Discount grocery stores keep popping up. Depending upon where you live, try Aldi's or Grocery Outlet. Both carry quality food at discounted prices. Also, if you shop at chain grocery stores, be sure to check out the "store" brands, which often are as good as "name" brands.

Shop for seasonal fruits and veggies (farmers' markets are a good source for seasonal fruits). If you find fresh fruits and veggies too expensive for your budget, buy them frozen (they're flash frozen at peak ripeness). Eating healthy really does not have to be expensive. When planning you meals around a protein source, check your local grocery store ads first for bargains on meats, fish and poultry. Then, plan your meals around the bargains. If you keep your pantry stocked with fat free broths (box/can/cubes), canned tomatoes, and various varieties of beans, along with herbs and spices, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings you'll be able to come up with a healthy meal. Use beans whenever you can (buy them canned or dried and cook them yourself) to stretch a meal without sacrificing protein. It really is more healthy to eat meats (especially red meat) in smaller quantities, so if you make one-dish meals with lots of veggies and beans you can use a smaller amount of meat and still feed a family of four.

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SPIEGY's Photo SPIEGY Posts: 907
5/1/17 10:49 A

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We usually end up going to 3 or 4 different stores for grocery shopping. We haven't bought fruits and veggies at our supermarket in at least 20 years. If you have an indoors fruit/vegetable market near you, they usually have the lowest prices for fresh produce. Ours is usually half the cost - or less - than our local supermarket. And some of them also have great prices on meat, cheeses, spices and other items.

We also have 3 different major supermarkets in our town, so we scan the listings to see who has what on sale. This week the one we don't usually shop at had frozen wild salmon for $4.99 per pound/bag. So we bought the max - 4 bags - and put them in the freezer. And that's the only thing we bought from there - but it was an extra 5 minute drive, and 15 more minutes in the store (the lines were ridiculous!). But for us it was worth it.




Edited by: SPIEGY at: 5/1/2017 (10:49)
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RUSTY_WOODS Posts: 724
4/30/17 7:22 A

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It doesn't. The problem is, that our government is pushing one type of diet, so most of us follow it. I don't but that is unimportant here. All diets work, if followed. I simply find my diet easier.

Of course, if you follow the SAD, you probably are competing for the same " healthy " foods, as millions of others are. This wasn't a problem, when most people were cheating on their diet. Not much demand. Now we see the weather getting better though, and people are being reminded.. I am going to want to go to the pool in a month. So they all decided to eat healthy. The same food, you are looking to eat.

it is simple supply and demand. As long as everyone else is trying to get healthy, by eating these same foods, you will see a rise in prices. This will be temporary, as people give up in a month or 2.

So what are your options? You could do like I do, and eat low carb.. butter, sausage, chicken, and beef are all on sale right now.. OR

Since you probably don't think low carb is healthy ( why my grocery bill is $30, for 21 meals ).. you should simply change your variety. Instead of having a certain kind of specialty bread, simply pick a plain whole wheat. Add some wheat pasta. Have frozen vegetables.. in short, eat healthy vegetables that no one else is buying.

While the month of health continues, every dieter will want the BEST diet ever. With a little research, they will be buying the same brand.. and you will be sharing maybe 30-50 food options/brands/types of food.

There are thousands of these available.. so why not use this opportunity to try new foods? Look at all your options, and pick your cheapest.. forget about your perfect list of foods for 1-2 months, and eat equivalent alternatives, that you simply never eat. Variety is actually good.. not only because of nutrition, but it keeps the diet from becoming boring.

If a whole bunch of people decided to eat ground beef, i would simply switch to more chicken, or fish, or some other meat. There can't be high demand in every choice, so one will always be cheap, and which one is.. varies.



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DOVESDRAGON's Photo DOVESDRAGON Posts: 2
4/30/17 12:54 A

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I belive that part of the problem with healthy costs is the illusion that if it is healthy, it must taste bad. when more people buy something it often causes said store to buy it in larger bulk, which is how stores save customers money

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4/29/17 3:25 P

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I'm finding that I buy most of my produce at either Costco or my local ethnic markets. While Costco sells large quantities, I sometimes share items with a friend or neighbor. That way, everyone saves.I'm also lucky that I live in a major metropolitan area with many ethnic grocers so competition is good.

The other advice below was very good - shop around the perimeter of the store, buy non processed food, work out cost per serving.

Some grocery chains employ dieticians and offer recipes and ideas for healthy eating.

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MARION-S's Photo MARION-S Posts: 1,846
4/29/17 7:18 A

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JACKIESUEHALL, I have to look into that Walmart match program in my area. First time I have heard of it.

Actually my local super Walmart has some good prices on produce. Last week Shoprite had iceberg lettuce for $2.99 emoticon Walmart had it for $1.28 - big difference. Bananas, tomatoes, cukes and peppers were also priced lower.

The only thing more important to me is freshness.

Edited by: MARION-S at: 4/29/2017 (07:23)
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MARION-S's Photo MARION-S Posts: 1,846
4/29/17 7:13 A

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There are lots of way to freeze foods - fresh or cooked. Considering freezing your favorite recipes that you can make when prices are low.



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LIN1263's Photo LIN1263 Posts: 11,486
4/28/17 7:36 P

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Try checking out your local healthy specialty markets and signing up online for their emails with store coupons,discounts or points for money off.You can check the ones where you live to see what ones over promotions. I have a $10.00 coupon for a healthy food market where they emailed me a flyer for their buy 1,get 1 free promotion on certain items. I am going to use the coupon to try items on sale I have not tried before for my pantry to stock up on. With these promotions I can go shop their at times. My local fruit & vegetable market sells local produce at 50-75% less then grocery stores as well. When the farmers market open in the summer,the farmers markets are very expensive.

I have chronic kidney disease and low blood pressure & blood clots in both lungs for 3 years..I am 54 years old. I am on the Fall Challenge ,Firecrackers Team,on P.S.T. I have passed my 5% weight loss goal.My exercise plan is 2400 minutes a month.I do walking, ride the bike at the gym 65 minutes, 3 times a week & go ice skating for 90 minutes 2 times a week for people over 50. My name is Linda.


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ITSALLGOOD6's Photo ITSALLGOOD6 Posts: 634
4/27/17 9:36 A

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I find fresh, whole foods to be far less expensive than prepared, processed food. I stick to the outer aisle of the market - dairy, produce, meat (chicken, fish, lean pork). I do step into the inner aisle for whole grain cereals and pasta, brown rice, and dried beans. SP has lots of literature on shopping wisely for really good food:) Good luck.

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4/27/17 9:21 A

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I was talking about this the other day with my mom, except the other way around, lol. I think junk food is more expensive. My son asked me to pick him up a bag of chips, they were 3$ on sale. To me that's expensive. So is packaged stuff, like pizza, pizza rolls, cookies, things like that.

I shop at Aldi, Food Lion, Compare Food, it's a grocery store sort of catered to Hispanic people, the produce is good and not as expensive, and Sav A Lot.

I buy lots of fresh vegetables, fruit when on sale, dried beans, rice and buy meat on sale. I cook from scratch. To me, these things are cheaper.

MMWUSA's Photo MMWUSA SparkPoints: (13,155)
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4/26/17 10:55 P

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I shop bogo once a month or so to stock up on pantry staples. I know I can stock 4- mayo, ketchup, tuna, oils, butter ( unsalted), lo fat cheese, cottage cgeese, canned veggies, tomatoes, & legumes, lentils, all types beans like pinto, garbanzo, reds, etc., rice and chicken.
Eggs, block cheese, meats come on sale if not bogo and I stock up when chicken around 1.99/lb, turkey I buy 2-3 if on sale for 60-80 Cents/lb. Same,with ham. I Cooke a whole bird, cut it up and either freeze in sandwich meal sizes for later or eat I all week.
I buy what on sale, then I figure,what to cook from what I have avail.



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JACKIESUEHALL's Photo JACKIESUEHALL Posts: 233
4/26/17 11:44 A

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My husband joined the WalMart match program where you enter the receipt number and if anyone is having a sale you get fund for the difference in you account. Then you cash in and get the money from the savings.

I am with you though MARION-S. I would rather go to where the sale is and make sure I am getting the sale price. I am not saying WalMart would not give you the funds but they might not know about all of them.

Edited by: JACKIESUEHALL at: 4/26/2017 (11:45)
MARION-S's Photo MARION-S Posts: 1,846
4/26/17 6:53 A

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Always shop the sales even if you need to go to 2 or 3 stores. Almost all supermarkets today have websites where you can make a shopping list of their items and take it with you.

Search the internet for healthy budget friendly recipe sites and groups. There are tons of them today especially on Facebook and don't forget Pinterest.

And use coupons !!

It takes some time but it all helps. Once you get the hang of it will take less time.

Edited by: MARION-S at: 4/26/2017 (06:56)
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NIRERIN Posts: 14,152
4/24/17 6:25 P

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If you think fast food is cheap for what you are getting then you're not looking at per serving prices and what you're actually getting with fast food. Play around with the numbers. The only thing that I have never been able to get either under the dollar menu price or the dollar menu price for a greater amount of better quality food was a burger, which I could only get down to 1.19 instead of 99 cents. Keep in mind that those 99 cent fries only cost 19 cents to make at home, so if you get a burger and fries, you'll come out 62 cents ahead making it at home. That's also without figuring in that the good for you stuff tends to keep you for longer than the junk.
4.89 is likely Ezekial, which is a name brand. You can make your own or read labels and save about $2 per loaf. My local Publix, which is by no means a discount grocer, has honeydew for 1.74 per pound and citrus for .99-1.33 per pound this week. Aldi has 3 lbs of gala apples for 1.89, along with 99 cents per pound for grapes and a four pound bag of oranges for 1.89. Buy the grocery store brand applesauce (ingredients: apples, citric acid) for about 10 cents per half cup serving. 13.89 for pistachios is already shelled and so at least 16 servings, so you'd need to compare that to more than just one burger.

Variations on beans and rice are just about the cheapest thing out there. Not buying on sale or in bulk and you're looking at 2.99 per pound. Most bags have at least ten servings in them, but often up to sixteen. At ten servings and a 2.99 per pound cost, you're looking at thirty cents a serving on the very high side. Shop around and get more serving per bag varieties and you can get that per serving cost down to about 7 cents. Rice, even brown rice, is just the same. A little bit of shopping around can get you a serving of beans and a serving of rice for twenty cents. A serving of vegetables at 20 cents (five servings per pound bag), brings our per meal cost up to forty cents. Which means that you have sixty cents to flavor, and be under dollar menu prices for better food.

-google first. ask questions later.

KELLY_R's Photo KELLY_R Posts: 3,012
4/24/17 4:10 P

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I'd also suggest to buy what's in season where produce is concerned. When nectarines, for example, are in season, there's a huge surplus of them and the stores will sell them at much better prices than if you were to purchase them in an off-season.

The bonus of buying fresh produce when it's in-season is it just naturally tastes a heck of a lot better than when it's not in season.

You can also make your grocery bill a lot less expensive if you're willing to put in a little work. Instead of purchasing a salad mix, buy a couple heads of lettuce of your choice and a bundle of spinach, take them home and wash them, store them properly, and then toss them all together when you're ready to make a salad, etc.

Grate your carrots instead of purchasing pre-grated. Slice your mushrooms instead of purchasing pre-sliced. Skin and chop that butternut squash instead of purchasing the pack of pre-cubed stuff. (Although UGH, butternut is such a royal pain to peel.)

Also keep an eye out for coupons and store specials in the mail. Plan your menus around what's on sale instead of around some special recipe that calls for abstract ingredients.

Lots of ways to keep the expense down if you've got the patience.

MARTHA324's Photo MARTHA324 SparkPoints: (175,283)
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4/24/17 2:12 P

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Shopping the sales is a good place to start; e.g., when I go to buy fruit I look for what looks good and is on sale. Same with veggies. Dry beans are great and even the canned (I get low/no salt variety) and pick them up when they are on sale.

Making a big pot of soup or a stew can really stretch your food budget and can be made not only tasty but healthy too.
While organic is the choice of many, IMO don't skip the fruits & veggies just because they aren't organic. You'll also get plenty of good healthy recipes here.


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LIVELYGIRL2 Posts: 4,301
4/24/17 2:04 P

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you do have some valid points. I know... I mostly get these things at Sprouts or Trader Joes. They are also going up. Just the other day I got some Sweet potato chips that looked like french fries. It was a brand from Colorado and clearance prices. Often they are on the end isles . I've tried some treat snacks this way. I also got Kashi granola bars for 2 for 5 dollars or 3 for 5 dollars.Their is Grocery Outlet, Smart and Final,Tuesday Morning, Home Goods, Marshalls, Ross, and another one I'm don't remembering. The last list has mostly snack things such as crackers, chips, special spice blends, tea, coffee, pasta, tomato paste and the like. There are a few of them I go back and get. One garlic combination is exceptional and also has hydrated vegetables, such as parsley, carrots, red peppers. it is a good size. Costco has the best priced organic fruit. Lastly, Trader Joes and Safeway when on sale, has Fage yogurt . That's my favorite.

The only thing is we have ended up going to particular stores on various weeks, due to prices or quality. This is because the second list doesn't carry the deals regularly.

I do also look for sales on the bulk items.

KRISZTA11's Photo KRISZTA11 SparkPoints: (108,746)
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4/23/17 12:04 P

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Not all healthy food is expensive.
What I eat and love to eat is mostly quite cheap, especially as I cook at home from scratch.
-apples, oranges, bananas, fruits of the season
-carrots, broccoli, lettuce, canned corn, frozen vegetables including spinach
-milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs
-oats, brown rice, rye bread
-beans, lentils, chick peas, split peas
-flax seed, sunflower seeds
-butter, olive oil

OK, there are some more expensive things,
because I do eat cucumbers and tomatoes around the year,
walnuts and almonds are not cheap,
but eating an ounce of them every day is a lot cheaper than eating out.
I very rarely eat meat,
but chicken breast and tuna are good healthy and cheap options.

You can save a ton of money if you don't drink soda and don't eat out often,



Edited by: KRISZTA11 at: 4/23/2017 (12:06)
Kriszta

Goal weight:
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CET (Europe, Hungary)

Maintenance Lessons Learned:
-go on with the healthy lifestyle learned in weight loss phase
-just add healthy foods gradually to stop losing
-work out every day - 30-60 minutes is enough to maintain weight and good mood
-do not try to balance overeating by extreme workouts, it is not going to work
-avoid overeating, instead of satisfaction you get stronger cravings


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ANARIE's Photo ANARIE Posts: 13,172
4/23/17 11:52 A



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You also have to compare things fairly. Fresh raspberries in April don't compare to McDonalds; they compare to filet mignon with a little caviar. A pound of pistachios at $13.99 makes about 15 snack servings, compared to $3.79 for a 6-oz bag of Cheetos that your kids would eat in one sitting (and ask for more.) Even if you pay $1.94 a pound for apples (you can usually get Galas for $1.29,) that's 3 or 4 apples for less than the price of 2 servings of Hostess snack cakes.

When you get right down to it, the healthiest foods are also the cheapest. You can get oatmeal for $1 a pound or less-- 6 1/4 cents per serving. Cook it with some fruit that's past its prime and put a little milk on it, and you have breakfast for the whole family for under $2. Lentils are $2 a pound (sometimes half that), and it takes 45 minutes to cook a pot of lentil soup or stew that serves 10.

Sprouted grain bread is expensive (and unnecessary; there's nothing wrong with grocery store 100% whole wheat at 1/4 the price). But the grain is dirt cheap in the bulk bins and you can sprout it overnight in your own kitchen and the kids can make the bread every night. Baking bread takes about 10 minutes of actual work and two hours of waiting. Besides letting them make whatever kind they want, it will also improve your kids' time management, math, reading, and research skills. In fact, getting the kids in on the planning is another way to save money-- you lay out a modestly generous budget and basic nutritional requirements, and if they can figure out how to satisfy everyone and come in under budget, you put the savings in a fund for a family outing or sports equipment to use together-- something they all want but you haven't bought because it's too frivolous.

Along similar lines, try gardening. I live too far from a grocery store to be able to buy lettuce or spring mix regularly, so I grow my own. $2.49 for a packet of the fanciest seeds, $5 for a set of plastic containers from the dollar store, and $3 for good potting soil, and that's enough to make salads for one person for at least 6 months. If you have a back yard with decent soil, it's even cheaper. You could give each kid a little plot, pay for the seeds, and then pay them grocery store prices for whatever they grow. They will eat veggies if they grew them.

The fact is, healthy food can be just as cheap (and almost as easy) as junk food. It just takes a little while to re-learn. Part of the reason you can get junk food cheap is that you've spent a lifetime learning which stores and which brands are good buys. You made a few expensive mistakes along the way-- think back to all the things your kids talked you into getting because the saw them on TV, but then they wouldn't eat-- but over the years you became an expert in shopping a certain way. You'll get to that level with healthy food, too, and it will happen much faster-- but yes, there will be some $3-a-cup raspberries along the way.



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JIMA64's Photo JIMA64 Posts: 21,824
4/23/17 8:15 A

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We had a former executive of Winn Dixie buy several of the market locations when they were selling out and converted them to IGA based stores selling a lot of ethnic procucts based on store location. Quite a price drop for the right latino and asian food sauces and spices. Plus they also had people that could explain the dishes and foods that worked there. Prices were much better than larger national chains.

Never quit dreaming.


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LULUBELLE65's Photo LULUBELLE65 SparkPoints: (35,884)
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4/23/17 7:14 A

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Try an "ethnic" supermarket. I am not sure where you live, but when I shopped at the local supermercado instead of the regular grocery store, I spend about half as much on produce. You can also get great buys on dried beans, rice, eggs and other staples.

Lauren
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If you have formed the habit of checking on every new diet that comes along, you will find that, mercifully, they all blur together, leaving you with only one definite piece of information: french-fried potatoes are out. ~~Jean Kerr

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~~Anais Nin

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BLAZINGSWORD's Photo BLAZINGSWORD SparkPoints: (27,918)
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4/23/17 12:48 A

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To be healthy, yes, one must eat healthy foods, and you are correct, it isn't cheap! But if you don't eat healthy, you will pay for it down the road in doctor bills.

If you have a Sam's Club or a Costo Club, sign up for a membership and buy your produce there as well as other food stuffs and other non-food items. You can buy in bulk and with 2 teenaged boys and daughter, you will save money shopping there.

I had a friend years ago, with 4 boys and one girl and she shopped at a discount food store such as Sam's as it was the only way she could feed her family of 7. (That's including herself and her husband.)

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LIN1263's Photo LIN1263 Posts: 11,486
4/22/17 11:54 P

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I do not shop at the outdoor farmers markets. They are expensive. I shop at a small local fruit & vegetable market that sells local produce at 1/2 the price of Walmart,very cheap. They buy what they can locally and import the rest . I pay .69- .99 lb for apples and oranges,.55 lb. for bananas, strawberries $1.99 lb. I buy a lot for $10.00 a bag full of fruit & vegetables.

I have chronic kidney disease and low blood pressure & blood clots in both lungs for 3 years..I am 54 years old. I am on the Fall Challenge ,Firecrackers Team,on P.S.T. I have passed my 5% weight loss goal.My exercise plan is 2400 minutes a month.I do walking, ride the bike at the gym 65 minutes, 3 times a week & go ice skating for 90 minutes 2 times a week for people over 50. My name is Linda.


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CRYSALLIS1's Photo CRYSALLIS1 SparkPoints: (72,603)
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4/22/17 11:00 P

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I agree it's expensive but in some ways not so much. Easy to over eat crackers, brownies, chips, etc. I'm full after 1 apple, a serving of vegetables etc. If I eat the fresh things instead of letting it spoil I'm doing better yesterday yet and it's not quite so expensive. Frozen not so bad if needed. emoticon




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LIFESGREAT2DAY's Photo LIFESGREAT2DAY Posts: 2,890
4/22/17 10:22 P

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Walmart is our cheapest place. But if you have an Aldi around you that would probly be your best bet, I used to live by some and they were cheaper.

I know what you mean about the berries. I shop my local co op for most produce. Our Walmart has a frozen berry section that is organic and I like to buy big bags of cherries, raspberries and stuff because we can put it in smoothies and yogurt. They are priced good, and the regular non organic are even cheaper. My daughter will even eat a bowl full of them thawed out even though they are softer or smushy compared to fresh. I would keep a frozen bag in the fridge and she would eat it as is. Just scoop it out as it thaws in the fridge then zip the bag back up and put back in fridge.

You can buy the berries and once they are gone they are gone and then have things like oranges, apples and grapefruit along with bananas for the rest of the week as they last longer and are cheaper. Watermelon is a great choice for them as well. I cut it all up into chunks without the rind left on, put it in large container in the fridge and kids can help themselves.

Once summer comes we go to the u-pick farms and get stuff in bulk and freeze.

Some people say their farmers markets are people reselling bought produce, but for us here I know all the farmers and where their farms are so I shop the markets here come May. Ours are cheaper than the produce in the stores. So be sure to check those out in your area. I'm not sure where you're from and your page is set to private so I can't view it. So not sure what's in your area.

Edited by: LIFESGREAT2DAY at: 4/22/2017 (22:26)
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Greetings from Northern Minnesota!
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FORMYLITTLEGUY Posts: 5
4/22/17 1:01 P

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I was also going to suggest Aldi. They have some great options.

MLAN613 Posts: 17,944
4/22/17 11:52 A

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I am glad I could help. Hopefully, others will be around to add some additional great suggestions. Lettuce and leafy greens are notorious for going bad quickly. I try to check the freshness dates when I buy and go for the furthest date out I can. For example, I bought some spring mix yesterday with a freshness date of 4/29/17.

If you want to see what I mean with the bags and tubs, you can search by "Debbie Meyer" on Amazon. I tried adding a link but when I tested it to make sure it worked, it didn't. My apologies for that. I am a single gal and they do seem to help.

Edited by: MLAN613 at: 4/22/2017 (12:00)
Meghan in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA


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GOAL120A's Photo GOAL120A SparkPoints: (17,946)
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4/22/17 11:22 A

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Great tips. I have never heard of the green bags and tubs . I will check that out. Usually our fruit goes so fast, it never rots but the veggies, like lettuce does.
I will check out Aldi's . Walmart is way too expensive for me now. We just got an Aldis in our area. I will also buy more frozen too. Thanks

It is never too late to become who you always wanted to be.


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MLAN613 Posts: 17,944
4/22/17 8:09 A

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Well, it doesn't have to be so expensive. Shop around. What stores are available in your area? Aldi has great prices on items. WalMart too. I also have a Target Red Card an Target's Cartwheel app which can help.

Choose frozen over fresh fruits and vegetables. My grocery stores usually have several apple variety available. Often, the pick your own section is more expensive per pound than the pre bagged version of the same variety. Use the green bags and tubs to help preserve freshness. Freeze cooked things into single servings.

I also know if I eat at places like McDonalds and snack cakes too often, I feel like complete garbage. I am willing to focus on healthier foods to feel good now and long term.


Meghan in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA


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GOAL120A's Photo GOAL120A SparkPoints: (17,946)
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4/22/17 8:02 A

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Sprouted Grain Bread $4.89
Raspberries $3 per cup
Pistachios $13.89
Gala Apples $1.94 per pound
list goes on

When I am finally understanding about weight loss and being healthy for the rest of my life, which I am happy to do, I realize that healthy is expensive and cheap and easy is just that, cheap and easy.

Mc Donalds cheese burger or anything on the snack menu, A Buck! You get the idea! Brownies in a Mix $.98. Cakes and Icings and Puddings $2

I know I am worth it, but I am trying to feed my kids better (3 teenagers, 2 boys and a girl) and they devour it in seconds. ugh! My husband eats healthy and always has, but at least he appreciates it and eats it slowly...

Any ideas of where I can shop good food for cheap????



Edited by: GOAL120A at: 4/22/2017 (08:03)
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