With Christmas around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to start my Frugal Foodie 3 part posts. The original post is really long, so I divided it into 3 posts to make it more reader friendly. If you have any questions please leave a comment and I will get back to you the following day.
A little while back, I was asked from a non-profit in town to teach a workshop about how people can eat healthy on any budget. They knew I was the Queen of Frugalness. What I didn’t know when I agreed, was that I would have to make up the entire 3hr. workshop. This is the 1st time that I ever taught anything, I never speak in front of anyone because I hate it, and I have a hard time focusing on one idea. My mind runs away with hundreds of ideas each day. But I did it, and did it with great success. The place loved what I did so much, they asked if I would run a 5 wk. group doing the same thing, except this time I extended the topic to include numerous ways to be frugal and live below your means, and having fun with it. I made up the entire program myself and again had great success. That’s when I thought, why not do an online version of my group, in hopes of reaching a lot more people, helping and encouraging one another, and learning new things together. If anyone out there is interested please let me know.
Frugal Foodies is about creatively living within your means, with frugal tips, ideas, projects etc. I want to give you fresh ideas, explore common ideas deeper, tools to help you with your frugal journey, and additional resources for when you need it.
Frugal Foodie: Shop Smart, Eat Well
What is eating well/healthy eating mean?
Ask people: What does healthy eating mean to you? What’s your definition? Then go on to the definitions below.
Eating well means:
For some people, eating well means opting for local ingredients over anything flown in from thousands of miles away; for others, it means eating only unprocessed foods, including lard and raw milk. http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/what-does-eating-well-really-mean
Healthy eating means:
Healthy eating means eating a variety of foods that give you the nutrients you need to maintain your health, feel good, and have energy. These nutrients include protein, carbohydrates, fat, water, vitamins, and minerals. http://www.breastcancer.org/tips/nutrition/healthyeat
Healthy eating consists of consuming the types and quantities of foods that offer an ideal balance between nutrition and energy to support childhood growth as well as adult metabolism. This involves choosing foods with more of the health-promoting vitamins and minerals and less of the detrimental fats, cholesterol, sugar and sodium. Achieving healthy eating habits is as simple as defining them, as all you must do is fulfilling your body’s needs at your stage of life.
Growing up, most of us learned about foods and what to eat or what not to eat according to the USDA. The pyramid is no longer widely used, instead more and more professionals as well as everyday people are using a new diagram called: the Healthy Eating Plate. Below I am comparing the old pyramids to the new plate for you to see the differences.
As you can see the set-up is completely different than what most of used are used to. Things are changed around which makes a completely new chart. No longer are they recommending 6-11 servings of grains, breads, cereal, or rice instead they are recommending to eat brown rice, whole-wheat bread and whole wheat grains. Instead of recommending 2-3 servings of dairy, now they are recommending to cut out down to 1-2 servings a day, if any. Instead of using oils sparingly, now they are recommending to use healthy oils more but to limit butter intake. That we shouldn’t use margarine instead use real butter, which is healthier for us. And the last big change is meats (proteins) went from 2-3 servings to the most intake on the plate design recommending limiting red meat to a few servings a week but eating more chicken and seafood. What do you think of the new food charts? Which one do you feel is healthier? Why?
Briefly talk about diets:
Before you can start to save on your groceries, you need to figure out which diet or which kinds of food you want to feed your family. Whether it’s traditional, whole foods, low fat, Paleo, gluten free and/or dairy free, vegetarian, or a combo of a few, you need to identify your diet or the diet you feel is best for your family. This needs to be done before you can go any further. Otherwise, meal planning can come difficult, and when things get difficult, people tend to fall back on old habits (junk food). Once you figure out what your diet plan is, you can begin to learn different ways that you can save you time and money. As well as eating healthier foods with your budget.
Today’s Topic: eating healthier on any budget/saving money on your grocery bill
*NOTE-Before we get started I wanted to say that any tip or suggestion that I will be sharing can be used on any budget along with all the different types you can pay for your food. It doesn’t matter if you are using cash, food stamps, credit cards, or anything else. The tips are universal, they will work with it all.*
What is a reasonable food budget?
Everyone’s idea of a reasonable budget is different. In this room, if we ask around, not one person would have the exact same answer. The State of NH says that for a family of 4 a thrifty plan is $554.40, a low-cost plan is $706.40, a moderate plan is $873.00, & a liberal plan is $1080.30 per month. I personally, was shocked at how high their numbers were. Think about you budget and where you are compared to the figures above. For example, for my family of 7 we are just above the thrifty plan, which is $640 for a 4 week month. When I tell other what we spend, usually people can’t believe what I spend and how many people it feeds, especially having 2 teens in the house. And my budget of $640 isn’t just for food, it’s my weekly gas money as well as any beauty care or anything else money needed during the week. We aren’t uncomfortable; we actually eat very well, a lot healthier than before because we had to cut out any processed foods due to my health. This has been a real eye opener for us. There are so many myths about eating healthy, organic, gluten free that I have thought and found which stands in the way of the real truth about eating healthy. A few myths are: eating healthy is too expensive, which only the rich or people well off can afford. That’s not true. Another one is: it is too time consuming to shop at more than one store and my store in town doesn’t offer much of what I am looking for. That’s untrue. And my last one is: there are no coupons or sales for healthy foods. Like the other two, that isn’t true.
to be continued……..