Many of us are on a budget and want to get the most out of our grocery store dollars. There are many things you can do to avoid high grocery bills.
Never shop hungry. You’ll lose your gut and your wallet. Go to a store hungry and you are likely to pick up whatever looks good, regardless of the price and nutrition profile.
Buy seasonal produce or buy frozen. When you find a recipe that calls for blueberries and it is the middle of December, don’t go on a goose chase looking for fresh berries. Buy frozen or choose another dish and save that one for July.
Choose unprocessed. Yes, this means you may have to chop a thing or two and actually turn on your stovetop but, you’ll save a lot of money if you find quick cooking recipes that use fresh, frozen or canned minimally processed foods.
Use coupons or try the store brand. If you buy boxed goods, it may be worth it to invest $2 in the Sunday newspaper. Many companies now offer online coupons that you can print out and use at your local retailer. Coupons.com is a great resource for many coupons.
Shop at warehouse stores but still check prices to make sure you are getting a bargain. Let’s face it, you can stock up on canned green beans and not worry to much about them going bad. But, think twice about buying bananas in bulk.
Invest a few minutes in planning your meals. By doing this you can avoid running out to the grocery store for forgotten ingredients and leftovers that go bad.
Go through your cabinets and refrigerator before you shop. It’s amazing when you find that you already have 2 bags of shredded mozzarella stuck under some tortillas and string cheese.
And last but not least, don’t forget the nutritional supplements you need to ensure good health. Saving a few dollars now and forgoing your calcium + vitamin D supplement or deciding not to continue taking your multivitamin, will cost you a significantly greater amount of money in the future on healthcare costs and lost productivity.
Happy Shopping and Saving!
Many of us live with the nagging joint discomfort. We either experience the annoying beginning stages or the painful and often debilitating effects of living with later stages of our joints getting older. For many of us, just a few reminders and tips can help us remember to move during the day and make it part of our daily routine. Keeping joints flexible is key to keeping your body comfortable.
By taking care of our bodies our joints we will feel better by extension. Making movement a priority will, in the long run, give us more freedom to do the activities we love with less discomfort.
Clean your house:
If you are not afraid of a little housework the movement in some activities will really help to keep you moving and burn a few calories too. Just the simple everyday tasks can be more fun if you add some music to the task and dance a bit while you are going through the chores. Cleaning the floor, washing windows, hanging laundry out to dry, cleaning the bathroom, unloading the dishwasher, etc. Protect your joints by using alternative motions while performing the activities.
Get outside to move:
- Walk the dog or offer to walk a friend’s dog
- Wash your car
- Garden – use long handled tools to reduce strain on your back and knees. You just may reap the rewards not only with added movement but with beautiful flowers, vegetables or fresh fruit.
- Make a play date – Take those kids or grand kids out to the park and play a game or take a walk exploring what nature has to offer.
- Hike or bike – either at home or the next time you are on a vacation how about walking or hiking to all the historic sites instead of driving a car.
Explore Interactive Video games: (Wii, Kinect)
Get off the couch and participate in the new generation of video games. There are some great ones out there that actually promote balance and movement. Give a few of them a try and find one that you like to participate in. Gather the family around and do it as a group activity. It is much more fun to do activities together. Before you know it you will be having fun and moving your body!
Join a Fitness Club:
- Get social and grab a few of your neighbors or your friends and create a walking group to take a walk around the neighborhood or a local park a couple times per week.
- Take a class or join a group and learn out to dance, golf or play tennis.
- Swimming is a perfect exercise if you have painful joints.
Volunteering can be rewarding. How about volunteering to walk someone’s dog or walk a dog at a local shelter? Give your time at a retirement or rehabilitation community where you can help take someone on a walk that might not be able to get outside otherwise.
Enhance your random daily activities:
Carry your groceries – On the days that you are purchasing just a few things consider carrying them in a bag instead of using a cart. Carry them across your arms to reduce strain on your wrists.
Take the stairs – When possible take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Park in the last spot – We have all heard this one before. By parking further way from the front door you are adding in a bit more walking each time you park your car. Those few added steps can help boost your heart rate and keep you moving.
Get Essential Nutrition:
Don’t for get to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout your activities. Eat a healthy mix of fruits, vegetables and lean protein to get all of the nutrients your body needs to stay active.
Guest blog post by Lori McKnight, B.A., busy mom and wife who enjoys living in the Pacific Northwest and has been a health and wellness advocate for many years.
The new RDAs set for vitamin D had me thinking. In some ways medicine seems so advanced. And in other ways, we are in the beginning stages of figuring out the big picture and there are so many little components that haven’t been completely accounted for.
Nothing works in isolation in our body, which makes identifying all of the things one antioxidant or nutrient does and is responsible for difficult. And, though all Nissian Maximas built in the same year may look the same to a mechanic, you look nothing like the other males or females who are your same age (on the inside or the outside; unless of course, you have a twin).
Making things more complicated, the math is fuzzy at best. 1 + 1 doesn’t always equal 2 and sometimes we can’t even accurately add up the numbers on each side of this equation (how do you know your total vitamin D intake? Did you add it up based on what you ate today? How did you account for sun exposure and how much vitamin D you produced through this exposure?)
It All Depends On Interpretation
All of these factors make interpreting scientific studies in easy to understand terms for the masses, skewed at best. And therefore, any dietary guidelines that are given to an entire country, should be taken as just that, a general guideline. To figure out what levels of any nutrient, dietary supplement or food may be best for you given your health status, activity level, current dietary intake and goals; you need to sit down with a registered dietitian (RD) who specializes in your specific area of need or goal and let that RD take a comprehensive assessment of where you are, what you need and where you can improve. If you want to lose weight, go to someone who specializes in this, if you have Type 1 diabetes and you are an athlete, go to a RD who works with diabetic athletes.
Each Individual’s Needs are Unique
I understand all the angst for or against certain supplements or recommended intakes of specific supplements but, there is no one dietary recommendation that will ever fit all people. Therefore, you should take any recommendation as just that – a broad recommendation for all. And, if you think you are an outlier to the masses, talk to your physician or dietitian. I assure you, you aren’t alone. As a dietitian, I don’t follow some of the diet recommendations put forth by our government because I know the research and I know what my needs are.
After all, I’m going to do what’s best for me, and so should you.