Wednesday, February 1, 2012

CHANGE DIET: SAVE MONEY AND MAYBE LOOSE WEIGHT

There are several ways that minor changes in diet can help you cut your calories and also increase your savings. However, no one should make any drastic changes to their diet without consulting their doctor. What is suggested in this blog are just a few ways you can save money on your grocery bill while at the same time cutting back on some general items which might help fight the “battle of the bulge”. These ideas are ones that I and people I know have tried in order to increase savings and decrease spending.

Cutting back on portions and substituting food items are the two main ways of saving money. Starting with breakfast it is easy to see where grocery bills could be brought down. Perhaps instead of eating two eggs, two slices of toast and, two slices of bacon you might try having just one egg, one slice of toast and one slice of bacon. The same goes for your consumption of coffee or other beverage. Perhaps eating dry toast once in a while or poached instead of fried eggs might be a way of cutting back on fat consumption which in turn cuts back on what you spend at the grocery store. Dry toast does not have to plain toast since you can try a bit of cinnamon on it for flavor. If you’re a cereal eater try eating a bowl of oat meal once in a while in the place of a perhaps very sugary and costly cereal.

For a snack break you might try eating some crackers with jelly or jam on them. I have found this to be a good way of curbing the mid-morning desire for a pastry. The crackers I liked to use when I worked out were just plain saltines and the jam was homemade and the fruit came from my garden or my fruit trees. The saltines and jam snacks cost just a fraction of a deep fried jelly or creamed filled doughnut and I would say the calories, at least the ones from fat were much less. Crackers with cheese or crackers with peanut butter might be another way to go if you don’t like jelly.

Taking your lunch to work really will save you at least a small fortune over time. I liked peanut butter and/or jelly but certainly tuna, chicken, ham and other meats and vegetables always made for a nice meal at work. You can also eat much leaner meats and in proper portions by making your own sandwich and taking it to work. Usually, restaurant and deli sandwiches have huge buns stacked with some very fatty meats. You might also try bringing in some fresh veggies or fruit to spice up your lunch. Soup or homemade chili from home might be just the type of lunch that keeps your calories low, your food cost low and, maybe you might just be getting food with a bit more nutrition in it.

I remember for years that my mom would carve up the turkey, chicken or, roast beef from our traditional Sunday dinner and make up sandwiches for my dads lunch. She would freeze the sandwiches so they would keep for at least the next week. My dad would usually get some vegetable or fruit in his lunch which would come out of the garden or off the fruit trees.

Supper is the last meal of the day and can be one where you find a great deal of savings simply by cutting back the portions you eat. My sister and brother-in-law lost a tremendous amount of weight simply by eating foods in portions which are recommended. Every recipe and every frozen food will have suggested serving sizes. Unfortunately, for most of us we ignore the suggested serving sizes and simply eat until our stomachs can hold no more. For myself I know that overeating at supper time was a way of finding comfort from a very stressful day at work. Most of us should go for a walk to get rid of stress rather than overeating.

Well, my sister battled the temptation of overeating at supper time by fixing up dinners in plastic containers which contained foods in their proper proportions. By having foods measured out in their proper proportions it is harder to overeat the main course and then skip out on the very nutritional courses of fruits and vegetables. The main course is usually a meat and with the fantastic prices of meat today it can save a lot of money by not filling up on it and skipping the rest of your meal.

Finally, you have night time snacks to deal with. You can try serving your favorite snack in small bowls, bags or, sacks. Like with supper, serving corn chips, potato chips and other snacks in proportions that are closer to serving and nutritional size might be a way to curb consumption. Curbing consumption curbs costs, calories and all the other nasty things like fats and salts. Also, try substituting popcorn for fatty snacks. Everyone wants butter and salt on their popcorn but, at least if you pop the popcorn the old fashioned way you can curb the intakes of the bad stuff. I’d suggest substituting vegetables from the garden for snacks when you can but, most people want high carbohydrate snacks at night so, popcorn or perhaps cheese and crackers might be cheaper and healthier than any kind of deep fried snack.

Remember, the above a re just suggestions and you should consult your doctor before you make any drastic changes to your diet however, eating healthier while eating foods that are more wallet friendly will save you a fortune over time.

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