Follow these healthy diet tips to help stay on a budget this year

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A healthy diet doesn’t have to be expensive. You can save money by planning ahead and making cost-conscious, buying decisions when you shop. The following suggestions can help you save money in 2017.
Saving Strategies

• Plan a week’s worth of meals before making a shopping list.

• Check out your refrigerator and your pantry before making your list

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• Don’t go to the store hungry-you’ll be more tempted to load your cart with snack foods and treats.

• Stick to your shopping list at the store. Doing so can reduce expensive impulse buys

• Buy store brands of fat, sugar, flour, vegetable oil, cinnamon and other staples. Such brands cost appreciably less than brand name products, and the difference in quality is negligible.

Fruits and Vegetables

• Buy fruits and vegetables in season. For example: Blueberries are twice as expensive in November as in June.

• Buy fresh vegetables instead of processed. For example: Buy corn on the cob instead of canned or frozen corn.

• Purchase plain frozen vegetables. Those with sauces can cost more than $1 more.

• Choose the largest pieces when produce is priced by the piece.
Dairy Foods

• Buy the largest size milk you can use in a week. You can save up to $1.50 per gallon if you buy by the gallon instead of by the quart.

• Buy cheese in blocks. Pre-shredded cheese costs one-third more per pound than block cheese.

• Don’t buy individual ice cream bars. Ice cream or frozen yogurt by the half gallon costs half as much.

Meat, Poultry and Fish

• Buy large pieces of chicken with the skin on. Remove the skin yourself and cut the chicken into the size pieces you need.

• Use bones to make chicken and turkey stock instead of paying almost $1 for a 12-ounce can of stock.
Bread and Grain

• Buy specialty breads, rolls and English muffins when they’re on sale and freeze them.

• Buy plain rice and season it yourself instead of buying packaged rice dishes.

• Make macaroni and cheese from scratch instead of buying packaged or frozen meals.

Buy a large bags of pretzels and crackers instead of individual serving-size bags. Divide them yourself into small (sandwich or snack size) plastic bags for lunches and snacks.

Source: Vitality, FACETS-January/February 2017