Frugal Living » Healthy eating habits start at the Grocery Store

Healthy eating habits start at the Grocery Store

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Knowing what to buy at the grocery store is the first step in deciding to eat healthy. Making the right choices on what goes into your shopping cart will help make better choices when cooking at home. Did you know that conscientiously only buying fresh produce and natural items will help save costs on your grocery bill? Below are five great tips to help make deliberate changes in your eating lifestyle to become healthier and happier. . .

1. Controlling the Munchies – Chips, snacks, pudding cups, gummy fruit snacks, cheez-its, etc are all easy snack items which are yummy and easy to make. Just pop open the box and consume. Are you aware that not one of these items have ANY nutritional value? Learning to curb the unhealthy snack habit will go a long way in eating healthier. Try replacing these snacks with yogurt, fresh veggies, dried/fresh fruit, nuts, unsalted popcorn or cheese and crackers. Try one week to skip the snack aisle all together! See what alternatives you can come up with instead to last the week. Curb your impulse buying and stick to the produce aisle.

2. Reducing seasonings and sauces – Another, out of control, convenience in grocery stores is buying premade seasonings and sauce packets. There is half an aisle made up of packaged seasonings for every style of dish. Did you know that these are loaded with salt, preservatives, and additives? None of which are healthy choices. Learn to enhance the flavor of the meat itself and avoid pouring additives and chemicals over your food for flavor. A very simple way to bring out meat flavor is to slow cook the meat. Let it marinate in its own juices and tenderize, enhancing the flavor. A crock-pot is a great tool for busy families. Slow roasting the meat all day, will create a low maintenance dinner with amazing taste. If you need some liquid, add a little bit of water. Want some extra flavor and just can’t live without seasoning? Stick to pepper and leaf spices, including oregano, cilantro, and basil. These are natural plants without any additives. Alternatively, you can learn how to make your own Seasoningsand homemade sauce mixes.

3. Eliminating boxed meals – Again, convenience items are overrunning the grocery store. Boxed meals might make dinners simple to create. Everything is packaged together into one box and directions are right there on the side. However, anything in a box has something added to it to preserve the food inside. Preservatives and additives are NOT healthy. There is so much sodium and chemically modified additives in box meals, any healthy food choice inside the box is outweighed by the bad. Hamburger helpers are truly easy to make without the boxed set. Try cooking the meat on its own and add in the noodles and butter/cheese/alfredo sauce on your own. You would be surprised on how easy it can be. Experiment a little. Be brave! Get the kids involved. Cooking can be a fun experience. Convenience Food items can be made at home at a fraction of the cost without the added chemicals or sugars.

4. Drink Water! – This one cannot be stressed enough! Did you know that your body is made up of 75% water? We need to keep a fresh stock of clean water in our body to help it function properly and flush out the toxins. Our body naturally wants to remove toxins and bad things from itself. However, without a fresh supply, the water in our body becomes stagnant. When the water is reused enough times, our natural cleaning system does not clean efficiently. When we mop the floor, we use fresh water every time. It should be the same way with our bodies. Help your inner cleaning system by supplying fresh water daily. Think of cleaning the floor with soda or koolaide. What a sticky mess! Your body is fighting these other liquids which hinders the cleaning process. Things get sticky and gunked up in your body when the wrong liquids are consumed. Keeping your body hydrated with fresh clean water is a huge step in making healthy choices! This also will save you so much money. Water is free! (or nearly) Skipping the soda or fruit drinks will save you a ton of money in the long run.

5. Stick to Outside – One great rule of thumb when grocery shopping is to stick to the outside of the store. Avoid those middle aisle with cakes, snacks, prepackaged foods, impulse buys, canned foods, and holiday junk food. Start in the dairy section and work through the meats to the produce aisle. These are the real foods (be picky, however). There are a few exceptions, however. Buying canned beans, dry noodles, rice and bread are the major exceptions. Be careful, though. Impulse buying is a hard thing to overcome. Put on blinders and stick to the outside!

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