Posted by: molander | February 12, 2010

Put your money where you mouth is…

I’m hearing this less and less but one complaint I still get is “I can’t eat as healthy as you do because it’s not in my budget.” Hmmm… my simple solution is fix your budget.You’re talking to the Queen of Penny Pinching here so let’s see if I can offer any help.

1) Watch your sales. I’ve always done this. This week, I saved $45.58 on Kroger Plus Card deals. Watch ’em and stock up. For instance, I’ve always had a rule that I wouldn’t buy junk food unless it was on sale. (Why would you pay full price for something you shouldn’t be eating anyway?) So this week, when Cascadian Farm Organic granola-type bars were on sale 50% off, I bought lots. And yes, I consider granola-type bars junk food… lots of sugar and sodium. HOWEVER… remember “good, better best!” If you need a treat, it may as well have positive aspects to it! (Tip: Instead of a Snickers candy bar, try their Sweet & Salty Mixed Nut granola bar.) You can get a coupon on their site as well. Remember: this stuff doesn’t have any of the Avoid At All Costs crap in them.

2) Use coupons. I’ve always done this. If somebody is going to give me free money, I’m going to take it! Too much trouble, you say? Hmmm… Did you have a bad kindergarten experience with scissors? Well, that might be understood then. I’m a whiz with scissors so no prob for me. As a matter of fact, I saved $5.00 with only 1 coupon this week. It was in the back of that Entertainment coupon book we had to buy for a school fundraiser. There is one $5 Kroger coupon for every month+1 in there. The book was $20 but there are $65 of Kroger savings alone. Do the math.

3) The reality is: It’s not as bad as you think. Seriously. Prices on the good stuff are dropping all the time. About a year ago a 64 oz. bottle of organic apple juice was around $8. (Yikes!) Just yesterday, it was cheaper than the bad stuff. Note the NON-sale prices below:

Organic apple juice $3.11 regular price

Organic apple juice $3.11 regular price

Motts $3.59 regular price

I don’t buy much juice because I don’t think we get enough bang for our buck: caloric value and sugar are high compared to the nutritional benefit.

In the case above, Mott’s is only 54% juice, hence the lower sugar value. Buy the organic and water it down… but wait until it goes on sale first and stock up!

And remember… we control the prices through the Law of Supply and Demand. As the demand for these items rises, the choices are plentiful and the prices get lower.

4) Pay attention to value, not only price. For instance, cheap bread is not a value.

xxxx a) poor nutritional value

xxxx b) probably contains crap from the Avoid at all Cost list. (Different brands have different poisons.)

xxxx c) Refined carbohydrates spike your insulin level and are quick to be digested and are therefore not as filling as whole grains.

And remember that 2 pieces of cheap bread = about 1 piece of quality bread. (Click to review the nutrition facts of 2 grilled cheese sandwiches: 70g for 1 and 74g for the other.) You’ll feel just as full with only 1 piece of the quality bread AND you’ll stay satisfied longer.

Here’s an exercise… pictures were taken last week at Walmart. Compare these three breads by VALUE not just price alone:

Quality bread

Quality bread. 1 piece per sandwich so that sort of cuts the cost in half: $1.25

Medium

Medium quality but still crap. Honey increases sugars/carbs and note that this does not say "100% whole wheat."

White bread

Total crap. Do not eat.

Always buy bread labeled “100% whole wheat.” The government says manufacturers can label a product “whole wheat” if it has only 51% whole grain flour. If it says “100% whole wheat” then it must live up to that claim. Don’t be tricked.

Click here for part 2!

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