ThriftyFun News January 28, 2005 - Healthy, Frugal Eating

ThriftyFun News
Frugal, Healthy Eating

Volume Seven, Number 5 January 28, 2005


This week's TF News is about Frugal, Healthy Eating. We recently received this request from a reader who is looking for strategies for eating healthy without spending a lot more money.


"I have the hardest time being frugal when it come to healthy eating. It seems chips and other unhealthy foods are much cheaper then healthy foods. I have had people say that is not true but this is how I look at it: If I buy a bag of potato chips at Aldis it will cost 99¢ and will allow about 5 treats. Where as, if I buy 5 apples for 5 treats I am now paying anywhere from $1.49 - $1.79 per pound so it comes out to usually $4.00-$5.00. I dont see that as being cheaper. I know in the long run it is cheaper but I want to know how people stay frugal when it comes to healthy eating now, not in the future. That is a topic I would like to see covered.Thanks for listening to my little rant."

- Frugal

Below are all the responses that we received to this requests as well as some articles from the archive.

If you have any more tips to add to this topic, feel free to submit them and we will publish them in the Daily.


Thanks for reading,


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This newsletter contains:

  • Healthy Eating For Overall Health
  • Before Eating Junk Food, Consider Medical Costs Down The Road
  • Groceries Are Cheaper Than Doctor Bills
  • Invest In Your Health
  • Shop At Discount Grocery Stores
  • Eating Healthily and Frugally at Fast Food Chains
  • Shop At ALDI Or Other Discount Grocery Stores
  • Popcorn and Trail Mix
  • Bev's Easy Yoghurt (Yogurt)
  • Tips for Frugally Healthy Meals
  • Fruits and Vegetables As Snacks
  • A Healthy Meat Substitute
  • Healthy Eating: It's a Frugal Thing To Do!
  • January is Oatmeal Month
  • Healthy Snacks Ideas
  • Healthy Snacking Grows Healthy Kids

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Frugal, Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating For Overall Health

Frugal needs to look at the big picture. For overall health and weight loss, you have to look at long term eating and not just immediate gratification. Frugal references Aldi's. I shop at Aldi's every other week and our Aldi's has a produce section where the healthy treats would be as inexpensive as chips. There are also healthier chips and such at our Aldi's. I have been finding healthy recipes online and buying the ingredients at Aldi's. I too used to think that it was cheaper to eat unhealthy, but I am finding this is not true and am feeling soo much better about myself.

By Kelly

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Before Eating Junk Food, Consider Medical Costs Down The Road

When choosing healthy food and considering cost, it helps to remember what the dentist charges for a filling if I eat junk food, what cholesterol and diabetic prescriptions cost, not to mention the cost of going to the doctor and other medical tests. One co-pay at the doctor's office could have bought good food at the grocery store. Cheap junk food ends up being a lot more expensive than healthy snacks.

By Lynn

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Groceries Are Cheaper Than Doctor Bills

When I was raising our children my mother-in -law told me one day as I too was complaining about food prices. "groceries are a lot cheaper then doctor bills" and I never forget that and raised four healthy beautiful adults.

By havanagirl

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Invest In Your Health

Your health is worth much more than what you can save by eating junk. Cut back on other areas; possessions come and go, but you only have one body. You are buying quality of life, not just apples. Our family of four eats unprocessed, mostly organic foods on $100 a week, mostly by cooking everything ourselves. Give yourself some time to transition to this new lifestyle and mindset, and you'll find yourself actually spending less, not more.

By Shirley

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Shop At Discount Grocery Stores

As far as the person who wrote in about eating healthy for less, I have a suggestion. We have started eating healthier and I am the "coupon queen". I thought it was cheaper to eat fat too, until I switched. For one thing fruit is much more filling, where chips actually cause you to be hungrier. There is a local meat market and a Meijer store that I shop at and they both have produce that needs to be sold that day marked down really cheap!

Last week I bought 9 green peppers in a bag for .99! I cut them up and we snacked on them and used them in recipes for the whole week. I still have some left. I am still looking for more tips and ideas, but that was one I thought i'd share with you!

By Jill

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Eating Healthily and Frugally at Fast Food Chains

Excluding Subway, the more healthy items at fast food chains are the more expensive (e.g., Grilled Chicken sandwich vs. a Big Mac). When you go, make sure to ask if you can SUBSTITUTE a healthy side item, like a salad, for french fries or potato chips.

By defoliate

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Shop At ALDI Or Other Discount Grocery Stores

ALDI is a great discount grocery store that has great prices on fruits, vegetables, salad mixes, turkey breast meat, soups, fat-free milk and cereals. They now carry a low-fat cracker and salad dressing line. If you have a super Wal-mart stock up on there fat-free yogurt for 39¢ a container. Great deal. Most grocery stores run weekly specials on yogurt and seasonal produce and meats. Just watch your ads.

You are correct packaged processed fatty food is cheaper than fresh, but if you are luck to have farmers markets use them! Best quality and prices!
Good luck.

By Melissa

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Popcorn and Trail Mix

A great inexpensive snack is popcorn. You can cook it in a hot air popper and for very little money have a low calorie snack. The calories go on when you use oil, butter or margarine on it. If calories aren't a problem, then you can dress it with melted butter, parmesan cheese, or brewers yeast.

Another fairly inexpensive but nutritious snack is a trail mix made from sunflower seed kernels, raisins and raw almonds or cashews. Nuts and raisins can be found inexpensively at Costco or Sam's Club.

Susan from ThriftyFun

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Bev's Easy Yoghurt

(Almost from scratch) Yoghurt Making

I saw the tip about buying the cheaper plain yoghurt and flavouring it with your favourite tasty sweet flavouring. Great tip.....but....

Do you realise that out of one small tub of plain yoghurt is the making of much more yoghurt?

I have two recipes for making yoghurt. I've tried and tested one of them and make it all the time, but have heard that the other is just as easy so I'll include both recipes, especially since the 2nd recipe is in US measurements...

The first recipe I have left in metric as I found it too hard to convert. I thought that since we have quite a few members from Europe and Australia, I'd leave the first recipe unconverted.

Yoghurt Recipe No 1 (Metric)

All you need is a 200g (just over 7 oz)tub of plain yoghurt. I buy the low fat ones. This one tub will make several containers of yoghurt, but will keep in the fridge until used again.

The reason I say this is almost from scratch is because you need a starter culture (that's why you need the bought yoghurt).


  • 1 litre : UHT (long life liquid milk), or fresh, or made-up from powdered
  • dried milk powder
  • accurate cooking thermometer
  • plain yoghurt with acidophilus & bifidus (this is the healthiest but just plain will do)

You can do it in the following ratios:

  • 1 litre liquid milk 1/4 cup milk powder 2 tbs plain yoghurt
  • 2 litres liquid milk 1/2 cup milk powder 4 tbs plain yoghurt
  • 3 litres liquid milk 3/4 cup milk powder 6 tbs plain yoghurt

  • 1. Warm the milk (not too hot just warm)
  • 2. Add the milk powder and whisk until the lumps are gone
  • 3. Bring the milk to the boil: use a double boiler or microwave it
  • 4. Allow to cool to 45 degrees Celsius - use a thermometer, don't guess. If it's too hot you'll kill the yoghurt. If it's too cold it won't set.
  • 5. Add yoghurt
  • 6. Stir gently
  • 7. Cover with a lid and maintain heat by wrapping the bowl in towels and setting in a warm, draft free place.
  • 8. Leave to set for 6 - 12 hours. 6 gives a mild flavour, 12 gives stronger flavour.
  • 9. When it is to your taste, refrigerate to stop the yoghurt process occurring.

My children don't like plain yoghurt so I flavour mine with powdered sweetener, like the sachets you get from the health food store. I don't like artificial sweeteners so I haven't tried those, but remember if you use a liquid sweetener, it will make the yoghurt thinner.

p.s. On the top of my computer I have a special flat top that is specially made for the top of my monitor. It allows me to put things on top of my monitor. But it also stays really warm when the computer is on, and this is a fantastic, draft-free, warm area for my yoghurt container. This is also where I let my bread dough rise when my bread machine died. I wrap my 2 litre container with a warm towel (warmed in the dryer) and leave it on top of the computer to "do it's thing". And if the kids don't beat me to it, I actually get to eat some too!


Yoghurt Recipe No 2

Preheat a heatproof dish and a well fitting lid, or thermos flask with boiling water.

Heat milk to blood heat 37C/ 98F.

Put yoghurt into a basin, add a little of the warm milk, stir well and then pour the yoghurt into the pan of milk.

Stir well, then pour into the warmed dish and cover with the lid.

Cover the container with a thick cloth and leave in a warm place, such as an airing cupboard, overnight, until the milk clots.

If a thermos flask is used you do not need a warm place!

Remember, this second recipe I haven't tried yet but I have heard it was very successful.

Not so long ago I bought a small tub of yoghurt for 79c Australian... about 61c US. Out of that I will probably get about 6 litres of Yoghurt.

I have never used fresh milk in my yogurt... only powdered milk made up.

I still follow the instructions to sprinkle the small amount of powdered milk into the made up milk, but at 47c per litre using powdered milk it makes it a very frugal recipe for yoghurt.

I know the thermometre is quite expensive, but since you will be able to use it to make candy, it's a good investment. Remember, when making yoghurt if you put the starter culture in before the milk has cooled to the proper temperature, it will kill the process and the same goes if you have let it cool too much. Too cold, and it won't grow either.


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Tips for Frugally Healthy Meals

A great tip I use for frugality healthy meals is....

1. When buying produce, try to buy items that can be frozen later on. For instance. I will buy a bulk bag of apples. Usually if I shop around I can find a 5lb bag for about 3 dollars. I use one quarter of the bag to set on table for healthy snacks for my kids. The remaining apples I split up and make homemade applesauce, apple chips right in the oven, or just peel, cook and freeze. I place them in small freezer bags..with the exception of the apple chips.

2. Buying in bulk is usually better then if you buy smaller. I try to look for products based on the season and their ability to be frozen. I don't know much about canning so freezing is the best for me. I also ask friends and family to split the cost with me. I recently bought a 50lb bag of potatoes. They cost about 10$ and I split the cost with my sister.

Another great tip is when cooking any meal, use individual freezer bags to place one meal in. I then throw them in hubby's lunch pail, frozen, and all he has to do is micro for a few minutes. I look recipes for healthy living up on the net and make sure that they will go far, as well as are freezable.

As far as fresh produce, this time of year it can be more expensive, so I try to buy discounted items...make home made fruit role ups, fruit chips, etc. Cut fresh veggies and put in freezer bags for easy additions to meals, and are sure as to what is put in them.

3. Ask friends and family to split the cost of more expensive items. I know it seems like you are paying more for the larger purchase, but it will definitely last longer and if someone is splitting the cost with you you will be saving more.

4. I have found a whole sale bread place in my area. They usually don't advertise but buying breads there are usually cheaper then buying them at Aldis. Buy the whole grain breads and freeze.

HOpe this helps...i know it has saved me a bundle on my grocery bill and also keeps my family of five on the healthy road.

By Melissa from NY

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Fruits and Vegetables for Snacks

These come in response to "I have the hardest time being frugal when it come to healthy eating. It seems chips and other unhealthy foods are much cheaper then healthy foods. I have had people say that is not true but this is how I look at it: If I buy a bag of potato chips at Aldis it will cost 99¢ and will allow about 5 treats. Where as, if I buy 5 apples for 5 treats I am now paying anywhere from $1.49 - $1.79 per pound so it comes out to usually $4.00-$5.00. I don't see that as being cheaper. I know in the long run it is cheaper but I want to know how people stay frugal when it comes to healthy eating now, not in the future. That is a topic I would like to see covered.Thanks for listening to my little rant."

- Frugal

If I wait for sales, I can usually get school boy apples for as low as 69 cents a pounds. I actually like the size better than bigger apples, especially for kids. I can usually stock up on enough to last me until the next sale.

~ ~ ~

Giving potato chips for a snack is an investment in poor health down the road, why not give apples even if it's a little more, because it's certainly less expensive than drugs to clear out those arteries, or to recover from a stroke or heart attack.

By Dotty

~ ~ ~

To the person looking for healthy snacks try shopping at Aldi's. My Aldi's sells 3 lb. bags of apples for $.99 to $1.49 which is way more than 5 snacks; they also sell bananas for $.29 lb and the baby carrots are really cheap too. Maybe you are missing the produce aisle.

By Betty

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A Healthy Meat Substitute
By Deborah Taylor-Hough

What if I told you I'd found a food you can use like meat that's not only dirt cheap, but also healthier than many other food items on the market? You'd probably think I also had some swamp land in Florida to sell you cheap. `

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Healthy Eating: It's a Frugal Thing To Do!
By Cyndi Roberts

Staying healthy is a frugal thing to do! Fewer medicines to buy, whether prescription or over the counter, and fewer visits to the doctor can only be a good thing!

Making wise food choices is a vital step toward keeping healthy and boosting your body's immune system. Some foods are loaded with nutrients that can actually help prevent disease.

Beta carotene is a powerful antioxidant (disease fighter). Yellow and orange vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes pack lots of beta carotene.

Tomatoes have high levels of lycopene and vitamin C. Research shows many benefits of lycopene. Tomatoes with the reddest color have the highest amounts of lycopene. Have your tomatoes in soups, salads or even in ketchup. Unlike some vegetables, tomatoes don't lose their nutritional value during cooking.

Broccoli is full of fiber and also contains beta carotene. And it has more vitamin C than oranges, plus it's loaded with vitamin E to strenghten body cells that fight infection.

Tiny blueberries pack high levels of antioxidants and also may help prevent urinary tract infections. Also, blueberries may reduce the buildup of "bad" cholesterol. A cup of blue berries contains 3 grams of fiber.

Green leafy veggies, like spinach, contain vitamin B and iron. The darker the green, the more nutritious. Green leafy veggies also provide fiber, which is important in helping reduce cholesterol and controlling blood sugar levels. Remember not to overcook, or nutrients will be lost.

Vitamin C increases the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and helps the body to absorb iron. For lots of vitamin C, choose fruits such as strawberries, oranges, grapefruit and kiwi.

Overall, vegetables and fruits contribute a high amount of nutrients for the calories they contain. And they pack a high nutritional punch for a relatively low price. Buy fruits and veggies in season for the best value.

Stock your fridge with these frugal, healthy foods and strengthen your body's immune system.

The ideas and tips in this article are not intended to be used as medical advice.

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January is Oatmeal Month
By Angela Billings

Oatmeal can be used in so many ways and it is heart healthy. Eat it as a hot cereal, bake cookies and make cakes with these recipes.

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Healthy Snacks Ideas

Recipes and advice for healthy snacks. Post your ideas.

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Healthy Snacking Grows Healthy Kids

"Kids love to snack, and the good news is that snacking is important to a child's well being.

Children are growing and developing rapidly. Active children have an increased need for energy as well as other essential nutrients, but they have small stomachs. They need to eat a lot, but have difficulty eating a lot at one time."

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June 22, 20060 found this helpful

Remember that even if you buy cheap treats such as chips and such, if you follow the serving sizes they are not all *that* bad for you. The problem arises when you over do it. Eat a bag of apples, no big deal. Eat a bag of chips....

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