The primary reason for eating healthy is to maintain a properly working body. More than half of health disorders are linked to obesity. However, after my husband was forced to alter his eating habits due to various health reasons and possible long-term complications, our family realized another perk to eating in moderation - savings. We've all adopted this new healthy lifestyle, and our weekly grocery bills have gone down by 40%! Here's why.
Most people overeat simply by consuming more than the suggested serving sizes. However, the goal is to eat to those suggestions. The way to get there is to start small. Prepare smaller meals that don't offer the temptation of second helpings. After time, the stomach adjusts to the smaller size meals and the desire to eat more than one serving disappears. By purchasing smaller portions of everything at the grocery store we noticed a real difference. Rather than preparing a double batch of each casserole, we only prepare one. That's a 50% savings.
Snacking is the hardest habit to break, yet it is the most expensive. If the only dietary change you make is to eliminate unhealthy snacks both your body and your wallet will thank you. At $2.58 a bag, potato chips are not only high in fat and salt but in pennies as well. Once we eliminated the chips, popcorn, and dessert cakes from our weekly grocery trip, we noticed a drop of almost $15. Over the course of a year that amounts to over $700!
Instead of snacking on bags of pretzels and nacho chips, we stocked our refrigerator with vegetables and low-fat dip. Over time we learned to skip the snacks; they were mostly a psychological hunger rather than a physiological one. Now, if we're craving something between meals we grab a handful of baby carrots or a pack of unsweetened apple sauce - both cheaper than a bag of Doritos.
Water consumption is critical to a healthy diet. At the advice of his doctor, my husband began to consume water throughout the day in a continual drinking pattern. Headaches and fatigue can all be caused by a lack of adequate hydration. Likewise, replace fruit flavored drinks with 100% juice, and consume 500 grams of calcium per day. Our new rule is every time we pour a glass of milk for our son, we each drink one as well.
Looking at the monetary aspect only (the health benefits are immeasurable), we've saved in more places than our grocery store. After losing fifty plus pounds, my husband's blood pressure and sugar levels have gone down, eliminating a few of his daily medications which equaled $50 a month. Without the extra baggage he's also noticed a difference in his energy levels which has motivated him to start a few do-it-yourself projects around the home. On top of that we've drastically reduced his visits to the chiropractor as well - all for a healthier and cheaper way of eating.
* Consult your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise program. The above suggestions are given to create a healthy lifestyle with the side effect of monetary savings and should not be done for monetary reasons alone.
About The Author: Kelly Ann Butterbaugh is a freelance writer who regularly contributes to a variety of magazines as well as online newsletters. She teaches writing in the public school as well as at the collegiate level. Contact her at Englishteach@rcn.com or visit her website at http://users.rcn.com/wesavedamutt/Writer
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