How to Eat Healthier Without Breaking the Bank

healthy eatingYesterday we started looking at some of the challenges seniors face when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet. Today we’ll continue with tips on eating healthy and getting all the nutrients you need while on a tight budget. We’ll also show you how to make your grocery shopping experience a little easier.

Grocery shopping on a limited budget can be difficult, but it can be done. The key is to focus on three things: a budget, coupons, and economical foods. Blueberries, for example, can be quite expensive. But other nutritious foods like bananas, apples, oranges, leafy greens, peppers, and carrots are not too pricey. You can also save money by putting in a little extra work and preparing your own food, instead of buying items like bagged salad and grated cheese. Planning in advance is also a good way to avoid buying prepared meals (which are usually not nutritious).

Coupons can also be a great way to save. When you get your flyers, take a moment to see what’s on sale this week and create your shopping list. By planning your weekly meals according to what’s on sale, you can prepare healthy, nutritious meals without paying a hefty price.

Another thing to remember is to limit your spending on expensive organic food. The debate rages on as to whether or not organic food is actually healthier than non-organic food when it comes to nutrition. If your budget is tight, it’s best to buy non-organic; make sure you wash it very thoroughly to ensure you remove pesticide residue.

Budgeting for a nutritious diet is very important, but can also be difficult. The first thing you should do is decide how much of your income you can dedicate towards groceries. The federal government has created a web site that can help you come up with a budget. There is a very brief questionnaire that only takes a few minutes to fill out-and don’t worry, they don’t ask for any personal information.

They will ask your age, how many people you’re cooking for, and your gender. Based on this information, they will come up with how much you should be spending on nutrition per week or per month. They will also help you create a shopping list based on your capabilities.

Once you’ve come up with the best way to save to suit your needs, the real battle begins: going to the grocery store. For some, this can be a very difficult experience.

One of the first things to do is think about when you go to the store. Try to go in the morning or mid-day before it starts to fill up. This way, you don’t have to worry about standing around in long line-ups or dealing with pushy people. Instead, you can save your energy and enjoy a more relaxing shopping experience.

Pay attention to the stores that are busier at peak times. These stores will often have fresher produce and a better selection-that’s why they’re so popular. A busy store means higher turnover and usually fresher food.

Going to stores that are well-staffed can also be a big help. The staff can field your questions and offer assistance as you shop. Perhaps they can carry your bags to the car, or reach for items that you can’t get to. They may even have a senior assistance program you can take advantage of.

Tomorrow I’ll be back with some important specific nutritional information, a sample shopping list, and more information on programs that can offer you assistance.

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