healthy food http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9672/all en-US The 6 Most Surprisingly Unhealthy Beverages http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-most-surprisingly-unhealthy-beverages <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-6-most-surprisingly-unhealthy-beverages" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/boy-drinking-soda-101067133-small.jpg" alt="boy drinking soda" title="boy drinking soda" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Think what you're eating is what matters most in your diet? Maybe it's what you're washing it all down with that's really the problem. According to statistics compiled by the Harvard School of Public Health, the rising consumption of <a href="http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-drinks/sugary-drinks/#ref31">sugary drinks is a major contributor to obesity</a> in the United States. In fact, for about 25% of Americans, these drinks contribute 200 or more calories to their diet each day. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-reasons-to-stop-drinking-soda?ref=seealso">22 Reasons to Stop Drinking Soda</a>)</p> <p>Of course, the obvious culprit is soda (or &quot;pop,&quot; depending on where you live). Fizzy, sugary drinks are also the indulgence that get vilified the most in the press and nutritional publications. Unfortunately, that isn't the only unhealthy drink you should be avoiding. Check out these six surprisingly unhealthy beverages you may have overlooked.</p> <h2>1. Rice Milk</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Rice%20Milk.jpg" /></p> <p>Cow's milk often gets a bad rap, whether for its saturated fat content, or the hormones that are too often fed to milking cows, or to the conditions in which those cows produce their milk. And while those may all be valid concerns, many milk substitutes have problems of their own. Rice milk, in particular, <a href="http://www.rd.com/slideshows/unhealthy-foods/#slideshow=slide11">is essentially just starchy water</a>; if it isn't fortified, it provides virtually nothing in the way of protein or vitamins. Much like soda, rice milk only promises empty calories.</p> <h2>2. Smoothies</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/smoothies.jpg" /></p> <p>When it comes to having a refreshing summer treat, a smoothie seems like a good bet. But you might be better off getting the ice cream. Because let's face it: That's what you really want anyway, and you probably won't be any worse off for it.</p> <p>Smoothies tend to start out as being pretty healthy. They often contain yogurt and fruit. But then, many smoothie and drink chains add sugar, protein powders, juice, and ice cream, ratcheting up the calories to as many as 500 per cup. That said, a few chains do make healthy, relatively low calorie smoothies. Just check the nutritional information rather than assuming that a smoothie is a health food. Or take control of what's in your smoothie by <a href="http://greatist.com/health/healthy-smoothie-recipes">making your own at home</a>.</p> <h2>3. Vitamin Water</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Vitamin%20Water.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Vitamins and water. It sounds like a good combo, right? After all, our bodies need both. But before you pop the cap on one of these drinks, take a look at the label. Sure, there are plenty of vitamins, as promised. But there's also a lot of sugar. About 120 calories' worth in a typical bottle. That's less than what you'll find in the same about of soda, but not by much. And as for vitamins, well, even the leading vitamin water producer says <a href="http://foodidentitytheft.com/lawyers-for-vitaminwater-admit-drinks-health-benefits-not-meant-to-be-believed/">they probably won't do you much good</a>. Is it any wonder vitamin waters are hawked by major soft drink companies like Coca Cola?</p> <h2>4. Iced Tea</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Iced%20Tea.jpg" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/drink-your-tea-types-health-benefits-and-how-to-brew-a-perfect-cup">Tea has tons of health benefits</a>, but when it's brewed and bottled and sold as iced tea, its health benefits get a little murky.</p> <p>Most people drink what those in Southern United States call &quot;sweet tea.&quot; According to the United States Department of Agriculture's Nutrient Database, a 12-ounce glass of iced sweet tea is almost entirely made of water and carbohydrates, with 136 calories, no fat, fiber, or protein, and 32 grams of sugar. Compare that to a typical can of soda, which has about 150 calories. Sure, there are some antioxidants in that tea, but in bottled varieties,<a href="http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/blogs/dont-drink-bottled-green-tea-for-antioxidants"> those levels are often pretty low</a>. In other words, iced tea isn't much better than soda unless you make your own and keep sugar to a minimum.</p> <h2>5. Fruit Juice</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Fruit%20Juice.jpg" /></p> <p>A glass of fruit juice has long been represented on the USDA's Food Guide as a serving of fruit. Unfortunately, more recent research has found that while 100% fruit juice is made of fruit, it doesn't act like fruit in our bodies. Juice does include some vitamins and minerals, but it lacks whole fruit's fiber, which is what helps all the sugar in fruit enter our bloodstream at a slower rate. Plus,<a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/juice-as-bad-as-soda-docs-say/"> many fruit juices are as sugary as soft drinks</a>. In small quantities, the vitamins in juice make it a little healthier than soda, but not by much.</p> <h2>6. Diet Soda</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Diet%20Soda.jpg" /></p> <p>If you're a diet soda lover, you probably know it isn't <em>healthy</em> for you, exactly, but you may assume think it's a cut above sugar-sweetened fizzy drinks. Unfortunately, calorie-free diet drinks aren't free of health consequences. According to a 2008 University of Minnesota study, just one diet soda a day is linked to an <a href="http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/32/4/688.short">increased risk of metabolic syndrome.</a> A University of Texas Health Science Center study found that downing two or more cans of <a href="http://www.healthyhorns.utexas.edu/n_dietsoda.html">diet soda per day increased people's waistlines by 500%</a>. Diet soda consumption has even been linked to <a href="http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20091102/diet-sodas-hard-on-the-kidneys">kidney problems</a> and <a href="http://www.drdavidwilliams.com/acid-reflux-and-soda-connection/#axzz39Z9xpQZy">acid reflux</a>.</p> <p>The bottom line? Many drinks that are marketed as being healthy &mdash; or healthier &mdash; are just as bad for your health as soda.</p> <p><em>Any other surprisingly unhealthy beverages? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-most-surprisingly-unhealthy-beverages" class="sharethis-link" title="The 6 Most Surprisingly Unhealthy Beverages" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink beverages healthy food junk food pop soda tea unhealthy food Tue, 19 Aug 2014 21:00:05 +0000 Tara Struyk 1189082 at http://www.wisebread.com Make 15 Junk Food Favorites Healthier and Cheaper at Home http://www.wisebread.com/make-15-junk-food-favorites-healthier-and-cheaper-at-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/make-15-junk-food-favorites-healthier-and-cheaper-at-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/chicken-nuggets-179083486-small.jpg" alt="chicken nuggets" title="chicken nuggets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether we want to admit it or not, we live in a world full of brightly packaged &quot;foods&quot; and gigantic restaurant portions. Sure, I'd love to say that I never have cravings and &mdash; instead &mdash; only fill my stomach with whole foods. I'm a child of the 1990s, however, and I'm pretty sure I subsisted on a lot of unhealthy eats throughout my teens. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-healthy-recipes-for-lazy-people?ref=seealso">25 Healthy Recipes for Lazy People</a>)</p> <p>When I get the cravings these days, I either try to skip these foods entirely or go online to find healthier ways to make them at home so they pack less of a processed punch.</p> <h2>1. Pizza Hut Breadsticks</h2> <p>I'm keen on those warm, crusty breadsticks, and this <a href="http://www.seededatthetable.com/2011/05/11/parmesan-breadsticks/">copycat recipe</a> &mdash; complete with sticks and herbed Parmesan topping &mdash; looks incredibly satisfying. If you don't need 3 dozen breadsticks, you can easily make a half batch for weeknight snacking, and I'd suggest substituting half the white flour with whole wheat.</p> <h2>2. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups</h2> <p>I don't care so much about whatever holiday is next, but I sure look forward to finding Reese's eggs, trees, and other shapes to stuff my face with. This delicious <a href="http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/03/29/copycat-recipe-reeses-peanut-butter-eggs/">Peanut Butter Egg</a> recipe uses stevia and powdered sugar for sweetness, so it's certain to be much healthier than the original!</p> <h2>3. Peanut Butter Twix</h2> <p>Next in line after Reese's, my favorite candy is peanut butter Twix. This <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2010/03/homemade-chocolate-peanut-butter-twix.html">homemade recipe</a> looks a little time intensive, but it's certainly worth the effort. The best part? The peanut butter gets a more authentic texture with crumbled graham crackers.</p> <h2>4. Chicken McNuggets</h2> <p>I didn't know it was possible to make this next dish healthy, but these copycat <a href="http://cookinwithsuperpickle.blogspot.com/2010/01/chicken-nuggets-mcdonalds-style-kinda.html">Chicken McNuggets</a> are baked and gluten-free. They are also made from real chicken breast, which is far better than whatever is in the drive-through favorite. I always used to dip mine in honey!</p> <h2>5. Egg McMuffin</h2> <p>While we're on the fast food giant, check out these <a href="http://www.recipesquickneasy.com/healthy-egg-mcmuffin-copycats/">Egg McMuffins</a> made with Canadian bacon, low-calorie cheese, and whole grain English muffins. The recipe yields 12, so you can make a big batch to freeze for quick breakfasts on the go. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-make-ahead-freezable-hot-breakfast-recipes?ref=seealso">9 Make Ahead Freezable Breakfast Meals</a>)</p> <h2>6. Pop-Tarts</h2> <p>I definitely ate my fair share of Pop-Tarts growing up, and not as part of a healthy breakfast. This <a href="http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2010/04/homemade-pop-tarts/">tasty version</a> can be filled with anything from cinnamon to jam to Nutella, but whatever you choose is bound to be better than its packaged counterpart.</p> <h2>7. Orange Julius</h2> <p>I'd get this drink when we'd visit the mall, and what a treat it was! This <a href="http://www.blendtec.com/blog/orange-julius-copycat/">homemade copycat beverage</a> is sweetened with only fruit and made vegan by using almond milk, though I'm sure you can substitute in whatever dairy you prefer.</p> <h2>8. Wendy's Frosty</h2> <p>I've seen a lot of Frosty copycat recipes, but <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/wendys-frosty-copycat-4-ww-points-176818/photo">this chocolatey one</a> seems to be lighter than the rest. It's also Weight Watchers approved with only four points. If points don't matter and you're avoiding sugar substitutes, you could always use regular pudding mix with similar results.</p> <h2>9. Olive Garden Dressing</h2> <p>This recipe might not be entirely healthier than the restaurant mix, but it might get you eating more veggies at home. Try the <a href="http://www.frugalcouponliving.com/2014/05/18/copycat-olive-garden-dressing-salad-recipe/">Olive Garden Dressing</a> copycat and chill in your refrigerator for weeks of crunchy salads on demand.</p> <h2>10. Twinkie</h2> <p>It doesn't get more basic than the Twinkie. Here's a <a href="http://www.elanaspantry.com/gluten-free-twinkies/">healthy recipe</a> to try that also happens to be gluten free and extra gooey. If you don't like agave nectar, you can substitute maple syrup or honey for natural sweetness.</p> <h2>11. Rice Krispy Treats</h2> <p>I may need to make this recipe tonight because I'm already drooling over these <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2010/11/ooey-gooey-crispy-rice-treats.html">Crisp Rice Treats</a> that are made with brown rice cereal, Ricemellow Creme, and &mdash; yes &mdash; peanut butter. Drizzle some dark chocolate on top to take this dessert over the edge.</p> <h2>12. Mac and Cheese</h2> <p>I grew up on Velveeta mac and cheese, but I don't even want to know what is in that orange melty stuff. The author of this <a href="http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/12/09/vegan-macaroni-and-cheese/">vegan copycat recipe</a> claims this has all the classic flavor &mdash; all without containing any animal products whatsoever. The secret? Nuts!</p> <h2>13. Slurpee</h2> <p>This <a href="http://pikachakula.com/recipe/strawberry-lemonade-healthy-slurpee">Strawberry Lemonade Slurpee</a> recipe will take your love of the frosty drink to a new level. There's still plenty of summer left to enjoy, and the author offers up several fruit swaps for different variations. I'll take a mango plus peach, please!</p> <h2>14. Fruit Roll-Ups</h2> <p>I can't even begin to quantify how many Fruit Roll-Ups I must have eaten as a kid. Now I make them at home for my own child using real fruit. Check out this (video) recipe to make naturally sweetened <a href="http://veggiefocus.com/blog/fruit-roll-ups-video/">Strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups</a> using either an oven on low temperature or dedicated dehydrator.</p> <h2>15. Thin Mints</h2> <p>I was thrilled when I saw packaged Girl Scout style cookies pop up on grocery shelves. But they still just aren't as wholesome as homemade. Try this <a href="http://lexiscleankitchen.com/2014/03/04/paleo-thin-mints/">Paleo Thin Mints</a> recipe for a treat even your caveman ancestors might have enjoyed.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite (and wholesome) copycat recipes?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-15-junk-food-favorites-healthier-and-cheaper-at-home" class="sharethis-link" title="Make 15 Junk Food Favorites Healthier and Cheaper at Home" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink copycat recipes frugal recipes healthy food junk food Fri, 15 Aug 2014 17:00:04 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1184055 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Health Foods That Are Actually Making You Fatter http://www.wisebread.com/10-health-foods-that-are-actually-making-you-fatter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-health-foods-that-are-actually-making-you-fatter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-orange-juice-461525185-small.jpg" alt="orange juice" title="orange juice" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sometimes we think we're doing our bodies good when we're actually not. Misleading marketing or the temptation to over-eat foods that are nutritious when &mdash; and only when &mdash; consumed in moderation are the most common culprits. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-health-food-worse-for-you-than-junk-food?ref=seealso">Is &quot;Health Food&quot; Worse for You Than &quot;Junk Food&quot;?</a>)</p> <p>But you're in luck, because we're here to help with our list of 10 foods commonly consumed in the name of health, but may actually be destroying it. So read on! Your waistline will thank us.</p> <h2>1. Fruit Juice</h2> <p>Next time you pour yourself a big glass of juice, think about this: a 16-ounce bottle of orange or apple juice has the same amount of carbs as five slices of bread. That's because many juice brands contain more flavored sugar water than actual fruit juice. Some leading juice brands don't contain <em>any</em> fruit. Zip.</p> <p>Needless to say, you're much better off eating your daily servings of fruit than trying to drink them. Otherwise, you might as well wash down that healthy breakfast with a can of soda.</p> <h2>2. Protein Bars With Ridiculously High Sugar Content</h2> <p>Rule of thumb: Read the nutrition label before you take a bite. This goes for most foods, but especially protein bars. A quick look at the label will help you determine whether your health-food bar isn't really just a candy bar in a deceiving package. That's because, unless it's organic, many protein bars are full of artificial, filler ingredients and sky-high sugar content.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wellandgoodnyc.com/2012/07/16/the-5-best-and-worst-nutrition-bars/">Opt for bars by Kind, Larabar, and Quest</a> if you want real, healthful ingredients.</p> <h2>3. Fruit and Nut Mix</h2> <p>A handful is about all you get in a serving of fruit and nut mix. But the stuff is so good that in a single sitting we're apt to eat much, much more. The main ingredients aren't exactly optimal, either. Dried fruit is packed with up to eight times more calories as fresh fruit. That's because dried fruit is dehydrated, more dense, and sometimes coated in added sugar. Fresh grapes, for example, have 60 calories per cup while raisins have 430. And, yes, nuts are a great source of protein &mdash; but they're also fatty.</p> <p>Try opting for a fruit and nut bar instead. This way you won't run the risk of accidentally chowing down on four portions at a time.</p> <h2>4. Avocado</h2> <p>Avocados are packed with vitamins, minerals, and&hellip; lots of fats. Healthy fats, but fats nonetheless. In fact, about 85% of the total calories in an avocado come from fat. Now, before you give up on this delicious, green fruit, remember that avocados are extremely healthy &mdash; in moderation. But if you overindulge, you're likely to start packing on the pounds. Even healthy fats can cause weight gain when over-consumed.</p> <h2>5. Cereal</h2> <p>Even the so-called &quot;healthy&quot; breakfast cereals are loaded with <a href="http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/sugar-problem/refined-sugar-the-sweetest-poison-of-all">sugar</a> and <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/28412-list-refined-carbs/">refined carbs</a>. A bowl of that in the morning will shoot your blood sugar level to high heaven. The only direction from there is down. You're bound to crash two to three hours later. And when you do, your body will be craving another shot of sugar and refined carbs. It's a vicious cycle that does no good for your overall health.</p> <p>But that doesn't mean you should skip what's known as the most important meal of the day. Eggs, fruit, and oatmeal are all examples of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-healthy-easy-breakfasts-for-people-on-the-go">healthful morning meal options</a> that will keep you feeling fresh and alert without that mid-morning crash.</p> <h2>6. Commercial Salad Dressing</h2> <p>For those of you who are inclined to fix a salad that tastes more like the dressing than the actual salad, consider your attempts at healthy-eating to be officially backfired. The majority of dressings available at grocery stores are loaded with absolute crap ingredients like <a href="http://authoritynutrition.com/are-vegetable-and-seed-oils-bad/">vegetable oils</a> and <a href="http://drhyman.com/blog/2011/05/13/5-reasons-high-fructose-corn-syrup-will-kill-you/">high fructose corn syrup</a>. No matter how many healthy veggies you've got mixed in there, with dressing like that, you're not doing your body any favors.</p> <p>If you can't ditch or significantly reduce your consumption of store-bought dressings, it's about time you started making your own dressing from scratch. This way you'll know exactly what ingredients you're using to drown out your greens. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-money-saving-healthy-homemade-salad-dressings?ref=seealso">5 Best Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes</a>)</p> <h2>7. Gluten-Free Junk Foods</h2> <p>A cookie's still a cookie &mdash; gluten-free or not. That's because the absence of gluten in a food product doesn't make it one lick healthier than it's gluten-friendly counterpart &mdash; though many consumers have been led to believe otherwise. The reason for the recent <a href="http://www.npd.com/wps/portal/npd/us/news/press-releases/percentage-of-us-adults-trying-to-cut-down-or-avoid-gluten-in-their-diets-reaches-new-high-in-2013-reports-npd/">rise in popularity of gluten-free products</a> is the surge in gluten allergy or gluten intolerance diagnosis. But there's absolutely no health benefit to jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon if you haven't been diagnosed with an allergy or intolerance yourself.</p> <p>So don't forget that a gluten-free muffin contains just as much fat as a regular muffin. Unfortunately, there's no such thing as a healthy muffin. It's really just a repurposed slice of cake.</p> <h2>8. Tofu</h2> <p>Despite the vast nutritional benefits of this protein-packed alternative to red meat, there are a slew of tofu dishes that aren't exactly portraits of healthy eating. Tofu that's been <a href="http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/is-fried-tofu-a-healthy-option.html#b">prepared in a deep frier</a>, for example, is merely a calorie-rich version of an otherwise low-fat, low-cal food. And beware of tofu that's been slathered with high-cal marinades or sauces. You wouldn't qualify a caramel apple as a health food, would you?</p> <h2>9. Veggie Burgers</h2> <p>Anything made of vegetables is healthy, right? Not necessarily. A veggie burger is still a burger, and can contain more than 1,000 calories when loaded with toppings and a bun.</p> <p>The vegetables in these patties undergo a good deal of processing, a process that zaps much of the nutrients. And many veggie burgers based not in vegetables but <a href="http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/1-food-women-should-avoid-processed-soy">processed soy</a>, which lacks the fiber and omega-3's that make soy healthy in the first place. Studies show processed soy can also lead to hormonal imbalance.</p> <p>Yes, veggie burgers can be healthy alternatives to hamburgers. You just need to know what to look for. Check the label for brands with <a href="http://greatist.com/health/dangerfood-veggie-burgers">fewer than 10 grams of protein</a>. That's a pretty good indicator that the patties are based in vegetables rather than soy since soy-based veggie burgers typically contain more than 10 grams of protein.</p> <h2>10. Wraps</h2> <p>Beware of this sneaky bread alternative. Many of these sandwich wraps can pack as many as 300 calories all on their own &mdash; and that's before you add those meats and veggies. A typical wrap can be up to a foot long, and if you coat that entire canvas with mayonnaise and other spreads you're very likely doubling the number of condiment calories you'll consume than if you were to make a sandwich on two slices of bread. Plus, wraps are commonly made from refined grains, which don't give you the fiber you need for a healthy lunch.</p> <p><em>Are you still eating any of these unhealthy &quot;health&quot; foods?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-health-foods-that-are-actually-making-you-fatter" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Health Foods That Are Actually Making You Fatter" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Health and Beauty diet healthy food junk food unhealthy food Wed, 30 Jul 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1170315 at http://www.wisebread.com You Can Get Coupons for Healthy Foods Too — Here's Where http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-get-coupons-for-healthy-foods-too-heres-where <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/you-can-get-coupons-for-healthy-foods-too-heres-where" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/groceries-186967210.jpg" alt="grocery shopping" title="grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's a simple formula for looking and feeling your best: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eating-at-the-intersection-of-cheap-and-healthy">Eat healthy food</a> and occasionally break a sweat. In today's convenience-obsessed culture, both are more difficult than they sound, however. Add in the fact that healthy food usually comes with a significantly higher price tag, and it's no wonder we rely on fast-food and microwave dinners. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-items-for-your-organic-vegan-grocery-list?ref=seealso">25 Frugal Items for Your Organic Vegan Grocery List</a>)</p> <p>Living on a budget doesn't need to mean a lifetime of eating low-quality food. Coupons can help you save big on the healthiest items and brands, but you won't find them in your Sunday paper. To help keep your grocery bills down, we've rounded up 22 websites and newsletters serving up a selection of money-saving discounts on the healthy foods you love.</p> <h2>1. Stonyfield</h2> <p>Stonyfield is one of the oldest and most well-known brands of organic yogurt, ice cream, milk, and cream on the market. Create an account on their website to access <a href="http://www.stonyfield.com/coupon">printable coupons</a>, special offers, recipes, and free goodies.</p> <h2>2. Common Kindness</h2> <p>This unique coupon website lets you change lives while you save money on healthy foods. Every time you redeem <a href="http://www.commonkindness.com/">CommonKindness</a> printable grocery coupons, they donate funds to your favorite non-profit.</p> <h2>3. Mambo Sprouts</h2> <p>This company's <a href="http://www.mambosprouts.com/coupon-gallery">value-packed coupon books</a> (available via email, snail mail, and in-store distribution) make it easy to live healthy and save. You can also sign up for alerts so you're the first to know when new coupons are available.</p> <h2>4. Organic Deals</h2> <p><a href="http://www.organicdeals.com/">Organic Deals</a> is a clearinghouse of coupons, giveaways, and discounts for a wide variety of healthy foods and natural living products. Browse the site daily, or sign up to have deals delivered right to your inbox.</p> <h2>5. Living Rich With Coupons</h2> <p>This cleverly named website offers a plethora of printable coupons, free sample offers, and online deals. Just sort by &quot;<a href="http://www.livingrichwithcoupons.com/organic">organic/gluten-free</a>&quot; to see coupons for healthy food brands.</p> <h2>6. Country Choice Organic</h2> <p>Sign up for this brand's e-newsletter and get money-saving coupons and <a href="http://www.countrychoiceorganic.com/special-offers/">special offers</a> throughout the year.</p> <h2>7. LifeStyle Markets</h2> <p><a href="http://lifestylemarkets.com/">LifeStyle Markets</a> is a Vancouver-based organic grocery store chain that also offers online shopping to Canadian residents. View their monthly electronics flyer for the latest deals and discounts.</p> <h2>8. Organic Valley</h2> <p>Sign up for Organic Valley's monthly <a href="http://www.organicvalley.coop/">&quot;Farm Friends&quot; newsletter</a> to gain access to organic news, recipes, and special offers for their dairy products.</p> <h2>9. Cascadian Farm</h2> <p>Since they're owned by General Mills, it's no surprised that organic foods from Cascadian Farms are available in most supermarkets. Register to receive their <a href="http://www.cascadianfarm.com/connect/newsletter">e-newsletter</a> and get coupons, special offers, and more.</p> <h2>10. Redplum</h2> <p>Coupons are the main focus of <a href="http://www.redplum.com/">Redplum.com</a>, which offers discounts on everything from refrigerated food to beauty products. Access printable and downloadable coupons directly from the site, or sign up for their grocery coupon newsletter for even more savings.</p> <h2>11. Whole Foods</h2> <p>Want to shop at Whole Foods without spending your 'whole paycheck'? Browse the most recent <a href="http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/coupons">printable coupons</a> on their website before you go. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shopping-at-whole-foods-12-smart-ways-to-save?ref=seealso">Shopping at Whole Foods: 12 Smart Ways to Save</a>)</p> <h2>12. Earth Fare</h2> <p>If you like shopping at <a href="https://www.earthfare.com/savings-coupons">Earth Fare</a>, you're going to love how easy they make it to save money on your favorite brands. Use their mobile app, printable coupons, deals by phone, or join the &quot;Tomato Bank&quot; to earn money-saving reward points.</p> <h2>13. Sprouts</h2> <p>Sprouts grocery store constantly updates the <a href="https://www.sprouts.com/web/guest/coupons">printable coupons</a> located on their website. You can also sign up for their newsletter to access additional deals.</p> <h2>14. Vitamin Cottage/Natural Grocers</h2> <p>This natural grocery store chain doesn't publish printable coupons online, but it does have an electronic sales flyer as well as a list of &quot;<a href="http://www.naturalgrocers.com/store-info/insider-deals">Insider Deals</a>&quot; that will help you save money while shopping.</p> <h2>15. Health eSavers</h2> <p><a href="http://www.healthesavers.com/HealthESavers/Coupons.aspx">HealthESavers.com</a> provides valuable printable coupons for all the most popular natural brands of food, groceries, natural beauty, supplements, and pet care products.</p> <h2>16. Earth's Best</h2> <p>If you've got little ones in the house, you'll love the contests, promotions, and <a href="http://www.earthsbest.com/special-offers">special family-oriented offers</a> available from this organic baby food manufacturer.</p> <h2>17. Imagine Foods</h2> <p><a href="http://www.imaginefoods.com/">Imagine Foods</a> is known for its organic and GMO-free soups, stews, gravies, and stocks. If you've been wanting to try them, visit the website first: There's a $1-off coupon on the home page!</p> <h2>18. Simply Organic</h2> <p>Simply Organic is the king of organic spices, seasoning mixes, sauces, and salad dressings. They've also got a pretty nice list of <a href="http://www.simplyorganic.com/simplyorganic/documents/coupons.php">printable coupons</a> to use next time you're shopping in-store.</p> <h2>19. Healthy Life Deals</h2> <p><a href="http://www.healthylifedeals.com/">Healthy Life Deals</a> is run by a former nanny turned blogger. It gathers up all the best on and off-line deals from Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and other healthy grocers in one convenient place.</p> <h2>20. Saving Naturally</h2> <p>Not only does Saving Naturally deliver a wealth of <a href="http://savingnaturally.com/coupons/natural-and-organic-printable-coupons/">natural and organic printable coupons</a>, it also offers information about the best coupon databases in the U.S. and Canada, and tips for keeping your coupons organized.</p> <h2>21. Live Better America</h2> <p>Everything about <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/coupons">Live Better America</a> is designed to get you inspired about making delicious, healthy choices. Become a member to access to hundreds of dollars in coupons each month.</p> <h2>22. Earthbound Farm</h2> <p>This brand regularly offers coupons for their <a href="http://www.ebfarm.com/organic-bound/">Organic Bound</a> salad products. Just check the bottom of the page for the latest online offer.</p> <p><em>Where do you find coupons and deals on healthy food? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-get-coupons-for-healthy-foods-too-heres-where" class="sharethis-link" title="You Can Get Coupons for Healthy Foods Too — Here&#039;s Where" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beth-buczynski">Beth Buczynski</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Shopping coupons discounts healthy food Fri, 16 May 2014 08:36:37 +0000 Beth Buczynski 1139413 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Foods That Will Keep You Satisfied for Longer http://www.wisebread.com/9-foods-that-will-keep-you-satisfied-for-longer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-foods-that-will-keep-you-satisfied-for-longer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/breakfast-122464542.jpg" alt="woman eating" title="woman eating" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the toughest things about working to maintain or lose weight is the constant feeling of hunger. You try to eat less throughout the day, but find yourself <em>starving</em> by the time your next meal comes around. So then you end up snacking, or eating too much when you shouldn't. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-painless-ways-to-trick-yourself-into-eating-less?ref=seealso">How to Trick Yourself Into Eating Less</a>)</p> <p>The key to avoiding this problem is to eat foods that help you feel fuller for a longer period of time.</p> <p>Nutritionists and dieticians refer to something called &quot;satiety.&quot; In essence, it's how full a food makes you feel, and how long it takes to digest. Foods with higher satiety factors will prevent you from feeling hungry too soon and will help you cut down on snacking, or overeating at your next meal.</p> <p>The &quot;<a href="http://www.mendosa.com/satiety.htm">Satiety Index</a>&quot; was created by researcher and nutrition author Susanna Holt, who rated food satiety on a scale with white bread receiving a baseline score of 100.</p> <p>In general, foods that are high in protein tend to have a higher satiety. A little bit of fat also helps. Some of this is common sense. We all probably know from experience that an apple will last longer in your stomach than a donut will. (Guess which one will last longer around your waist.) But there are some foods with staying power that you may not have considered. Here's a good list of foods that will keep you feeling full. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beyond-beef-tasty-frugal-protein?ref=seealso">Tasty, Frugal Protein</a>)</p> <h2>Potatoes</h2> <h3>Satiety: 323%</h3> <p>I love the versatility of the potato. Have some home fries or hash browns for breakfast and you'll last until noon, no problem. A baked potato for lunch will sustain you until dinner. According to Holt's study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a 240-calorie portion of a boiled potato is more than three times more satisfying than a similar portion of white bread, making it one of the highest-rated foods on the satiety index.</p> <h2>Fish</h2> <h3>Satiety: 225%</h3> <p>The health effects of fish are well known. Lots of vitamins and Omega-3s, while being low in saturated fat. But did you know <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16482079">fish will also help you feel fuller</a>, longer? In one study performed by researchers in Sweden, people who ate fish for lunch ate 11% less at dinnertime than other test subjects who ate beef. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-and-prepare-fresh-fish?ref=seealso">How to Buy and Prepare Fresh Fish</a>)</p> <h2>Oatmeal</h2> <h3>Satiety: 209%</h3> <p>A big canister of quick oats can be your best friend in the morning. I eat oatmeal every day, and it usually sticks with me all the way to lunch. Add some raisins or even nuts for some extra staying power. Oatmeal has a satiety score of more than 200, meaning it's twice as satisfying as bread.</p> <h2>Beef</h2> <h3>Satiety: 176%</h3> <p>Doctors say you should limit your intake of red meat, but the occasional small steak or burger won't kill you. Beef takes some work for the stomach to digest, so you'll feel nice and full for a while after a meal.</p> <h2>Eggs, Particularly If They Are Boiled</h2> <h3>Satiety: 150%</h3> <p>Packed with protein, eggs can be a great start to your day. You can leave out the yolk and still have about 4 grams of protein in one large egg. I find that if you hard-boil or soft-boil the egg, it will take longer to digest and you won't feel hungry for a while. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-make-perfectly-cooked-eggs?ref=seealso">Perfectly Cooked Eggs</a>)</p> <h2>Beans</h2> <h3>Satiety: About 150%, depending on the bean</h3> <p>Legumes like black beans, lima beans, and kidney beans are filled with protein and fiber, so they'll take a while to digest. A great three-bean salad can be a very satisfying lunch. Beans are inexpensive and filled with other nutrients, too. What more can you ask for?</p> <h2>&quot;Brown&quot; Food</h2> <h3>Satiety: 132% (brown rice), 154% (whole grain bread), 188% (brown pasta)</h3> <p>If you want to eat bread, go for whole wheat or whole grain bread. Brown rice will assuage your appetite better than white rice. And brown pasta will last longer than white pasta.</p> <h2>Cheese</h2> <h3>Satiety: 146%</h3> <p>It's high in fat, so you don't want to eat too much. But higher fat, combined with its high protein, means it will take longer to work its way through your digestive system. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/milking-it-5-easy-homemade-cheeses?ref=seealso">5 Easy Homemade Cheeses</a>)</p> <h2>Fruit, Especially Apples and Oranges</h2> <h3>Satiety: 115-200%, depending on the fruit</h3> <p>Fruit is usually packed with protein and fiber that takes a while to digest. But not all fruits digest at the same rate. According to the satiety index, apples and oranges are your best bet. Bananas are hugely healthy, but won't stick with you as long.</p> <p><em>What foods fill you up? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-foods-that-will-keep-you-satisfied-for-longer" class="sharethis-link" title="9 Foods That Will Keep You Satisfied for Longer" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Health and Beauty eating filling food healthy food weight loss Thu, 20 Mar 2014 10:30:34 +0000 Tim Lemke 1130859 at http://www.wisebread.com Eating at the Intersection of Cheap and Healthy http://www.wisebread.com/eating-at-the-intersection-of-cheap-and-healthy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/eating-at-the-intersection-of-cheap-and-healthy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-in-kitchen-with-vegetables-iStock_000022061741Small_0.jpg" alt="healthy eating" title="healthy eating" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="195" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A lot of healthy food &mdash; organic, locally grown food &mdash; is priced like yuppy specialty items. That fact does not mean that poor or frugal people need to eat junk. (See also: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/anyone-can-spend-less-for-food">Anyone Can Spend Less for Food</a>)</p> <p>Let me begin with the premise that you're willing to make compromises &mdash; that's necessary, because that's where the overlap is. If you insist that food must be organic or must be local or must be fair-trade &mdash; basically, if you insist that it must be <em>anything </em>in particular, you're limiting yourself to a very small set of options. Many of those options may be cheap or healthy, but some of them won't be both.</p> <p>So let's say that you want cheap, and you want healthy, and that you're willing to compromise. The key is to be strategic about your compromises.</p> <h2>What's Cheap?</h2> <p>I'm very nearly going to punt on cheap, by suggesting that &quot;cheap&quot; doesn't matter. What matters is &quot;affordable,&quot; and you figure that out by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/refactor-your-budget-categories">making a budget</a>.</p> <p>Having said that, there's a lot of stuff you can do to keep your <em>overall food budget</em> low, without regard to whether any particular item is cheap. I've written about several strategies before, including:</p> <ul type="disc"> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/buy-your-groceries-european-style">Buy Your Groceries European-Style</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/teach-yourself-to-cook">Teach Yourself to Cook</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugalize-any-recipe">Frugalize Any Recipe</a></li> </ul> <p>Most of these strategies only work if you have a kitchen and if you keep staples on hand, so that's the place to start. If you don't have access to a kitchen, none of this is going to work very well.</p> <p><strong>Stock Your Pantry</strong></p> <p>Once you have a kitchen, and a place to store some food, begin to build a pantry. Accumulate some staples. The right ones for you depend on what you eat, but begin with what's cheap to buy in bulk and easy to store &mdash; rice, flour, corn meal, lentils, etc. Then add some basic items that don't keep as well, but that you'll be eating regularly enough that it doesn't matter &mdash; potatoes might be an example.</p> <p>Your goal is to have everything you need to build a meal except the main dish and a fresh vegetable. Then you can go to the store and buy just those things, knowing that you can make a meal.</p> <p>You can easily include some expensive stuff without breaking the budget, as long as the expensive stuff is used in small quantities. Obviously that applies to things like spices, but it can apply to every part of your diet, including featured ingredients. If you want to eat locally grown organic beef (or lamb or goat cheese or whatever), that doesn't have to supply the majority of the calories of the meal &mdash; the expensive part can be quite a modest quantity.</p> <h2>What's Healthy?</h2> <p>I'm very nearly going to punt on healthy as well, because however much people may argue about healthy <em>foods</em>, it's easy to come up with a healthy <em>diet</em>. The key is variety.</p> <p>People like to imagine that they can figure out an optimal diet. Some try to come up with perfect ratios of fats, carbs, and proteins. Others try to figure out how to maximize the amount of some vitamin (or all vitamins). None of that effort is likely to lead to a better outcome than simply eating a wide variety of foods. (See my post on <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthy-frugal-eating">Healthy, Frugal Eating</a> for more info.)</p> <p><strong>Variety Is Good for You</strong></p> <p>Once you accept the principle of <em>variety</em>, you can tweak your diet however you like. If you want to eat low-fat, eat low-fat. If you want low-carb, eat low-carb (don't stockpile as much grain or starches when you build your pantry). If you can't eat wheat or lentils or dairy, then don't eat those things. If you don't like anything but filet mignon and french fries, then your diet isn't going to be as cheap or as healthy as it could be &mdash; but that's because your violating the rule that you're diet needs to be varied.</p> <p>Going for variety doesn't just make it easy to come up with a healthy diet; it also makes it easy to be frugal &mdash; as long as you let seasonal price (and quality) variations drive your menu selection. Feature whatever vegetable is cheap and fresh in your meals. (Do the same for main dishes, when that works.)</p> <p>The principle of variety applies most strongly to long stretches of time &mdash; seasons, months, weeks. There's no need to worry especially about variety every meal, or even every day.</p> <h2>What About Other Goals?</h2> <p>It may well be that I haven't hit your particular issue &mdash; maybe your hot button is that your food be fair-trade, cruelty-free, or sustainably produced (rather than merely cheap and healthy).</p> <p>If you add a restriction like this, it gets harder to be cheap and healthy, maybe even impossible. I have a couple of suggestions.</p> <p>The first is to emphasize local. Locally grown or raised is no guarantee that the soil is being well-managed or the animals treated humanely, but it makes it a lot more likely &mdash; especially if you know the farmer, and he knows you (and knows about what matters to you).</p> <p>The second is to become politically active. It may be better in many ways to eat only cage-free eggs, but if your goal is for fewer chickens to be in cages, changing the laws on how chickens must be raised is going to be vastly more effective than merely voting with your dollars.</p> <h2>Build Your Diet, Step by Step</h2> <p>First, familiarize yourself with your choices.</p> <p>Start at the best places to get the best food &mdash; your own garden, your farmers market, your local food co-op. See what you can get that's local, organic, or hits any other criteria that you think is important &mdash; and check how much it costs. Then proceed to the grocery store. See what they've got. See what's on sale. See what's cheap at its regular price. (Grocery stores have lots of healthy food, mostly around the edges.) Don't neglect specialty stores &mdash; international food stores, ethnic food stores, etc. You never know what places will have unique choices, or some particular item at an especially low price.</p> <p>Once you know what your choices are, I suggest a three-step plan.</p> <p><strong>1. Start Your Menu With Slam-Dunk Wins</strong></p> <p>Slam-dunk wins are the cases where the healthiest item is also the cheapest:</p> <ul type="disc"> <li>When something is ready to harvest from your own garden, that's a win.</li> <li>When the local, organic product from the food co-op or the farmers market is cheaper than the grocery store, that's a win.</li> <li>When the grocery store product is cheap as well as being organic or local, that's a win.</li> </ul> <p><strong>2. Build Out a Tentative Menu With the Cheapest Options</strong></p> <p>Unless you're supernaturally lucky, the slam-dunk wins all by themselves won't produce a complete diet. Figure out what else you need, and make a shopping list with the cheapest (usually grocery store) option for each item (even if it's not necessarily the healthiest).</p> <p>Once you've done that, you'll have the cheapest possible menu.</p> <p><strong>3. Make Strategic Improvements Within Your Budget</strong></p> <p>If you're really poor (or for some other reason have a really small food budget), maybe this is all you can afford. If so, that's probably OK &mdash; as long as you've got plenty of variety, you've probably already got a healthy diet. However, if you have even a little headroom under your budget, you can make some real improvements.</p> <p>There are some places where a little more money makes a big difference in food &mdash; paying a little more gets you food that's better tasting and more nutritious. Other places, you have to pay a lot more to get food that's a lot better. Some places there are a lot of prices levels, each one a little better than the one that costs less.</p> <ul type="disc"> <li>Swap in items that are healthier, starting with the ones where the price difference is smallest or where the health advantage is largest.</li> <li>Be bolder about tolerating price differences when the quality difference is large.</li> <li>Be bolder when the quantity that you need to buy is small.</li> </ul> <p>The big win of working with a budget is that you know when to stop improving your diet. There will always be choices that are fairer, freer, local-er, sustainabl-er, or organic-er. Don't worry about that. If you build a diet around those slam-dunk wins, together with grocery store choices, strategically improved to the limits of your budget, you've have a diet that's healthy and cheap.</p> <p><em>What are you doing to eat healthier and cheaper?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eating-at-the-intersection-of-cheap-and-healthy" class="sharethis-link" title="Eating at the Intersection of Cheap and Healthy" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Cheap Food cheap healthy eating Cooking healthy food Thu, 25 Apr 2013 10:36:40 +0000 Philip Brewer 973632 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Delicious and Dollar-Wise Winter Staples http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-and-dollar-wise-winter-staples <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-delicious-and-dollar-wise-winter-staples" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/winter_potatoes.jpg" alt="Potatoes in a market" title="Potatoes in a market" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="148" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Nearly half of us make <a href="http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/">New Year&rsquo;s resolutions</a>, and among the top goals every year are weight loss and exercise. Even those of us who aren&rsquo;t in this majority are likely open to eating healthier and saving money this year. You can do both by choosing fruits and vegetables that are cost-effective, healthy, and in season during the winter. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fresh-fruits-and-vegetables-by-the-month">Fresh&nbsp;Fruits and Vegetables by the Month</a>)</p> <h2>Fruits</h2> <p>People often think that finding fresh fruit is more difficult to do in the wintertime, and while that&rsquo;s true to some extent, there are still several types of fruit that are at their peak during the cold winter months.</p> <p><strong>Apples</strong></p> <p>The old adage that an <a href="http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/an-apple-a-day.htm">apple a day keeps the doctor away</a> should be given particular credence in the wintertime, when <a href="http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/common-cold/risk-factors.html">cold and flu bugs abound</a>. Different varieties of apples have their peak season at different points in the year; however, most are available virtually year-round. This is one reason why apples yield such bang for your buck &mdash; fresh apples average $1.07 per pound, while applesauce is about $0.85. Try a super easy, delicious way to eat apples today with this recipe for <a href="http://skinnychef.com/recipes/baked-apples">Crockpot Baked Apples</a>.</p> <p><strong>Grapefruit</strong></p> <p>According to a 2008 study in the <em>European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics</em> (via the <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/blogs/health_blog/5_foods_for_healthy_sexy_skin">EatingWell Blog</a>), grapefruits contain an essential ingredient for smoother skin. You&rsquo;re in luck, too, because not only are they at their peak of perfection in the winter months (October through June, depending on where you live), they also cost even less per pound than apples &mdash; $0.66 for fresh grapefruit and $0.72 per pound for ready-to-drink juice. And, at only 60 calories per serving, they&rsquo;re a perfect way to start the day. For a <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/broiled-grapefruit/">new take on grapefruit</a>, sprinkle yours with cinnamon and sugar and pop it under the broiler for 3-5 minutes.</p> <p><strong>Oranges</strong></p> <p>Oranges, like apples, are available virtually year-round. Although the Vitamin C that makes oranges famous has been shown to have <a href="http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/vitamin-c-for-common-cold">negligible effects on the common cold</a>, <a href="http://www.gardeningchannel.com/health-benefits-of-oranges/">oranges can lower blood pressure</a>, are a great anti-inflammatory, and have about 10% of your daily fiber needs. Oranges contain about 80 calories per serving and cost around $0.57 per pound fresh and $0.69 per pound in ready-to-drink juice form.</p> <p><strong>Pears</strong></p> <p>Pears are also a <a href="http://www.foodchannel.com/articles/article/the-benefits-of-pears/">great source of fiber</a> and Vitamin C, and their skin is a source of disease-fighting antioxidants. Although pears cost slightly more than other fruits, at $1.04 per pound fresh and $1.05 canned, they are a good way to bring variety to your fruit diet. They&rsquo;re also more widely available in winter, with peak season starting in late fall and lasting through early spring. Pears have about 100 calories per serving. One of my favorite ways to enjoy pears is in a <a href="http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1743,157174-236194,00.html">salad with walnuts and bleu cheese</a> (my mouth is starting to water just typing that!).</p> <h2>Vegetables</h2> <p>When people think of vegetables that are available in the wintertime, most think of root vegetables, such as potatoes. I&rsquo;m not going to lie &mdash; there <em>are</em> root vegetables on this list &mdash; but there are also several other waist- and budget-conscious veggies that are at their prime during this time of year.</p> <p><strong>Broccoli</strong></p> <p>Whenever I stop and think about the word &ldquo;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-cheap-and-tasty-frozen-broccoli-recipes">broccoli</a>,&rdquo; the first thing that comes to mind is undoubtedly the classic SNL episode with Dana Carvey performing &ldquo;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WR6y71x3tSY">Chopping Broccoli</a>.&rdquo; The second thing is how much I love broccoli. It&rsquo;s such a versatile veggie &mdash; I throw it on pizza, in soup, or, my personal favorite, <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/roasted-garlic-lemon-broccoli/">roast it in the oven</a>. At only about $1.84 per pound fresh and 45 calories per serving, I can enjoy it knowing I&rsquo;m being both frugal <em>and</em> healthy. Broccoli is available all year in grocery stores, but its peak season lasts from October through March.</p> <p><strong>Butternut Squash</strong></p> <p>Butternut squash is a variety of winter squash (distinguished from summer squashes because winter squashes are harvested after fully mature, when the rind is hard) that is a creamy white on the outside and orange-yellow on this inside. It costs about $2.67 fresh, but only around $1.70 frozen, and has about 63 calories per serving. Butternut squash&rsquo;s growing season lasts from August through March, making winter the perfect time to try out this <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/garlicky-baked-butternut-squash/">garlicky baked butternut squash recipe</a>.</p> <p><strong>Brussels Sprouts</strong></p> <p>To some people, Brussels sprouts is a dirty word (OK, it&rsquo;s two words, I know). To me, though, Brussels sprouts is synonymous with a scrumptious side dish. If you&rsquo;re one of those people who&rsquo;s not in love with these tiny cabbages, perhaps I can change your mind with a few fun facts: Brussels sprouts cost only about $1.82 per pound frozen (surprisingly, Brussels sprouts are quite a bit more fresh &mdash; about $3.05 per pound) and have only 38 calories per serving. They are at their peak in the winter, which makes now the perfect time to give them a second try. If you do buy them fresh, remove the outer layer of leaves, trim stems, and toss with olive oil and sea salt. If you buy them frozen, they most likely have the outer leaves removed and stems trimmed. <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roasted-brussels-sprouts-recipe2/index.html">Roast Brussels sprouts on a baking sheet</a> at 425 degrees until nicely browned (about 15 minutes), and be prepared to change your mind about them.</p> <p><strong>Carrots</strong></p> <p>True, carrots may seem dull and unexciting on the surface, but there&rsquo;s actually a lot to appreciate about them. Carrots only cost $0.77 per pound (whole, fresh), and can also be found in darling baby form for about $1.40 per pound (those ones are actually adult carrots peeled and cut into baby form, hate to say) or a convenient frozen form for about $1.19 per pound. Carrots are available year-round. Don&rsquo;t enjoy snacking on raw carrots? Boil them instead, and cook briefly with honey, butter, and lemon juice, and you&rsquo;ve got yourself a <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/honey-glazed-carrots-recipe/index.html">delightful glazed-carrot side dish</a>.</p> <p><strong>Cauliflower</strong></p> <p>Cauliflower gets a bad rap in the vegetable world as the less-attractive sibling to broccoli (if that&rsquo;s possible). However, it&rsquo;s got credentials that broccoli can&rsquo;t even begin to touch, including lower cost ($0.55 per head fresh or $1.42 per pound for frozen florets) and fewer calories per serving (25). Cauliflower is more plentiful in the fall, but it can be found in stores all year. Try warming up with a little cauliflower comfort food this winter in the form of a yummy <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/331773/cauliflower-gratin?czone=food/thanksgiving-center/thanksgiving-center-dishes&amp;center=276949&amp;gallery=274421&amp;slide=286128">cauliflower gratin</a>.</p> <p><strong>Kale</strong></p> <p>I have a friend whose brother is named Kale because her mother heard someone say &ldquo;kale&rdquo; at the store and liked the sound of the word. No lie. More on point, however, kale is a healthful and economical winter vegetable staple. Although kale can be found in supermarkets all year, it is actually more flavorful and prolific during the winter. It&rsquo;ll run you about $2.19 per pound fresh, and only $1.91 frozen, and has 33 calories per serving. If you haven&rsquo;t tried kale before, start with something easy, like as a <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/sauteed-kale-recipe/index.html">sautéed side dish</a>.</p> <p><strong>Leeks</strong></p> <p>A lot of people don&rsquo;t know what leeks <em>are</em>, let alone how one might go about making a meal out of them. Leeks are actually a member of the lily family, but have a very vaguely onion-like taste. They cost about $2.60 per pound and are a very respectable 34 calories per serving. The peak season for leeks is fall to early spring. Probably the most well-known way to enjoy leeks is the French-born potato leek soup, which involves leeks, potatoes, and delicious-but-<em>un</em>-waist-friendly cream. Make over potato leek soup with this <a href="http://simplyhealthyfam.blogspot.com/2011/02/potato-leek-soup-makeover.html">delicious, healthy soup recipe</a> that omits cream altogether.</p> <p><strong>Sweet Potatoes</strong></p> <p>Ah, another one of those root vegetables. You just can&rsquo;t escape them, can you? No matter; I happen to love sweet potatoes. Not only are they, well, <em>sweeter</em> than a potato, they also add variety when I get in a meat-and-potatoes rut. Sweet potatoes are actually not technically a winter vegetable (sorry to mislead you &mdash; they&rsquo;re harvested August through October), but they can be found in supermarkets all year. They cost about $0.90 per pound fresh and have 100 calories per serving. Next time you&rsquo;re at the grocery store, pick up a few for yourself and give one of these <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_sweet_potato_recipes">sweet potato recipes</a> a try. There are a ton of good ones to choose from: oven-roasted sweet potato fries, maple sweet potatoes, and chile-garlic roasted sweet potatoes. Oh my!</p> <h2>Protiens</h2> <p>In addition to fruits and vegetables, I&rsquo;ve included a few healthy, economical proteins that lend themselves well to being wintertime staples.</p> <p><strong>Turkey</strong></p> <p>True, turkey has no &ldquo;season,&rdquo; per se, but given that over 30% of the nation&rsquo;s turkeys were consumed on Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2010, I&rsquo;d say that places the turkey squarely within winter&rsquo;s domain. Turkey is also one of the healthier proteins, with calories per &frac14; pound ranging from 118 (deli turkey) to 266 (ground turkey). Try varying your turkey consumption from the old stand-bys of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tasty-ideas-for-leftover-turkey">turkey sandwiches</a> and roast turkey with one of these <a href="http://family.go.com/food/pkg-quick-easy-recipes/ground-turkey-recipes-pg/#Italian%20Turkey%20Sliders;1">10 quick fixes for ground turkey</a>.</p> <p><strong>Lentils</strong></p> <p>Lentils are a <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/legumes/NU00260">type of legume</a>, which makes it part of a class of one of the most healthful and versatile foods to be found. Lentils are typically only found dried, cost about $1.02 per pound, and are packed with iron, fiber, and protein. I personally love a good, hearty <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/lentil-soup/">lentil soup</a> in the winter. Try it for yourself and see!</p> <p><strong>Edamame</strong></p> <p>I first became hooked on edamame after trying it as an appetizer at a sushi restaurant, and took my love of the healthy snack and side dish home with me (figuratively, I should note &mdash; I did not steal any physical dishes). Edamame is actually young soybeans, harvested before they become too tough to eat (and become things like soy milk and tofu). The beans are difficult to find fresh, but are available frozen all year for about $4.49 per pound. Each antioxidant-rich serving has around 130 calories. My favorite way to eat these little pods is boiled (about 3-4 minutes) and seasoned with sea salt. Pop the pods into your mouth &mdash; you don&rsquo;t eat the skin &mdash; and enjoy!</p> <p>See anything that I left off the list, or do you have thoughts about the foods that were included? Share your comments below!</p> <p><em>All the calorie data below for vegetables comes from <a href="http://nutritiondata.self.com/">SELF&rsquo;s Nutrition Data site</a>, which allows you to plug in a food and see the relevant nutrition data. Calorie data for fruits is from the <a href="http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/month/">CDC&rsquo;s Fruit &amp; Vegetable of the month website</a>, although what&rsquo;s in season depends, of course, on your particular area. To find specifically when a fruit or vegetable is in season in your area, try this <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/seasonalcooking/farmtotable/seasonalingredientmap">interactive map from Epicurious</a>. Information about average cost per pound for fruits and vegetables is available at the <a href="http://www.ers.usda.gov/Data/FruitVegetableCosts/">USDA website</a>.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-and-dollar-wise-winter-staples" class="sharethis-link" title="15 Delicious and Dollar-Wise Winter Staples" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/janey-osterlind">Janey Osterlind</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Cheap Food healthy food winter food Wed, 18 Jan 2012 11:36:25 +0000 Janey Osterlind 866047 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Frugal Food Changes You Can Make Today http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-food-changes-you-can-make-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-frugal-food-changes-you-can-make-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/frugal_food_changes.jpg" alt="Vegetables at the farmers market" title="Vegetables at the farmers market" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We've all heard about the rapidly rising cost of food lately. From corn to soy to dairy, our wallets are getting hit harder than usual during those weekly trips to the grocery store. So what's a dedicated frugalista to do to avoid busting her budget during these tough economic times? Why, I'm so glad you asked! I've come up with a list of 25 easy changes you can make today to keep your food budget down and your savings account up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-healthy-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Healthy Changes You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <h2>Make Your Own</h2> <p>Make-at-home versions of virtually anything are less expensive than pre-packaged, store-bought goods. The trick is to practice making your own food so it becomes quick and easy over time. Here are my favorite DIY alternatives to store-bought goods.</p> <h3>1. Salad Dressing</h3> <p>I actually prefer salad dressing made at home. My favorite standby is three parts extra virgin olive oil and one part red wine vinegar with various spices and garlic mixed in. Or, make your own favorite dressing or vinaigrette with the help of <a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipes/salad/dressings-and-vinaigrettes/main.aspx">Allrecipes</a>.</p> <h3>2. Bread Crumbs</h3> <p>Bread crumbs are easy to make and are a great way to use stale bread or crusts left behind by picky eaters. Simply pop the bread into a food processor, blender, or (my favorite &ldquo;As Seen on TV&rdquo; product) the Magic Bullet. Bread crumbs are handy for making meatloaf and meatballs, or dredging chicken or fish in before frying.</p> <h3>3. Croutons</h3> <p>Like bread crumbs, croutons are an excellent way to use stale bread. In my little two-person household, we rarely use a whole loaf of bread in a week. The excess (when I&rsquo;m not in need of bread crumbs), is cut into one-inch squares, topped with olive oil and spices, and placed in a 300&deg;F oven for about 30 minutes (stir them about halfway through). Store in an air-tight container. Bonus &mdash; try making rosemary and butter croutons. De-licious! (For even more uses, see <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-uses-for-stale-bread">17 Uses for Stale Bread</a>.)</p> <h3>4. Tortilla Chips</h3> <p>Use extra flour tortillas to make tasty <a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/baked-tortilla-chips/detail.aspx">baked chips</a>. Put your own spin on the chips by adding dried cilantro, cumin, or red pepper. Or, as an alternative, use left-over pita pockets to make pita chips.</p> <h3>5. Soup Stock</h3> <p>Soup stock is a perfect base to homemade soup (see #25 for ways to save by making soup), and you can make it out of the bones of just about any animal (chicken, fish, veal, turkey) and <em>mirepoix</em> &mdash; onions, carrots, celery, and sometimes other vegetables. Learn how to make <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/search/delegate.do?fnSearchString=stock&amp;fnSearchType=site">different types of stock</a> with these recipes from the Food Network. Just freeze bones and/or vegetables until you&rsquo;ve accumulated all the ingredients, and you&rsquo;re set. I love making stock on a Sunday afternoon while doing other chores around the house.</p> <h3>6. Granola</h3> <p>Buying granola in stores is generally pretty pricey, but fortunately, you can make your own for breakfast and quick snacks. The <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/kathleen-daelemans/crunchy-granola-recipe/index.html">easiest recipe</a> I&rsquo;ve found so far involves only five ingredients &mdash; rolled oats, brown sugar, salt, vanilla, and nuts &mdash; although you can add in dried fruit and other items too.</p> <h3>7. Grind Your Own Coffee</h3> <p>This one is possibly the easiest change to make of all the frugal changes on the list. Ground coffee can be marked up to 30% more than whole bean versions, making it worth your while to grind your own coffee at home. (Not to mention the superior taste afforded by grinding your own beans.) I simply pop the coffee beans in my Magic Bullet (when not using it to make bread crumbs, of course) and grind away. For those of you without a grinder or Magic Bullet, consider investing in a basic blade grinder. It should run you less than $15 at any major grocery store chain.</p> <h3>8. Start a Garden</h3> <p>Make your own vegetables and herbs by growing them in a backyard garden. Start with the vegetables and herbs you use the most &mdash; in my case, just one tomato plant, green pepper plant, and some herbs will do for this year. If you&rsquo;ve never tried out your green thumb, get started with some advice from the <a href="http://www.garden.org/">National Garden Association</a>.</p> <h2>Healthy Alternatives</h2> <p>Some dietary changes are good for your wallet. Some are good for your health. And then there are those delightful few that are good for both. Here are my favorite frugal and healthy food changes you can make today.</p> <h3>9. Go Meat Free</h3> <p>No, I&rsquo;m not suggesting you become a vegetarian permanently if you&rsquo;re not one already (although you could also save money if you choose to go that route). I am recommending that you try incorporating one meat-free dinner a week into your routine. What I&rsquo;m suggesting is nothing new &mdash; the Meatless Monday campaign was started in the U.S. in 2003 and by April of 2011, the American Meat Institute found that 18% of Americans regularly participate in Meatless Monday. Not only can it be argued that eating a vegetarian dinner once per week is healthy for individuals and healthy for the planet; it can also help save on groceries, since meat is one of the most expensive proteins you can buy.</p> <h3>10. Try One New Protein You've Never Tried Before</h3> <p>While you&rsquo;re at it, why not incorporate other sources of protein into your diet on a regular basis? According to the <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/meatless-meals/my00752">Mayo Clinic</a>, people who eat a more plant-centered diet normally eat fewer calories and less fat, weigh less, and have lower cholesterol levels. They also save money, since protein sources like eggs, tofu, and beans cost less per-ounce than meat.</p> <h3>11. Eat What&rsquo;s in Season</h3> <p>Eating fruits and vegetables during their natural growing season saves you money because those peaches you love don&rsquo;t have to be transported halfway around the world! Not only that, but they are more packed with vitamins and nutrients (also due to less required travel and storage time) and they taste better, too. Check out this handy list of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fresh-fruits-and-vegetables-by-the-month">fresh fruits and vegetables by the month</a>.</p> <h3>12. Cut Back on Processed Foods and Snacks</h3> <p>Those 100-calorie snack packs sure are convenient, but that convenience will cost you. For the most nutritious (and cost-effective) snacks, cut up fruits and veggies at the beginning of each week, divide into single portions, and store. If you just don&rsquo;t want to sacrifice your daily Goldfish, buy a large package and divide into sandwich baggies to save over 30% of the cost on the single-serving packages.</p> <p><img width="605" vspace="1" hspace="1" height="439" border="1" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u898/Grocery%20Shopping.jpg" alt="Grocery Store" /></p> <h2>Grocery Shopping Tips</h2> <p>The key to making frugal food changes at the grocery store is to plan, plan, plan! Unless you absolutely have to, you should avoid last-minute trips to the store at all costs. For when you have the luxury of time, here&rsquo;s how I would use it to help minimize your food costs.</p> <h3>13. Shop with a List (and on a Full Stomach)</h3> <p>Sure, we&rsquo;ve all heard this one before, but it bears repeating &mdash; shopping with a list helps you to avoid impulse buys, and so does shopping when you&rsquo;re not a voracious bear. I plan a week of meals before going to the store and prepare my list (and stomach) accordingly.</p> <h3>14. Store Food Correctly to Help It Last Longer</h3> <p>Minimize food waste by storing your food correctly, whether it be in the freezer or fridge. Lifehacker has an excellent <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5814958/how-to-store-food-properly-in-the-freezer-and-fridge">guide to storing food</a> to get you started.</p> <h3>15. Shop the Sales</h3> <p>OK, people can get a bit obsessed with learning stores&rsquo; sales cycles and matching them up with coupons, but if you&rsquo;re like me, you don&rsquo;t have the time (or motivation). Instead, I make my grocery list and then choose the sale version of whatever I need. If you happen to see a pretty outrageous sales price, consider buying enough of that item to last you about three months (if possible) &mdash; that&rsquo;s the general sales cycle for the majority of grocery store products.</p> <h3>16. Buy Store Brands</h3> <p>There is some debate as to whether shoppers save more money by buying brand-name items with a coupon or by buying store brands. The verdict is clear on store brands vs. name brands, however &mdash; as <a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2009/09/save-almost-1200-a-year-using-store-brands.html">FreeMoneyFinance</a> points out in several posts, you can always save a bundle by going with generic.</p> <h3>17. Shop With Coupons</h3> <p>&hellip;but only if you&rsquo;re buying things you needed anyway. None of that <em>Extreme Couponing</em> nonsense where you have to store toilet paper in the bedroom, please.</p> <h3>18. Don&rsquo;t Waste Money on &ldquo;Deals&rdquo;</h3> <p>If you save money on an item, but nobody wants to eat it, are you <em>really </em>saving money? This one seems to be a no-brainer, but it took me a while to catch on. Case in point &mdash; my fiancé does not like bread that is not pre-sliced. He says unsliced bakery loaves fall apart when he tries to slice them up for sandwiches. So even though it&rsquo;s a bit more expensive, I buy the pre-sliced loaves of bakery bread. Lesson learned.</p> <h3>19. Shop in Your Own Pantry</h3> <p>Is your pantry and fridge full of random items that you need to use up, but you aren&rsquo;t quite sure how? Use a site like <a href="http://www.recipepuppy.com/">RecipePuppy</a> to plan meals based on what you already have at home.</p> <h2>Make Your Grocery Dollars Go Further</h2> <p>Use economies of scale to stretch your grocery dollars today. Only two people in your household? No problem! These tips apply no matter how many mouths you have to feed.</p> <h3>20. Buy Meat on Sale</h3> <p>OK, this goes with tip #14 (Shop the Sales) too, but it applies doubly for meat. Meat is one of the most expensive grocery items, per ounce, that you buy each week. If at all possible, buy your meat on sale. In fact, I plan my whole week&rsquo;s meals based on what meat is on sale that week. The best day I have found to shop is, unsurprisingly, the day the specials in store circulars start (Thursday in my particular area).</p> <h3>21. Make Two Batches at Once</h3> <p>In my little household, we save money by making two or more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-five-day-freeze-batch-cooking-for-the-rest-of-us">batches of meals</a> at once and freezing the extras. Lasagnas, soups, stews, and enchiladas are just a few of the easy-to-freeze meals I make in bulk.</p> <h3>22. Don&rsquo;t Let Food Spoil</h3> <p>If you have some fruits or vegetables that are <em>thisclose</em> to spoiled, but have absolutely no way to use them up before they go bad, go ahead and slice them up anyway. Then, just pop them in the freezer until you need them. I always seem to have those last few stalks of celery that are beginning to droop in my crisper drawer &mdash; rather than throwing them out, I cut them into slices and freeze until I have all the ingredients to make chicken stock (see tip #5!). I also freeze extra fruit for smoothies and pies and dice surplus onion for, well, anything.</p> <h3>23. Brown Bag Your Lunch</h3> <p>I always re-purpose the previous night&rsquo;s dinner for lunch the next day. For example, after enjoying some spaghetti and meatballs, I&rsquo;ll set aside a few extra meatballs and sauce for a delicious meatball sub at work tomorrow.</p> <h3>24. Substitute Frozen, Canned, or Dried</h3> <p>Using one of these alternatives to fresh food generally provides the same nutrients at a lower cost. Furthermore, you can usually save any excess after using what you need, thereby minimizing waste. If you&rsquo;re feeling adventurous, you can also save money by buying fresh food in bulk and <a href="http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/">canning your own fruits and vegetables</a>.</p> <h3>25. Make Soup. Lots of Soup</h3> <p>Soup is one of the most versatile dishes in the world: it can be cream-based or broth-based, vegetarian or full of meat, and it can accommodate just about any vegetable known to man. It is also, happily, quite cost-effective. I love making soup on the weekends from leftovers throughout the week: chicken and wild rice, turkey, and potatoes with ham are a few of my favorite leftover soup specials.<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-changes-you-can-make-today"><br /> </a></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-food-changes-you-can-make-today" class="sharethis-link" title="25 Frugal Food Changes You Can Make Today" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/janey-osterlind">Janey Osterlind</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Shopping 25 changes cheap groceries cheap recipes food waste healthy food Mon, 11 Jul 2011 10:36:51 +0000 Janey Osterlind 603954 at http://www.wisebread.com Dumbest packaging ever? http://www.wisebread.com/unbearably-stupid-packaging <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/unbearably-stupid-packaging" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/stupid1.JPG" alt="" title="From the Department of Redundancy Department" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I understand the need for clean, sterile packaging of food. We live in an era (soon to be ending, mind you, if you believe the peak oil people) in which food travels great distances before it arrives in the massive grocery stores where we purchase it. It is true that frozen peas need to be placed in some kind of container for shipping, and a plastic bag or a thin carboard box are currently appropriate methods for keeping all those rolling green balls in a single package. </p> <p>However, we&#39;d be naive to think that our food is merely grown, harvested, processed and packaged. The agro-industrial complex is alive and functioning, and millions of dollars of research and thousands of man-hours go into determining the best packaging for, say, a can of beef stew.</p> <p>I understand the business need to keep consumers interested in buying your products, but there&#39;s a side to the food marketing that really bugs the heck out of me. And that&#39;s the way in which the same food is repackaged in a novel way, and pitched to the consumer in such a way that makes it seem like we just HAVE to have it, when in fact:</p> <ul> <li>only actual difference is the packaging</li> <li>the packaging causes the food item to cost more</li> <li>the packaging is unbearably superfluous</li> </ul> <p>Take Blueberry Blasters, which I saw recently at a local Safeway. One normal package of blueberries had been split up into four individual... well, servings, I guess. It&#39;s sort of hard to describe the containers used without giggling a bit. A plastic narrow cylinder about four inches tall is topped off by a big plastic blueberry that serves as the lid for the bottle. The cylinder has holes punched in it so that you can rinse the blueberries in the bottle without having to go to the trouble of removing them and washing them.</p> <p>The cost of four of these <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ljc_pics/2497092539/">oddly-phallic containers</a> of blueberries rang in at around $7. Seven dollars??! This is the same weight and class of blueberries that come in less sexy plastic boxes, which cost between $2-4 (in season).</p> <p>I can&#39;t, for the life of me, figure out why the current method used to prepare and eat blueberries is so arduous as to necessitate the repackaging of these fruits into lidded tubes for easier consumption. Which part is difficult? Is it removing the berries from the plastic box to wash them? Is it touching the berries directly with your fingers that turns people away from fruit? </p> <p>What marketing bozo was sitting around one day and suddenly said to himself, &quot;You know what&#39;s really hard to eat? Berries! If they only came in a sort of tube that I could use to pour them directly into my mouth....&quot;</p> <p>I was similarly irked by <a href="http://www.yoplait.com/products_gogurt.aspx">Gogurt</a> a few years ago. I can understand similar packaging for frozen, drippy treats, like popsicles, but since when did raising a spoon from yogurt container to mouth get to be so difficult that we need to suck yogurt from a flexible tube? How long before we end up like the humans in Wall-E, crusing around on hovering scooter, too fat to walk, simply slurping our meals through a plastic straw?</p> <p>And there&#39;s no actual <em>blasting</em> going on in Blueberry Blasters, unless I misunderstood the instructions for the containers. You&#39;re not (thankfully) able to use some sort of air gun to shoot blueberries across the room into someone&#39;s mouth. The blueberries themselves, while no doubt very tasty, don&#39;t explode in your mouth like Pop Rocks (again, thankfully). It&#39;s just a stupid alliteration that some poor copywriter was forced to come up with.</p> <p>Besides being shocking waste of marketing and sales time and materials (how much plastic do you NEED to sell someone a few ounces of blueberries?), Blueberry Blasters are just another product in a long line of products that serve to remind you just how little time you have left to do anything. Feeling the pressure to work extra hours or more than one job so that you can afford your mortgage or health care? Carting kids around to a variety of sports and hobbies? Overstretched with volunteer activities? <em>No time left to do things like allow produce to come into contact with your outer epidermal layer?</em> <strong>Don&#39;t worry!</strong> We&#39;ve created an even easier way to get your nutrients without performing tedious, time-consuming tasks like food-prep.</p> <p>I can just envision a commercial touting this product as an &quot;on-the-go&quot; kind of snack, but really, aren&#39;t blueberries ALREADY an on-the-go kind of snack? I mean, the darn things have a skin that keeps all the insides neatly contained, are easily washed, don&#39;t require peeling or slicing or de-seeding - they&#39;re just about the most easily-eaten item in nature.</p> <p>What&#39;s next? Pre-masticated bananas wrapped in plastic so we don&#39;t work our jaws too hard? IV drips for beer? Wait. Well, that one might actually be OK.</p> <p>Of course, the stupidity of re-packing blueberries to make it more fun and appealing is that it doesn&#39;t actually save you any time. Pre-sliced apples almost make some kind of sense, even if the time saving is less than a minute, but blueberries? You still have to wash the blueberries before eating them, and you will still have to use one or more appendages to lift the container to your mouth. The only advantage to eating Blueberry Blasters is that you get to tip the berries into your mouth from a blue-tipped phallic tube. The shape of the container makes me wonder if the design wasn&#39;t the result of some kind of wager (&quot;Dude, I&#39;ll bet you a six-pack of Alaskan Amber that you can&#39;t get a vaguely penile-like container through the design process without <em>someone</em> noticing&quot; &quot;Oh, yeah? You&#39;re on!&quot;). Oh, and you get to pay more for the honor.</p> <p>Listen, I&#39;m not terrible busy in life; I&#39;ve mostly limited my hobbies to drinking and napping. I don&#39;t have any children to care for, or a partner to worry about - so things are more or less easy for me. But even with all that ease, sometimes I feel too tired after a long day of work to make dinner from scratch, and prepared foods are a life-saver. But there&#39;s a point where I draw the line, and Blueberry Blasters stepped WAY over that line.</p> <p>I keep Googling &quot;Blueberry Blasters&quot; to see if it&#39;s some kind of hoax created to get bloggers with too much time on their hands riled up over stupid packaging, but alas, I have found nothing. Has anyone else seen these little gems while shopping?</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/unbearably-stupid-packaging" class="sharethis-link" title="Dumbest packaging ever?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Consumer Affairs Green Living Lifestyle Shopping consumerism Food fruit groceries healthy food marketing packaging produce shopping Wed, 27 Aug 2008 21:17:58 +0000 Andrea Karim 2273 at http://www.wisebread.com