Tips for shopping and eating healthy in 2014
By Stashia Thomas, Unity One Credit Union member
Stashia graduated from South Dakota State University in December with a degree in nursing.
If you find yourself pulling into the drive thru more than you are going into a grocery store, chances are you are depleting your bank account and expanding your waistline. The average cost of a meal from a fast food restaurant is five dollars. If you eat out once a day for lunch this costs you $35 per work week which adds up to $1,820 per year! Not only does this use up lots of your money, it adds tons of calories to your diet.
The average meal when eating out will cost you 500 calories, and this is only average for an entrée. Include a drink and a side, and you can pack on an extra 300 calories or more depending on what you are eating. Not only are the calories and fat extremely high in fast food, but also the sodium content for one meal can be equivalent or exceed a day’s worth. Not only does fast food packs on the fat, calories, and sodium; but also most fast food is severely lacking in nutrients.
Now let’s take a look at bringing a lunch to work instead of eating out. A turkey sandwich on white bread with Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo and mustard will cost you only $1.08! Add on an apple and bottled water, and the total is about $3. Now let us look at the calories of this cost-effective lunch.
The sandwich mentioned above would have approximately 300 calories and the apple would have about 70, bringing the total to just under 400 calories. Not to mention the lettuce, tomato and apple would add valuable nutrients that your body needs and craves. The preparation time, although minimal, that this packed lunch would take is worth the calories and money saved.
Some tips for shopping and eating healthy:
· Buy cheap produce. Cheap produce is what is in season, so it will make your taste buds and wallets happy!
· Take advantage of coupons when you can. Many coupons can be found online from manufactures if you check their Web sites.
· Buy in bulk and freeze for later! Buy fresh meat in bulk, and separate it into servings and freeze for ease and money saving.
· Stock frozen and canned veggies and fruits. It is always good to have nutritious food on hand, fresh, frozen or canned; it keeps you from going out when you haven’t had time to shop.
· Keeps snacks handy at your desk or in your car. If you always have food it is hard to make the excuse to stop and eat out.
· Leftovers are not so bad. Prepare big healthy meals early in the week for leftovers. A salad or entree made Sunday night can last you until mid-week and save time when you’re on the go!
· Get inspired by cooking Web sites. They feature quick and easy recipes if you are stumped on what to make!
· Use your crock pot! If you have a hot meal waiting for you when you get home, it will cut down on the trips to the drive thru when you feel too tired to cook at the end of the day.