Thursday, 1 May 2008

How to Shop Wisely on a Low-Fat Diet

With the credit crunch at large and food prices eating at your hard earned cash, how can we shop for low fat and nutritious foods on a budget?

To be honest it just isn’t sensible for people to spend £10 on a piece of fish or £25 on fresh vegetables. So before we stock up on cheap nasty pre-packed meals lets see what we can do on a budget with some healthy low fat food!

Firstly you need to consider the following:

Meal planning
Sticking to a shopping list
Keeping an eye out for special offers
Shopping by yourself if possible
Not setting out with an empty stomach.

How to Begin:

Decide ahead of time what you plan to eat for the week, this way you shouldn’t go over your budget!

Make a list of the ingredients. Check which ones you have on hand, and which ones you'll need to buy. I'll often throw a package of something in my trolley only to find I had three or four them hidden at the back of my cupboard!

Buy tin and frozen foods as these will last longer than fresh produce.

While evaluating your needs, check the use-by date of your products already purchased. Don't take risks with meat, but unopened dairy products are usually good for up to a week after their sell-by date. However, if something smells bad or tastes bad, toss it! Organize your cupboards and refrigerator so that perishable foods with the shortest sell-by dates are closest to the front. This will help reduce amount of food you throw out each week.

Check to see whether any of the items you need are on sale or have special offers, through coupons, or discounts offered to store-card holders. Check inserts, flyers, online grocery coupons, even junk mail envelopes for potential savings. Don't cut coupons for items you wouldn't normally buy. Put the coupons you want to use in your purse.

Omit less-healthy treats and snacks from your list, such as packaged cookies, cakes and chips. Many packaged baked goods still contain hydrogenated oils, or are being replaced with saturated fats such as palm oil or coconut oil. If you really want cookies and cakes, it's actually cheaper to make your own; plus, you'll have control over the amount of fat and sugar you use. Try my Cake Bake recipes!

When planning your meals for the week, consider going meatless for at least two evenings, substituting either fish or beans for meat. You'll save both fat calories and dollars.

Above all its all about pre-planning and thinking ahead!

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