Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Recession-proof eating

No doubt we're in the middle of a recession, so disposable expenses are limited. Some people may cutback on clothing spending, others on their daily lattes, driving less, but the worst thought is to rely a diet on fast food. NO! Don't do it! Despite a tight budget and not being able to dine out frequently (which isn't always healthy anyway), do take some time to figure out a plan to spend less yet still keep a healthy diet. Here are some of my ideas. Please feel free to suggest yours as well!


Beans are cheap, pack with proteins and very filling. I used to reply a lot on canned beans, but I've a pressure cooker, so why not buy the dried beans and make my own dishes? Besides, making them from scratch has a better texture and flavor. So instead of buying canned beans, go to a local store and buy in bulk and stretch out the dollar value.


Don't be ashamed to use coupon in the supermarket. Very cents add up. Clip them when you find the products you wish to purchase and store the coupon in a neat envelope or an organizer. So the next time you go grocery shopping, just bring it along so you can use the coupons!


No, you don't HAVE to give up caffeine all together, just don't buy your daily coffee from a gourmet cafe everyday. Instead, buy an insulated mug and make your own coffee at home and bring it along with you on your daily commute to work or school. Hypothetically, a cup of fancy coffee costs $3, so 5 weekdays would be $15 and a month would be $60!


A little goes a long way. It's still important to buy organic foods, just pick and choose. There are some fruits that don't 'need' to be organic, such as bananas and oranges. But for fruits and vegetarians that are often consumed with the skin on, it's worth it to buy the organic version. It's your health, so it's a good investment.


Walking is considered a form of exercise. You don't need an expensive gym membership to stay in shape. There are lots of other inexpensive ways, such as taking the stairs, carrying your groceries in the supermarket, window shopping (YES!), playing with your kids or small cousins, or doing the hoop-la-loop while watching your favorite TV shows. Oh! Recently, a lot of bloggers have been recommending to download some free yoga moves, so that's good too! Remember, workout doesn't always have to be intense. Every little bit helps.


Yea, I get too tired to cook every night, but if you make a whole batch on the weekend, you can freeze some for the rest of the week. Some common meals that are freezeable are lasagna, sauces, bread, fruits, rice (don't freeze too long though), beans (cooked) and meat. Cooking can also be therapeutic. The process of chopping up vegetables or feeling your dough is quite relaxing and releases stress. And to know what you put in your food makes you feel healthy and that you've accomplished a great deed.

There are lots more advices out there, so these are just a few. Have in fear. We can stay healthy. Our ancestors never had microwaves and they survived, so we can too! :)


jrose said...

You've got many great suggestions here. The Organic Trade Association would just caution people against the idea of limiting their organic purchases to a small list of produce items. While doing this may help to cut costs, it misses an important point: buying organic is about more than keeping pesticides out of our bodies. It is about supporting a system of sustainable agricultural management that promotes soil health and fertility through the use of such methods as crop rotation and cover cropping, which nourish plants, foster species diversity, help combat climate change, prevent damage to valuable water resources, and protect farmers and farmers’ families from exposure to harmful chemicals. In this sense, buying organic is a commitment to the bigger, more complex picture of which our personal health is a part.

Missy said...

Great tips! I know how hard it can be, especially being in NY as well to budget food expenses. Sometimes I will buy a big tub of oats and portion out servings into baggies for work each day. I also always bring my lunch instead of spending 10 or 15 dollars a day eating out. Luckily my office provides Tazo Tea and coffee so I never have to waste money on that!