How to eat healthy on a budget -


Eating healthy on a budget

If you feel like your grocery bill is rising every week, you're not alone. Consumer price index statistics show the cost of food is up more than five percent.

So how do you eat right when money's tight?

Many families these days are struggling to put meals on the table with higher food prices, but there are several ways to stretch your dollars.

One of the best starts before you shop: Make menu plans, taking into account leftovers in the fridge.

"Plan a couple of days ahead with regards to your menu, know what you need, have a list and stick to it," says Amy Jamison-Petonic, a registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic. "It's really important that you follow that,  because it's easy to get distracted when you go to the grocery store."

One way to avoid getting distracted by impulse buys is not to shop when you're hungry. To save on produce, buy fruits and vegetables that are in-season, since these are typically on sale. And because meats tend to be an expensive item, try to swap these out with vegetarian protein options.

"Find ways to incorporate more non-meat dishes at least once a week into your menu. Beans, legumes, and quinoa are great sources of protein," says Jamieson-Petonic.

There's another benefit to purchasing dried lentils and whole grains like brown rice: They last a long time without spoiling.

So become a smart, healthy food shopper and keep a few more dollars in your wallet!

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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