Saving Money On Food – 3 Healthy Tips

Want to save money on food but still eat a lot of deliciously healthy food? Here are 3 great tips for soups, salad dressings, and breakfast cereals from the nutritionists and chefs at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami.

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Take a look at our three tips below, plus more cost-cutting ideas, for everything from everyday cooking to holidays like Thanksgiving Day.

Soup – Saving Money On Food

Soups in your grocery aisle are often about $3 a can.  So if you buy 4 cans (which adds up to about 8 cups of soup), you’re dropping about $12.

You can whip up 8 tasty, healthy cups of soup for half that amount – yes, just $6.  That’s what we discovered when we priced out the ingredients for Pritikin soup recipes like our Pritikin Black Bean Soup.  A bag of black beans is only about $1.50, two red onions are about $1, a half cup of chopped garlic is not more than 50 cents, and the remaining ingredients – spices, a carrot, and a chipotle pepper – are just a couple dollars more.

And wow, what flavor!  So much tastier than anything you’d open up from a can.

Sure, it takes a little time to make your own soup.  But not much more time – that’s the amazing discovery!  Think about it.  You still have to go to the grocery store whether you’re buying cans of soup or soup ingredients.  And when you get home, all you’re really doing is spending a few more minutes dumping a few ingredients in a pot and stirring.  That’s how easy soup-making is.

And here’s the best news of all.  Your own homemade soup is so much healthier for you and your family than many canned varieties.  Two cups of Pritikin Black Bean Soup has just 32 mg of sodium.  Two cups of most canned soups can easily tally up a blood-pressure-busting 700mg and more.  Many canned soups pack in more than 1,200 mg of sodium!  That’s shocking considering that our Institute of Medicine, comprised of the nation’s leading experts on health and nutrition, recommend that we consume no more than 1,500 mg of sodium daily.

So a few minutes in the kitchen gets you great tasting homemade soup, a much more nutritious meal, and for half the price of canned soups.

Salad Dressing – Saving Money On Food

Pick up an 8-ounce bottle of salad dressing in the grocery store, say, a ranch dressing, and you’re often spending about $4 these days.  Buy three bottles and you’re up to $12.  Yikes!

The same amount of Pritikin’s Creamy-Style House Dressing tallies up just $3.  That’s right, just $1 for every 8 ounces, or 75% less than what you’re picking up at the grocery store.

And once again, it’s a dump-and-stir recipe.  So easy to make.  You simply mix together a little yogurt, fat-free sour cream, oregano, garlic, low-sodium ketchup, and nonfat milk.

And it’s so much better for your waistline.  Store-bought salad dressings often have about 200 calories per serving. Even so-called “light” varieties ratchet up 70 to 90 calories.  Pritikin’s Creamy-Style House Dressing has just 17 calories per serving.

Sodium in bottled salad dressings is another shocker.  Many contain 250mg of sodium and more for just one little two-tablespoon serving.  No wonder this country is suffering record rates of hypertension!  All the salad dressing recipes in the book The Pritikin Edge have just 35 mg of sodium or less per serving.

And once again, “fresh” is always much more flavorful than bottled or canned.  Who needs sodium when your salad dressing is exploding with flavor from fresh, tangy ingredients like lemon juice, minced chives, and zesty horseradish?

Breakfast Cereal – Saving Money On Food

Shopping for breakfast cereals can be a real blow to your pocketbook.  One 12-ounce box of corn flakes (which is just 12 servings) is now $4.

Pay 60% less and enjoy a heartier and much healthier and waistline-trimming breakfast by purchasing whole grains like whole oats and making hot cereal.  For about $4, you get 30 servings, not 12.  And prep is so easy.  All you do is pour a half-cup of oats in a bowl, add a cup of water, and put the bowl in the microwave for three minutes.  It’s that simple.

And with that bowl of hot, whole-grain cereal, you’re getting four times the fiber of corn flakes and far less sodium.  Oatmeal has just 4mg of sodium per serving; cornflakes has 200mg.

You’re also getting a much better shot at reaching your weight-loss goals.  By switching your morning bowl of corn flakes for a bowl of hot oatmeal and fruit, you’d take in approximately 250 fewer calories each day.  That one simple change to your daily diet could help you drop about 25 pounds in one year.

Cutting Costs on Thanksgiving Day

Here are a few tips for saving money while eating healthfully and happily on Thanksgiving Day.

The best – and tastiest – way to cut costs is to steer clear of the pre-made versions of dishes like stuffing (which are often very high in unhealthy ingredients like salt) and return to simpler times by preparing food from scratch.  If time is tight, get family and friends involved.  Invite them to help you cook, or set up a potluck fest.

Consider healthy soups, like the Black Bean Soup below, as a side dish.  Most soup recipes don’t call for many ingredients, and everyone loves a hearty, homemade bowl of soup any day of the holiday season.

Focus on vegetables.  They’re cheap compared to many protein dishes, and so good for your health and waistline.  Prepare a huge serving bowl of greens and other fresh veggies.  All that color also looks lovely on your buffet table.

Lastly, use garden-grown ingredients.  Do friends or family members grow herbs or other ingredients?  Ask that they harvest a few as a special gift to you and all your guests for the big day.

Bottom Line:  Don’t let rising food prices curtail your health or your wallet.  Fight back!  Now is your chance with recipes and tips from The Pritikin Edge: 10 Essential Ingredients for a Long and Delicious Life, to save well, eat well, and live well.

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