Eating Healthy on the Cheap

by Joanna

Seeing your favorite items in the grocery store go up in price?  It seems like everything is getting more expensive these days.  Now that people tend to be more conscious about their health and budget, getting the best bang for your buck is becoming increasingly important.

So it’s back to basics.  The perimeter of the grocery store is almost all you need – it’s where all the fresh food is kept.  With produce, try to stick to foods that are in season.  Some items can even be frozen for later use.  Berries for example (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.) will hold up for 8-12 months in the freezer.  Now is a good time to stock up! 

Ground beef, too, is more expensive, but there are ways to stretch the money you are spending.  Add vegetables or black beans to the mix.  Beans are a good source of protein and fiber.

Watch for sales and coupons.  It’s amazing what deals you can get if you are paying attention.  The website has coupons and tips on how to save more money at the grocery store.  Number one tip: don’t use a coupon to buy something you wouldn’t normally purchase.

At wholesales food stores, like Sam’s Club, a little known fact is that when a price ends in a “1”, as in $3.81, it means it’s on clearance and a significant price reduction.  It’s usually unadvertised but it won’t stick around long – word of mouth spreads fast.  To be certain, check with your local wholesale food store if they do this and what number to look for.

And the two most important rules when grocery shopping? 
1. Don’t go hungry.
2. Bring a list. 

Following these two rules are guaranteed to help prevent you from purchasing things you normally wouldn’t.

Also, try your local Farmers Market.  It’s a great way to support the community AND get a great deal.  Below is a list of Farmers Markets in the Chippewa Valley.  For more farmers market listings, check out WiscOnline’s directory to find a market in your area.

Chippewa Falls Farmers Market
Corner of Bridge & River Streets
June 12 - October 16, 2008
Thursday, 12:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Visit their website.

Klinger Farm Market
6 Miles north of Chippewa Falls on Hwy 124, then
½ mile west
Daily, 8:00 am - 7:00 pm

Visit their website.

Menomonie Farmers Market
Wilson Park, Menomonie
May 3 - October 25, 2008
Wednesday, 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Saturday, 8:00 am - 1:00 pm

Eau Claire Downtown Farmers Market
Phoenix Park, Downtown Eau Claire
June 7 - September 27, 2008
Wednesday and Saturday, 7:30 am - 1:00 pm
Thursday, 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Visit their website.

Oakwood Mall Farmers Market
Oakwood Mall parking lot, near Macy’s
June 14 - October 18, 2008
Wednesday and Saturday, 7:30 am - 1:00 pm
Monday, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Festival Foods Farmers Market
Eau Claire Festival Foods parking lot
June 15 - October 12, 2008
Sunday, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

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