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Planning Helps Your Heart And Your Budget

If you plan meals ahead of time, create a shopping list and make sure you’re taking advantage of all coupons and specials, you’ll not only have more money in your pocket, you could be making wiser choices when it comes to eating. You can save both your health and your money by taking a little time. If you think you’re overwhelmed with work or it doesn’t pay that much to do it. Consider the fact that one hour a week could save anywhere from $25 to $60 dollars in groceries. You’ll be averaging $42.00+ an hour, just for doing it, maybe even more.

Plan your meals and your leftovers.

How many times have you come home from work, too tired to even think about what to have for supper. It’s those days you’re tempted to stop at “Burger Quickie” or other fast food place to get your family burgers and fries, even though you know it’s not only unhealthy, it often costs a $20 for just that meal. If you plan meals ahead, or better yet, make big pots of healthy foods on the weekend and freeze meals ahead for those late work nights, you’ll be saving a bunch. That $20 could be enough for several meals when you plan ahead and make your own quick meals.

Look for sales on healthy foods, like fresh produce and clip those coupons.

Having healthy food available doesn’t have to cost a fortune. You’ll often find manager specials in the produce department and coupons that can make healthier food items more affordable. Avoid premade food, since it’s not only more expensive, it can contain unhealthy ingredients. If you get a managers special on produce or find a super buy, buy extra. Cut up some of the fresh fruits or veggies as quick snacks in the fridge and cook the rest, packing some away for later use.

Stop at roadside stands or farmer’s markets if you see them and have time.

Many times people selling produce at a roadside stand are just trying to make a few extra dollars or prevent their extra garden bounty from going to waste. Prices are often extremely inexpensive. Going late in the day to any farmers market often gives big rewards. While much of the produce is picked over, most farmers are willing to sell it cheaper rather than letting it go to waste.

Make homemade snacks and get the rest of the family to help. Whether you want to create rutabaga chips for your snack or baked pumpkin seeds, kids will enjoy helping.

Package your food for your family size or in individual containers. Some people freeze soup in ice cube trays and then repack them in a big freezer bag. When they’re ready to cook, they just take out what they need. Muffin tins are also good for this.

Get an app for your phone from your favorite groceries. Most stores let you sign up for an app that either loads coupons onto your shoppers card or sends you coupons via texts. Sometimes stores offer both. Go to their website and see what they offer.

Don’t forget the coupons when you shop and the ones at checkout. Keep a container or file for coupons. You can put them in order of expiration date or file them by category. If you check your coupon file and match it to sales before you create your menu you’ll save a lot.

Best Nuts For The Holiday And Your Diet

Losing weight over the holidays is quite a challenge. There are delicious desserts, holiday cookies and an array of delectable dishes that are sure to send your calories counter into overdrive. There are also bowls of nuts in shells to tempt you. But wait, sometimes nuts can be your best ally in the fight against the fat. That means the type of nut that grows on a plant, not crazy Aunt Ethel that tells you that you have such a pretty face…but! Some of the best nuts not only fight fat, they also add extra benefits to your diet.

Try a Brazil nut as a weight loss booster.

Some foods can actually help make you thinner. Brazil nuts, the ones often left in the bowl after all the cashews and pecans are long gone, are those types of nuts. They contain a nutrient called selenium that not only helps boost your immune system and makes your reproductive system stronger, it boosts metabolism too. That’s a great help for weight loss. A Brazil nut also helps by providing heart healthy fats, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper and riboflavin. Even though Brazil nuts are healthy, don’t eat a whole package. Plus cracking these nuts can provide an excess amount of exercise to open just one!

Crack those walnuts and feel no guilt.

Nuts contain a lot of fat, especially the walnut, but it’s good fat. It’s polyunsaturated fat that actually signals your body to active a gene that shuts down fat storage, while improving your ability to use insulin. It provides scarce and powerful antioxidants, promotes heart health, fights cancer, fights diabetes and promotes brain health. Eating a handful a day will increase your feeling of fullness, thus making you eat less. Sprinkle them on salads for protein or on your cereal in the morning.

Almonds help the weight loss challenge.

One study showed that people who added a quarter of a cup of almonds to their calorie-restricted diet each day improves the potential for weight loss after just two weeks. In fact, if you eat these little miracle foods right before you workout, it’s even better. They contain L-arginine, an amino acid that aids in burning fat and carbs during exercise. They also can boost your energy level during the workout, so you accomplish more.

Pistachios are power packed for dieters and can help reduce the BMI when eaten daily as a snack.

Considering peanuts as part of the nut group. Even though they official are rhizomes and part of the legume family, not nuts, peanut butter can help you keep your sugar levels from dipping. Use the all natural type made strictly from ground peanuts. You’ll have to stir it before using it.

Cashews can make you feel full and be a great midday snack. The high fiber content and difficulty of digesting the cashew prevents many of the calories from “sticking.” You often “flush” them away, so even if a handful is 160 calories, you will have the effect of fewer calories on your body.

Be aware that roasted nuts, with the oil still clinging to them, are more fattening than fresh or shelled nuts without extra ingredients or oils. Sugar coated nuts or other flavorful types are also higher in calories and less beneficial for your diet.