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March 1, 2009

Eating Healthy on a Budget

Do you have a hard time eating healthy because of your busy schedule and tight budget? Some of you may feel that eating healthy is too expensive or takes too much time, but today I’ll change your mind.

Use the following tips to eat healthy and save money:

Eat at home more often
o Make healthy snacks at home and take them with you
o Pack a lunch most days of the week
o Make healthy meals in large portions and freeze leftovers

Shopping techniques
o Make a shopping list for this week’s meals and stick to the list
o Don’t go shopping when you’re hungry!
o Shop for most of your food around the perimeter of the store to avoid the more costly, processed foods

• Look for deals
o Browse your local stores to see who offers the best deals on your favorite, healthy products
o Search the newspaper for coupons
o Compare the per unit price between brands and different sized packages
o Choose generic if possible

• Buy in bulk
o Look for deals on pre-bagged, bulk fruits and veggies
o Purchase sale priced lean meats in bulk and freeze what you don’t plan to use in 5 days
o Stock up on sale priced whole grain crackers and cereals
o Most stores offer a discount on milk if you buy 2 gallons at a time

• Go Frozen!
o Stock up on sale priced frozen meals (Kashi, Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, Smart Ones)
o Buy a wide variety of frozen veggies. They are just as healthy as fresh veggies but they’re cheaper and last longer
o Purchase frozen lean meats

• Do your own prep work
o Buy whole fruits and veggies and do the cutting and peeling yourself
o Shred a block of reduced fat cheese
o Remove skin from chicken breasts

Today’s fast-paced lifestyle might not allow you to prepare food at home everyday. For days when you don’t have time to cook, here’s a list of healthy, inexpensive meal options at popular fast food restaurants.

Healthy Fast Food Meals for Under $4

• El Pollo Loco
o BRC Burrito and Side of Fresh Vegetables
 430 Calories, 10g Fat, 10g Fiber

• McDonald’s

o Hamburger and Fruit n Yogurt Parfait
 410 Calories, 11g Fat, 2g Fiber

• Kentucky Fried Chicken
o Honey BBQ Sandwich with Green Beans
 335 Calories, 4g Fat, 4g Fiber

• Jack in the Box
o Chicken Fajita Pita
 310 Calories, 9.5g Fat, 4g Fiber
o Hamburger with Fruit Cup
 370 Calories, 12g Fat, 3g Fiber

Healthy Fast Food Meals for Under $6

• El Pollo Loco
o Skinless Chicken Breast, Small Side of Pinto Beans and Small Side of Vegetables
 370 Calories, 4g Fat, 10g Fiber

• Subway

o 6” Sandwich from 6g Fat or Less Menu with a Package of Apple Slices
 265-405 Calories, 3-6g Fat, 7-8g Fiber

• McDonald’s

o Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich with No Mayo and Apple Slices
 370 Calories, 4.5g Fat, 3g Fiber

o Oven Roasted Twister without Sauce and with Green Beans
 365 Calories, 7g Fat, 4g Fiber
o Tender Roast Sandwich without Sauce and with a Small Corn Cob
 370 Calories, 4.5g Fat, 3g Fiber
o Honey BBQ Snacker with Green Beans and a Small Corn Cobb
 305 Calories, 3.5g Fat, 6g Fiber

• Jack in the Box

o Teriyaki Chicken Bowl
 585 Calories, 5.5g Fat, 4g Fiber
o Asian Chicken Salad with Grilled Chicken and Low Fat Chocolate Milk
 365 Calories, 4g Fat, 6.5g Fiber

This information was brought to you by OC Nutrition, Your Trusted Source for Health & Nutrition Advice. OC Nutrition offers nutrition counseling services at Fitness Concepts in Chino. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact:

isty Richardson, MS, MPH, RD, CSSD, CHES
Registered Dietitian & Exercise Physiologist
(949) 933-6788

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March 1, 2009

Laing Stevens @ 10:03 pm

Thank you Kristy! That was very informative and helpful to a guy like me. Old habits are difficult to break.

Cynthia @ 10:27 pm

This is such good information. I must have gotten on your mailing list a couple of years ago when I was trying to find a nutritionist to help me eat better. I finally joined Weight Watchers and learned a great deal about healthy eating and lost 17lbs in the process. Thanks for sharing. This is good. I’d like to get my husband linked to you. Do you take insurance?

March 11, 2009

Kristy Richardson @ 9:35 pm

Hi Cynthia,

Some insurance companies reimburse for dietitian services if you have a specific medical condition. If you call your insurance company they should be able to tell you which medical conditions they reimburse for. Also, if you have a flexible spending account through work this is a great way to get a 40% discount on health care services because you don’t get taxed on the money in your flexible spending account and you get to use it towards any health related services. I am a provider for the ASH network (American Specialty Health) so if you are signed up with ASH through your insurance company you receive a 25% discount on my services. Hope this helps.

(949) 933-6788

February 22, 2011

James@Tefal Actifry Review @ 1:00 am

Great tips, it seems to be getting harder and harder to eat healthily at affordable prices. You’ve given me some great ideas though!

April 26, 2011

Mike@cheap healthy meals @ 2:37 am

Informative article, particularly the macronutrient breakdown of the resturant meals. One of the most powerful piece’s of advice is to pre prepare everything. Figure out what your going to eat for the whole week, go buy it, prepare it and your set. I do this (as does my wife) and it’s helped me no end! Most days I dont even need to think about food, its already done!

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