Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Eating Healthy for Cheap

As I was browsing my Google Reader, I came across a post by Jenn at the Green Phone Booth, all about the Environmental Working Group's guide to eating healthy for less: Good Food on a Tight Budget. I immediately jumped on the link, as the EWG is a trusted resource. They put out the Dirty Dozen & the Clean Fifteen--the list of which produce to buy organic & which is safer when conventionally grown as well as Skin Deep, where you can search for info on toxins in personal care products & cosmetics.

With just one full-time income coming in around here, tips of saving money are always welcome. That said, I'm not willing to compromise on buying as much organic as we can. I'd rather cut corners somewhere else than stop consuming things like fromage frais, organic pepperoni & local microbrew. (Yes, I consider beer to be groceries) However, after looking at the EWG's guide, I learned a few unexpected things.
  • Children two years & up don't need to drink homogenized milk--skim or 1-2% is fine & has more protein. I hadn't really looked into this, but I assumed the extra fat would be good for them past age two. I find the homo milk is often a bit more expensive, so this will save us a few cents a week.
  • The fattier dairy products like butter & cream cheese have negligible amounts of calcium. :(
  • EWG recommends limiting canned light tuna to once a month or less, due to potential for industrial pollutants in the fish. This is a much more stringent guideline than I've seen before--I remember following the recommendation to keep it to once a week or less when I was pregnant. We're not huge tuna eaters anyway, so we wouldn't really have to cut down.
  • Goat is apparently the world's most commonly eaten meat. Doesn't mean I'm going to start, however. :P
  • I knew nuts were a good source of protein & though I often keep them in the fridge, I'd never considered keeping them in the freezer for longer term storage. Could be a good way to save money if we bought them in bulk on sale.
  • Not just money-saving, but labour-saving too: "Cook fish on a bed of lemon slices to add flavor and moisture and keep your pan clean." Brilliant!
I think it's a useful website for practically anybody, whether you're pinching pennies or not. Don't just take my word for it, here's their promotional video about Good Food on a Tight Budget:

The Good Food on a Tight Budget guide is available online here where they offer a download so you can print one out for yourself if you prefer a hard copy. The website also features ten pages of recipes in PDF format to give you some ideas for meal prep.

Take a look at the guide & let me know what you think! 

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